Many users get worried when they see a very high power usage coming from some of their processes in the task manager. In this article, we will see whether this is a sign of a more significant issue or if it is something that can be ignored.
The Task Manager’s power usage feature was developed mainly to track power consumption for laptop users by monitoring the application’s CPU and GPU usage over time. This can be very useful for tracking what apps are draining your battery power.
So, very high power usage in Task Manager is normal when running resource-heavy apps like Chrome or modern games; in this case, you can safely ignore it. However, if it is causing other issues like overheating or slowing down on your PC, you should check what is causing it.
You don’t need to worry about power usage if you own a desktop PC or your laptop is plugged in.
(Before you assume you have some issue, make sure that you see data in real time. This will not happen if your Task Manager data is paused.)
If you suspect you are having performance issues due to the very high power usage in Task Manager, I will show you next what you can do about it.
Fix 1: Perform a Clean Boot to Fix Power Usage Very High in Task Manager
Microsoft’s official website explains that the clean boot “starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs.“ This will be useful so that you can determine whether the very high power usage in Task Manager is caused by a program.
Here is how to do a clean boot:
- Enter System Configuration on Windows Search, then click on Run as administrator:
- On System Configuration, go to the Services tab and click on Hide all Microsoft services:
- Then click on the Disable all button:
- On the Startup tab, click on Open Task Manager:
- Disable all the startup processes by right-clicking on them and clicking on Disable.
(Make sure to keep notes of the startup processes enabled so you can enable them later on.)
- Close the Task Manager.
- Now go back to System Configuration and click on Ok.
- Reboot your PC.
Now run your PC for a while and check if the very high power usage is still there. If not, try to identify what application is causing it.
Fix 2: Run a Malware Scan
If your PC is malfunctioning for no apparent reason, it can also be that it is infected by malware and that the high power usage is caused by a malicious program running on it. So, running a malware scan with Malwarebytes is a good idea.
Follow the steps below:
- Download Malwarebytes from the official website and install it on your PC.
- With Malwarebytes open, click on the Scan button and wait while it scans your PC for malware:
- Put any suspicious files in Quarantine.
If you are curious whether you can run Windows Defender and Malwarebytes at the same time, I’ve written an article about that.
Fix 3: Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Another option is to run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to search for possible RAM issues causing a very high power usage on your PC.
Here is how to run this tool:
- On Windows Search, enter Memory Diagnostic and click on open:
- Click on Restart now and check for problems:
Fix 4: Adjust Windows Visual Effects to Best Performance
If you suspect your PC is running close to its maximum capability, you can try to free up GPU and RAM resources by adjusting Windows visual effects for best performance.
This will naturally affect the visual effects of your Windows interface, but it will make your PC run faster.
This is how to do it:
- Enter Advanced System Settings on Windows Search and open it:
- In the System Properties window, go to the Advanced tab, then click on the Settings button under Performance:
- In the Visual Effects tab, check the box for Adjust for best performance, then click OK:
- Click on Apply, then OK.
If you are unsatisfied with the lack of visual effects or have issues like the missing Windows Explorer border, you can always revert to “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer.”
You don’t need to worry if you see high power usage in Task Manager. This is normal when you use heavy applications like running games or Internet browsers.
However, you should do something If this is making your PC freeze or slow down, try to perform a clean boot, run a Malware scan, run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, or set your PC’s visual effects to “adjust to best performance.”
If this high usage is caused by the system process, you might need to update your drivers or your Bios.
If you suspect the culprit is Google Chrome, try to turn off the hardware acceleration feature on Chrome’s Settings > System.
To learn more about other task manager issues, check my article on why my GPU does not show up in Task Manager.