How to Resolve Desktop Window Manager High CPU Usage (dwm.exe) Problem on Windows 10

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Everything you see on your computer screen, whether it’s a Windows, Mac, or Linux device, is generated by system processes that control everything from network connectivity to the user interface. Windows users may be familiar with some of these processes, such as explorer.exe for displaying the desktop, but other processes are less familiar.

System processes, such as dwm.exe, are common and integral parts of the Windows operating system. In particular, dwm.exe helps create a graphical user interface for Windows, but can sometimes cause significant CPU load. If this is the case, here’s what you need to do to fix the problem.

What are the causes of high CPU load by the desktop window manager?

  • Windows 10 has some performance issues.
  • You have too many processes open on your system.
  • The display driver is not compatible with your system.
  • Some of your programs or applications are not working.

How to solve the problem of high CPU load by the desktop window manager?

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Scan for malware and other malicious infections

  1. Press Windows + S and type Windows Defender.
  2. Select it and run it.
  3. On the right side of the window, you will see the scan option -> select Full Scan -> Scan. This process may take a while, so let it finish.
  4. Then reboot your system and check if your DWM.exe problem is resolved.

Disable hardware acceleration

  1. Launch any MS Office product (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  2. Click File -> Preferences.
  3. Click on the Advanced option -> scroll down and find the View option in the right pane.
  4. Check the box next to Disable Hardware Accelerated Graphics.
  5. Save your settings, restart your computer, and you will see that DWM.exe will no longer be a heavy processor load.

Changing the wallpaper

  1. Press Windows + I and click Customize.
  2. Select the Background in the left pane
  3. Change the current background theme and image in the right pane.

Turn off the screen saver

  1. Press the Windows + S key combination and type Lock Screen Settings in the search bar -> Enter.
  2. Select the first result and double-click it. This will take you to your computer’s lock screen settings.
  3. Scroll down and find the screensaver settings in the right pane.
  4. If you see the default screensaver active, click the down arrow -> select None -> Apply -> OK.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Desktop window manager's high CPU usage may be due to outdated graphics drivers. Therefore, you should make sure that you are using the latest versions of graphics drivers. You can check the manufacturer's website to make sure that you are using the latest versions of drivers.

  1. Press "Windows + I" to open the settings.
  2. Click on the System button.
  3. On the Display tab, under Scale and Layout, click Advanced Scaling Options.
  4. Under "Allow Windows to try to fix applications so they aren't blurry", set the button to Off.

  1. Update your controller firmware.
  2. Check your computer for malware.
  3. Restart explorer.exe.
  4. Disable the problematic services.
  5. Disable the Pepper Flash extension in Chrome.
  6. Install your old video card drivers.
  7. Adjust the performance settings.

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