Why Dwm.exe Causes High CPU Usage: How to Fix It

Desktop Window Manager (Dwm.exe))

In this blog post, we\’ll be explaining what exactly the Desktop Window Manager (Dwm.exe) is. How it can cause your PC to become sluggish. Moreover, we\’ll also share with you some tips and tricks to help alleviate the problem. This is to make sure you don\’t have to deal with an unresponsive system anymore!

One of the first things you will notice about your PC is that it does not work as quickly or smoothly as it should. It starts to act up, and the tasks you are trying to complete, take much longer than they should.

You might assume that the problem is a result of a virus or malware, but another possible culprit could be for Desktop Window Manager to cause high CPU usage on your PC.

Many people have reported issues with their system behaving strangely after installing or uninstalling certain applications. This can be caused by the presence of a malicious file on the machine, but it might also be caused by a problem with Windows. Here, we will be examining one such issue, how to fix it and what it indicates.

What is Desktop Window Manager?

Have you ever wondered what Desktop Window Manager (Dwm.exe) is and why it\’s taking up so much processing power on your PC? Below, we\’ll give you some insight into what this application does and how to fix it shortly!

The Desktop Window Manager (aka Dwm.exe) is a system process that helps Windows manage multiple windows on the screen. It is assigned to the management of your GUI. Specifically, it assists in constructing amazing visual effects, like transparent windows and taskbar thumbnails. This will relish your experience when you’re working on Windows.

However, the downside of this program is that it will often cause high CPU usage without you realizing it. This can lead to severe overheating, which in turn leads to crashes or system unresponsiveness. In this article, we\’ll show you how to identify when this is happening and how to fix it, so that you can enjoy your PC more.

Besides, if your computer is using an older version of the operating system, you may notice that it\’s using more resources than usual. This could be because of a bug in the OS or maybe you haven\’t updated to a newer version of Windows yet. Here, we\’ll talk about why this might be happening and what you can do to get rid of it peacefully.

Why Dwm.exe Causes High CPU Usage 

Desktop Window Manager, or dwm.exe, is a process that is responsible for displaying windows and managing desktop compositing on Windows 10. While dwm.exe is an important process, it can sometimes cause high CPU usage.

This is usually due to a problem with the graphics driver or a malicious program that is using the process to hog resources. To fix this issue, you can try updating your graphics driver or running a virus scan. You can also go on and disable the Aero theme. This will turn off some of the features that DWM uses, which will, in turn, reduce its CPU usage

Mentioned next are some of the top-notch reasons because of why Dwm.exe causes high CPU Usage. Have a look at each one of them precisely.

  • It is constantly redrawing the desktop, which can use up a lot of processing power.
  • It may be trying to render too many windows at once.
  • Because of outdated drivers, that are causing problems with Dwm.exe, at times.
  • Issues with hardware/system configuration.
  • Totally counting on your GPU to assist in creating the visual effects.
  • An outdated PC, not able to cope with multitasking.
  • Missing Windows system updates.

Methods to Fix This Problem


The Desktop Window Manager (Dwm.exe) is a process that is responsible for the graphical effects on the Windows desktop. However, if you\’re experiencing high CPU usage from the Dwm.exe process, there are a few methods you can try to fix this issue. These are mentioned next in detail.

By Updating Your Windows System

This is by far the best solution one can get in terms of different issues and errors arising with his/her Windows machine. Since Microsoft is fixing the issues and bugs on daily basis, so you can take advantage of this by just updating your system to the latest version. Here is how to do it:

  1. First, launch the PC Settings by searching for it in the search bar located at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Next, click on the option labeled Update & Security from the complete list of available options in front of you.
  3. After that, navigate to the Windows Update section from the left-pane window.
  4. Now, click on Check for updates.

With this, if any update is available then it will be installed on your Windows PC. Then go on and reboot your system and inspect whether this had any positive influence on Dwm.exe CPU usage or not.

By Updating Your Graphics Drivers

If you are currently running the latest Windows version, but still you find that Dwm.exe is consuming too much processing power, then we recommend updating your graphics drivers as well.

Having an old version of graphics drivers can also prove to be the culprit behind this excess CPU usage by Desktop Window Manager. For this, depending on your GPU, you will need to visit the manufacturer\’s website and from there download the latest version drivers files.

Then extract these files somewhere on your PC and install them. Now, check whether there is a change in the PC\’s performance or is it still lagging.

By Inspecting How Much Your Graphics Card Is Being Used

Depending on your graphics card specs and the updation of its drivers, you must inspect how much of your graphics card is being utilized in coping with various visual representations on your Windows PC.

Note: If you’ve connected your desktop cable to your PC\’s motherboard, but unfortunately you are left with your graphics card by mistake, then it will be disregarded. It will ultimately result in Windows defaulting to software acceleration for visual effects.

Here is how to check GPU utilization on your Windows machine.

  1. First, right-click anywhere on the taskbar followed by clicking on Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. Next, click on the More details option present at the bottom of the opened window.
  3. After that, click on the tab labeled Performance.
  4. Now, on the left-pane window, you will see the GPU appearing depending on the number if you have more than one. The names are GPU 0, GPU 1, etc.
  5. Next, if the resource usage for the internal GPU is quite high, this indicates that your graphics card isn’t being used. To cope with this, examine the connections between your desktop and your GPU (graphic card). This is to make sure that the required device is being utilized efficiently and effectively.

By Scanning Windows for Viruses and Malware

At times, there might be horrendous viruses and malware that are residing inside your Windows PC and are affecting it in a very bad manner. These things play a major role in the Dwm.exe high CPU usage. 

To get rid of these annoying creatures and programs, you must run a complete scan of your PC using Windows Security feature or any other antivirus program like Avast Antivirus, Norton AntiVirus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, etc.

This will surely have a good impact on your PC\’s performance because of the relegation of infected files. However, if you are still not satisfied with the results, then you are only left with reinstalling Windows.

This will give your system a fresh new start, getting rid of all errors and faults and optimizing CPU usage, which is the main concern that you are trying to fix for so long.

See also: Fixes for Windows Taskbar Not Hiding in Fullscreen


If you\’ve been struggling with high CPU usage caused by the Dwm.exe process, hopefully, this article has helped you understand why it\’s happening and how you can fix it. In most cases, simply updating your Windows system or graphics drivers will resolve the issue, but if that doesn\’t work, there are a few other things you can try.

Have you ever tried to fix this problem by yourself? Whether you are successful in doing it or not? Which method did you use to perform this task? If you have done this before, share your experience with us in the comments section below.

You are also free to ask any questions or queries you have in your mind that are bothering you. We will appreciate it and try to answer them in the best possible manner. Plus, if you liked this guide, give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Thank you all in advance guys and stay blessed brothers and sisters.

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