How to fix the ‘Cortana is using an excessive amount of CPU, memory and network’

  • Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update is causing CPU overload at startup, and Cortana may be the culprit.
  • As reported in Windows Latest, the updated version of Cortana causes CPU jumps of 30-40% and takes up system memory.
  • The latest problem is the SearchUI.exe, which is part of Microsoft Cortana, a service that most people don’t use anyway.
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Cortana may be the culprit of Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update, which causes CPU overload at startup. Microsoft Feedback Hub users reported that Cortana was constantly consuming 200MB of memory and causing CPU jumps of 30-40%. According to a user, the updated version of Cortana took up 30-40% of system memory at startup. According to Task Manager, it was running at more than 35% CPU usage for at least a day.

Windows Explorer 100 Cpu

In this case, resuming the Windows Explorer process is the first thing you should do. There’s a chance that Windows Explorer’s high CPU usage is a one-time bug.

Since when has Microsoft Support ever solved a problem? I come here from Microsoft Support. For some reason, Cortana is using way too much CPU, memory, and network resources. When I used to play video games with 50-80 ping on average, it now takes 600-800. I don’t know what to do. I reset Cortana, end the task in task manager, and edit the registry to supposedly disable Cortana, but it doesn’t work. Could you please help? I appreciate it.

Windows Insiders tested the update before it was released in the Preview release ring, and the issue with Cortana was reported, but “the reports didn’t receive enough votes,” according to Windows Latest.

What are the reasons for Cortana’s excessive CPU, memory, and network usage?

What are the reasons for Cortana's excessive CPU, memory, and network usage?

SearchUI.exe, part of Microsoft Cortana, has been consuming a disproportionate amount of CPU power since the latest Windows 10 update, which most people don’t use.

The reason for the high CPU usage is the SearchUI.exe process, not Cortana itself. We are here to help you fix this problem by reducing CPU usage and allowing you to continue using your computer as you normally would.

It is possible to use Cortana in Windows 10 without moving your mouse, and it offers a lot of useful features. However, not everyone enjoys Cortana and sometimes it is disabled for a variety of reasons.

New Windows updates usually cause unexpected problems, as was the case with the recent SysMain problem. That’s what everyone worries about: they always seem to cause unexpected problems. Cortana and/or SearchUI.exe are training on your CPU this time, and we’re here to help!

Fixing Cortana’s high CPU consumption problem

Updated: February 2024

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Why Is Windows Explorer Running In The Background

The reason behind the presence of explorer.exe in the Task Manager is rather simple. Each time your computer is running, you’ll see the process called explorer.exe in the Task Manager.

Explorer.exe High Memory Usage

Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Vista machines have reported huge amounts of memory consumption caused by explorer.exe. This is caused by a Windows Search issue.

Memory Leak Explorer.exe

When it comes to handle leaks there is not a lot you can do. Some programs, particularly browsers, tend to leak memory, especially if they are left open for long periods of time. It’s a known issue, but one you’d have to take up with the author of the software, in this case, Microsoft, but I doubt they’d even address it. To keep it to a minimum, I suggest restarting your browser from time to time. You can also monitor the resources your browser is using in the Task Manager. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it as it really won’t have an impact on your system unless you are severely lacking in the RAM department.

Fixing Cortana's high CPU consumption problem


It is a classic troubleshooting tip to turn off and on your computer first. This is especially useful if you haven’t rebooted recently — a reboot can erase temporary files and possibly fix a slowing down process if your computer has been idle for a long time.

Interrupt or resume processes

It is easy to track CPU load increases when programs restart with a greater CPU load after rebooting using task manager (CTRL+MINUTER+ESCAPE).

Windows Explorer Very High Power Usage

When the File Explorer is using the CPU heavily, the power usage will be high.

You may be distracted from Task Manager (hidden behind its own window) by full-screen programs, such as games. You can avoid this by clicking on “Options” in the top menu and selecting “Always on top.” Alternatively, you can drag the Task Manager window to the second monitor if you have one.

