How to Fix Desktop Windows Manager High GPU: The Ultimate Guide

  • If you’re experiencing Desktop Windows Manager High GPU, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! DWM is responsible for managing and displaying the desktop environment in Windows.
  • It handles things like window transparency, live thumbnails, and Aero Glass.
  • M uses GPU resources to render the desktop, which can lead to high CPU usage if there are a lot of windows open or if the graphics settings are set to high.

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Do not worry if you are experiencing Desktop Windows Manager High GPU! You are not alone. There are several ways to fix this problem, and we’ll show you how to fix it with the most effective methods. We’ll also offer you some helpful tips to prevent this from happening in the future. Don’t worry – we’ll take care of it!

What is Desktop Windows Manager (DWM)? 

A DWM is a process in Windows that manages and displays the desktop environment. Frequently known as the Aero process, it manages things like window transparency, thumbnails, and Aero Glass. When DWM renders the desktop, it uses GPU resources, so if there are lots of windows open or the graphics settings are high, it can use a lot of CPU.

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What are the symptoms of DWM high GPU usage? 

A high GPU usage in DWM may cause a number of symptoms:

  • Your computer’s performance may suffer, and it may feel sluggish: This is because DWM is taking up valuable resources that could be used by other programs.
  • You may see visual artifacts on your screen: This can happen if the GPU is overloaded and can’t keep up with the demands of DWM.
  • Your computer’s battery life may be shorter than usual: This is because the GPU is using more power when it’s under load.
  • Games and other full-screen applications may stutter or lag: This is because DWM is taking up resources that could be used by the game.

Causes of DWM high GPU usage 

High GPU usage in DWM can be caused by several different factors:

  • Too many windows open: If you have a lot of windows open, it puts more strain on the GPU and can lead to high CPU usage.
  • High graphics settings: If you have your graphics settings set to high, it will also put more strain on the GPU.
  • Full-screen applications: Games and other full-screen applications can also cause DWM to use more GPU resources.

How to fix Desktop Windows Manager’s high GPU usage 

Using the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Desktop Windows Manager High Cpu

In addition, outdated graphics drivers and missed Windows system updates can cause dwm.exe to use a high amount of CPU, or even your internal graphics (instead of your external graphics card).

Desktop Window Manager High Gpu

It seems that Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) and Client Server Runtime Process (csrss.exe) are using a lot of GPU resources. Here are some symptoms:

Client Server Runtime Process

A significant part of Windows’ operating system is csrss.exe. In 1996, when Windows NT 4.0 was released, csrss.exe was responsible for managing windows, drawing stuff on the screen, and other related operating system functions, including handling the entire graphical subsystem.

The Dell XPS 9560 I’m using right now has an i7-7700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. It was working fine before I updated my Windows OS.

There are many bitcoin mining viruses that love to disguise themselves as this process and use GPUs heavily. However, many bitcoin mining viruses love to disguise themselves as this process and do use GPUs heavily.

A corrupted or outdated GPU driver could result in the Desktop window manager using more GPU than it should. An outdated GPU driver can cause the Desktop window manager to use more GPU than normal.

If the Desktop Window Manager is using a high GPU, you can resolve this issue with the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. The Start menu can be accessed by right-clicking.
  2. Make sure Settings are selected.
  3. Click on Updates and Security.
  4. In the left-hand menu, click Troubleshooting.
  5. On the left side, click Hardware and Devices.
  6. Afterwards, click Troubleshoot.
  7. Make sure the troubleshooter runs and responds to any problems found.

Changing display settings

When the GPU is running at high performance, you can first try changing the display settings if you encounter a problem with the Desktop Window Manager. Here’s how:

  1. To access the settings, press the Windows key + I.
  2. System can be accessed by clicking on it.
  3. You can adjust scale and layout by clicking Advanced Scaling Settings under the Display tab.
  4. To turn off Windows’ attempt to fix blurry applications, turn off the setting.

Updated: December 2023

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Performing system maintenance

In Windows PC, system maintenance can help you resolve a large number of computer problems, as well as bypass the high GPU load of the Desktop window manager. You can perform system maintenance as follows:

  1. Open the Run terminal by holding down the Windows key and the R key together.
  2. Press Enter on your keyboard after typing control in the Run field.
  3. After clicking the Show large icon option in the Control Panel, you will be taken to the Control Panel.
  4. Select Troubleshooting from the menu.
  5. In the left-hand menu, click Show All.
  6. You can find System Maintenance in the System Maintenance menu.
  7. Once you have selected the Try to resolve problems as an administrator option, click Next.
  8. You will need to restart your computer once the process is complete. Click Close once it has been completed.

Update Outdated Graphics Drivers

  1. If you have a graphics card, you can download the correct drivers from the manufacturer’s website. In order to do this, open the Device Manager under Display Adapters on your Windows 10 computer. If you see more than one adapter listed on your computer, then your computer has more than one graphics card installed. Repeat this procedure for each card. You will need to know your model name to download the correct drivers.
  2. You’ll need to uninstall the current drivers once you have downloaded the new ones. Open Device Manager again and select Display Adapters. When prompted to uninstall the adapters, click “OK” to confirm you want to do so.
  3. The new drivers should now be installed once the old drivers have been removed. Double-click each driver file you downloaded and follow the instructions. Restart your computer after installation if you have been asked to.
  4. If you see any errors in Display Adapters, try reinstalling the drivers. If you see any errors, try reinstalling the drivers. Once you have installed the new drivers, reboot your computer. The graphics drivers have now been updated. If you see any errors, try reinstalling the drivers.

The next method may help you if your GPU is still overloaded.

Reinstall Graphics Driver

Uninstalling the current graphics driver is the first step in reinstalling it.

  1. The graphics card can be uninstalled by navigating to the Display Adapters category within Device Manager, and right-clicking on the graphics card to select Uninstall Device.
  2. Restart your computer after you have uninstalled the driver.
  3. The latest driver can be downloaded from the graphics card manufacturer’s website after the computer has rebooted.
  4. The driver will automatically be installed after you have downloaded it and opened the file.
  5. The process is completed by restarting the computer one last time.

Users can always keep their graphics cards up-to-date by following these simple steps.

Disable Aero Glass Transparency 

Aero Glass transparency is a new feature that comes with Windows 10. You can see through window borders and other screen elements to the background when the window borders are semi-transparent. In case you disagree with Aero Glass transparency or prefer to keep your desktop looking more traditional, you can disable it with just a few clicks. Here’s how:

  1. If you are using a keyboard, press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Select Personalization from the menu.
  3. On the left sidebar, click on Colors.
  4. Make sure that the toggle switch next to Transparency Effects is turned off at the bottom of the page.
  5. Your new, transparent windows will automatically close when you close the Settings app.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If the drivers are outdated or corrupt, they may be the cause of the high CPU load. In this case, you can update, reset or reinstall the GPU driver to solve the problem.

Click the Start button to open the Windows Start menu. Type Services > click the Services application. In the Services window, locate and double-click Desktop Windows Manager. In the Desktop Windows Manager window, click Suspend to disable the service.

There are several reasons why Desktop Windows Manager causes high memory consumption problems, such as Windows performance issues, outdated video card drivers, or too many processes and applications open on your computer.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.