• October 3, 2023

CPU and disk are 100% loaded in Windows 11 – what to do?

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s fastest operating system today. However, it can boast of speed only on the most productive computers, but on PCs of medium and budget configurations with this OS, users have a variety of problems.

For example, as noted by some users on the network, Windows 11, for a completely incomprehensible reason, can load the processor and disk by 100%, and for a fairly long period. It is worth noting that behind such abnormal “behavior” of the OS, a variety of reasons can be hidden. Let’s take a look at these reasons:

  • The extraordinary costs of running Windows Search. The search functionality of Windows 11 automatically indexes all new files that enter the user’s computer. The procedure is performed quickly enough, but it requires a whole bunch of system resources that budget PC assemblies cannot provide. In such a situation, you need to disable the Windows 11 search engine.
  • Out of memory for the Sysmain service. If you installed Windows 11 on a computer with low RAM, then Sysmain will almost certainly force your graphics card’s video buffer (VRAM) to preload the applications you use most on the system. This process can put a lot of stress on your hard drive.
  • Hardware-based command sequencing overloads the HDD. Windows 11 is poorly suited to work on classic hard drives. NCQ technology often causes system freezes and loads the working disk up to 100%. To resolve such a difficult dilemma, you need to make some modifications to the Windows 11 registry – disable NCQ.

Okay, Windows 11 can put a lot of stress on your computer – what should I do? In fact, there are not so many solutions, but they are all extremely effective. We recommend that you perform them in the order in which they are located.

Disable Windows search engine

The Windows 11 search engine is the prime suspect for overloading the CPU and disk of your computer. Similar to the top ten, the Windows 11 search engine constantly monitors and indexes all new files that enter the system. On computers with powerful hardware, such a process should not cause any problems, but on PCs with budget components, things are much more sad.

Some users claim that due to the increased load, their PC starts to work with terrible brakes or even freezes completely. The owners of classic hard drives get the hardest, however, SSD owners also complain about problems with high load.

The solution is to turn off the Windows 11 search engine. It is true that many of you constantly use the search engine, but if it causes difficulties in the operation of your PC, you need to deactivate it. To disable Windows 11 search engine, you need to do the following:

  • press the key combination Win + R to open the “Run” window;
  • then write in an empty line the value “services.msc” and press Enter;
  • find the service “Windows Search” in the list and double-click on it with LMB;
  • once in the properties of the service, click on the “Stop” button;
  • now select “Disabled” from the drop-down menu of the service startup type and save the changes by clicking “Apply” and “OK”;
  • close all open windows and restart your PC.

Now that Windows 11 search is disabled, your CPU and disk will no longer be stressed. Nevertheless, if after disabling the search nothing has changed … well, let’s move on.

Disable Sysmain Service (SuperFetch)

Superfetch (Sysmain service) is another potential “pest” in Windows 11 that can cause increased CPU and disk utilization. While Superfetch is technically supposed to improve system performance, in some cases, on the contrary, it causes a number of not very pleasant problems, especially on budget PCs.

How important is Superfetch and can it be turned off? The answer is not that important, and yes, you can safely turn off this technology without fearing for your system. The essence of Superfetch is that it preloads the application data that you use most often into RAM, thereby, in theory, speeding up the system.

Problems arise when there is not enough RAM and Superfetch starts using the video card buffer, creating virtual memory on the connected disk. The latter is then subjected to extremely high loads. To disable Superfetch, you need to do the following:

  • press Win + R to open Run;
  • write down “services.msc” and press Enter;
  • double-click LMB on the “SysMain” service;
  • stop the service and set its startup type to “Disabled”;
  • save changes and restart your PC.

That’s it, now Windows 11 should stop overloading the PC. No changes? Is the CPU and HDD / SSD still under 100% utilization? Okay, you can try something else …

Disable NCQ for SATA AHCI controller

Online users note that disabling Search and SysMain services helps to get rid of the abnormal load on the PC. But what if neither the first nor the second helped? What could be the reason? Hardware instruction sequencing technology (abbreviated as NCQ), which is used to improve the performance of SATA devices, can potentially load the attached hard drive.

It turns out that Windows 11 corny does not allow classic hard drives to effectively use NCQ technology – they enter a state of constant load, which sometimes leads to a complete system freeze. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected by deactivating the hardware command queuing technology through the OS Registry Editor.

It is important to note that after applying this solution, your HDD will become a little slower. True, unpleasant, but it’s better than putting up with constant overloads and freezes of the computer. Alternatively, you can put another OS on your PC and put Windows 11 on hold. You decide. To disable NCQ, you need to do the following:

  • press Win + R and execute the value “devmgmt.msc”;
  • in the device manager, expand the section “IDE ATA / ATAPI controllers”;
  • double-click LMB on the device “Standard SATA AHCI controller”;
  • go to the “Details” tab;
  • select “Path to device instance” from the drop-down menu of properties;
  • press RMB on the alphanumeric value below and select “Copy”;
  • close all windows of the task manager;
  • press Win + R, write down the value “regedit” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter (to run as administrator);
  • go to the registry editor in the Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM ControlSet001 Enum PCI Device Parameters Interrupt Management MessageSignaledInterruptProperties branch using the search line in the window menu bar;
  • then right-click on the “MSISupported” parameter and select “Properties”;
  • select the hexadecimal number system and enter “0” (zero) in the value field;
  • save the changes to the registry and restart your PC.

As soon as you get into the system, open the Task Manager and carefully monitor the load on the computer. If nothing has changed, then we recommend reinstalling Windows 11 or even switching to a slightly older OS, for example, Windows 10, 8 or even 7, because your PC may not fit the new “eleven”.

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