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How to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU

Window Manager High CPU
Written by Kelly Houstan

The Desktop Window Manager is basically responsible to manage the visual effects of the desktop. Whenever it comes to the latest Windows 10, it also manages high-resolution support, 3D animation, and each and everything. This process also keeps on running in the background and consumes a certain amount of CPU usage. Nevertheless, there are a lot of users who experienced high CPU usage from this service. But, there are a lot of conditions of the system configuration that cause this high CPU usage. Just read this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU. Let’s begin!

How to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU

What this DWM.EXE do?

DWM.EXE is a actually Windows service that allows Windows in filling visual effects such as transparency and desktop icons. This utility also helps in showing live thumbnails whenever the user uses various Windows components. This service is also used when the users connect their high-resolution external shows.

Is there a way to disable DWM.EXE?

In the old operating system such as Windows XP & Windows Vista, there was an easy way of turning off the visual services of your system. However, modern Windows OS have really intensively integrated visual service within your OS which cannot be run without even Desktop Window Manager.

From Windows 7 till Windows 10, there are a lot of visual effects that use this DWM service for better user interface and really effects; hence there is no way to disable this service. This is an integral part of your OS and a crucial part in depending on the GUI (Graphical User Interface).

Change Theme/Wallpaper

Desktop Window Manager manages your visual effects that also include wallpaper and its theme. Hence, it could be possible that your current theme settings are causing really high CPU usage. Hence, the first way to fix this problem is just to start along with changing the theme and wallpaper.

  • Tap on Windows Key + I in order to open Settings and then click on Personalization.
  • From the left-hand menu, you just have to click on Background. 
  • There you have to change your current theme & wallpaper and then check if you’re able to Fix the Desktop Window Manager High CPU (DWM.exe) usage issue or not as well.

Malware Scanning

If you guys are experiencing this problem, it could be because of a malware issue on your device. If your PC is infected along with some malware or virus. Then the malware could run some scripts in the background causing a problem for your system’s programs as well. Hence, it is recommended in order to run a full system virus scan.

  • First of all, type Windows Defender in Windows Search bar and then open it.
  • When it is open, from the right pane you guys will notice the Scan option. Here you will get some options – full scan, custom scan, and then quick scan. You have to select the full scan option. It will then take some time to completely scan your system.
  • Once the scanning is complete, then reboot your system in order to check whether the Desktop Window Manager High CPU (DWM.exe) usage is solved or not as well.

Turning off Hardware Acceleration for MS Office products

Some of the users reported that they solved this problem via simply disabling Hardware Acceleration for MS Office products. The hardware acceleration feature is used via Windows to perform a lot of functions more efficiently.

  • You have to open any MS Office product (PowerPoint, MS Office, etc) and click the File option from the left corner as well.
  • Now under the File menu, you have to scroll down to select Options.
  • When the new Window Pane opens, you have to click on the Advanced option. When you click on it, on the right side you guys will get multiple options, here you have to locate the Display option. Here you have to checkmark the option “Disable hardware graphics acceleration”. Now just save all the settings.
  • Next, restart/reboot your system in order to apply the changes.

Disable Screensaver | Window Manager High CPU

Your screensaver is also controlled and managed via the Desktop Windows Manager. It has also been noted that in the latest updates of Windows 10, a lot of users reported that screensaver settings are consuming high CPU usage. Hence, in this method, we will try to disable the screensaver in order to check whether CPU usage is reduced or not.

  • Then type lock screen settings in the Windows search bar and just open the lock screen setting.
  • Now from the Lock screen setting window, now tap on the Screen saver settings link at the bottom.
  • It could be possible that the default screensaver is activated on your system as well. A lot of users reported that there was a screensaver along with a black background image. That was already activated, however, they never realized that it was a screensaver.
  • Thus, you have to disable the screensaver to fix the Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage (DWM.exe). From the screen saver, drop-down just choose (None).
  • Tap on Apply followed via OK in order to save changes.

Delete Specific Applications

If the above-mentioned solutions did not work, then you can try this method. It is important to make sure that you check that application is causing trouble for your device. Some of the applications are OneDrive, SitePoint, and Dropbox. You can try to delete or temporarily disabling Onedrive, SitePoint or some of these applications in order to fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU (DWM.exe) usage.

Change Default App Mode

The latest Windows update comes along with some advanced features. You will get the option in order to change the default app mode in two available options: Dark and Light as well. It is also one of the causes of High CPU usage in Windows 10 too.

  • Tap on Windows Key + I to open Settings and then click on Personalization.
  • Now from the left-hand window, then tap on Colors under Personalization.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen until you guys locate Choose your default app mode heading.
  • There you have to select the Light option.
  • Now just restart your computer in order to apply the settings.

Update Graphics Card Driver | Window Manager High CPU

Manually Update Graphics Drivers using Device Manager

  • Tap on Windows Key + R and then type devmgmt.msc and hit enter in order to open Device Manager.
  • Then you have to expand Display adapters and right-click on your Graphics Card and choose Enable.
  • When you have done this again right-click on your graphics card and choose “Update Driver“.
  • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and then let it finish the process.
  • If the above steps were helpful in fixing the issue then really good, if not then continue as well.
  • Again right-click on your graphics card and choose “Update Driver” but this time on the next screen select “Browse my computer for driver software“ as well.
  • Now just choose “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.”
  • At last, select the latest driver from the list and tap on Next.
  • Now let the above process finish and restart your PC in order to save changes.

Just follow the same steps for the integrated graphics card (that is Intel in this case) in order to update its drivers. See if you guys are able to Fix Desktop Window Manager High CPU (DWM.exe) Issue. If not then continue along with the next step.

Automatically Update Graphics Drivers from Manufacturer Website

  • Tap on Windows Key + R and in the dialog box, just type “dxdiag” and hit enter.
  • Now after that search for the display tab (there will be two display tabs one for the integrated graphics card and another one will be of Nvidia’s) and then tap on the display tab and find out your graphics card.
  • Just head to the Nvidia driver download website and then enter the product details. That we just find out as well.
  • Just search your drivers after inputting the information, tap on Agree, and then download the drivers.
  • Now after successful download, install the driver and you guys have successfully updated your Nvidia drivers manually.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

About the author

Kelly Houstan

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