You can sort by CPU usage by clicking on the “CPU” column at the top of the “Processes” tab in Task Manager. On the “Processes” tab, select the “Details” button to see Windows background processes.

Games, video editing, streaming, and juggling many tabs in a browser can all use a lot of CPU resources.
You should close all background programs and tabs that you are not using when you encounter this daily situation of high CPU usage, and then revisit Task Manager to see if it has improved.

Why Is Windows Explorer Using So Much Memory

This problem may be caused by a corrupted or background process.

Taking on several tasks at once can result in high CPU usage.
Using multiple processor cores, modern processors simultaneously execute different instruction sets in order to handle multitasking. A step further, Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel® HT) allows different processes to be processed in multiple execution threads in each core. The processor is only able to utilize the available cores when Adobe Premiere is under heavy load.

With Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, processor frequency will be dynamically increased to keep up with heavy workloads. Intel® Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology on the Intel® CoreTM X-series processors keeps CPU speed up by automatically assigning the fastest processor cores to important tasks.

Even though you may encounter abnormal CPU usage when multitasking and running resource-intensive programs, these processor technologies can dramatically increase performance. When you reach 100% CPU usage, you need to find out if a background process called Runtime Broker, Windows Session Manager, or Cortana is at the top of the CPU column.

You will often see these Windows processes in Task Manager using 0% or 1% of CPU or memory power when they are idle. All of these processes typically consume less than 10% of your computer’s CPU power when idle. A chaotic or unexpected situation may occur, for example.
Sometimes Windows processes consume almost all your system resources when they repeatedly attempt to perform search actions that have been disabled elsewhere.

Windows Explorer Taking Up Memory

There are reports that this new version of File Explorer is consuming a large amount of memory, as well as using a lot of processing power on Windows 11. The process “Explorer.exe” is listed in Task Manager as causing resource spikes of 70-99% in some cases.

Find out what process is taking up most of your CPU by opening Task Manager and searching online. If you don’t have a good reason for stopping a process like explorer.exe (which controls many graphic elements, such as the desktop and the start menu) or winlogon.exe (boot tasks and CTRL+ALT+DEL screen), you shouldn’t.

Windows Explorer High Cpu Usage

To disable/enable that feature: Use the following steps: Disable the “Recent files” feature. Restart Windows Explorer.

A built-in dual array microphone on the GIGABYTE BRIX allows Windows 10 Cortana to be supported. Cortana acts as your digital agent, helping you achieve your goals. As you use Cortana more, your experience becomes more personalized. You can use the search box to ask Cortana a question or the microphone to speak to her. Select the search box in your taskbar if you’re unsure what to say. You’ll see suggestions on both your lock screen and Cortana home.

Click on the non-critical process in Task Manager, select it, click End Process in the bottom right corner. Once you have identified the process as non-critical, you must save the data you were working on first. Upon exiting the program, the program will not save anything.

Update driver

If the process is still using too much CPU, try updating the drivers. Drivers are programs that control certain devices connected to your motherboard. Updating the drivers can fix compatibility issues or bugs that are causing increased load on the processor. Open the Start menu, then Settings. Click Updates and security, and then click Check for updates. This will update the major factors. Video card manufacturers also provide utilities (such as NVIDIA GeForce Experience for GPUs) that can improve overall game performance.

When you boot your computer, the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) instructs your other components. A BIOS update may also fix some rare bugs.
Unless you find a BIOS update that directly fixes the bug that caused high CPU load, you should not update your BIOS unless you find itself in need of it.

Checking for malware

The problem could be caused by malware masquerading as a normal Windows process if it persists. When installed in the task manager, some malware appears with familiar names, such as “Cortana.exe” or “Runtime Broker”, and consumes CPU and GPU resources for a variety of reasons (e.g. extracting cryptocurrency data).

The Windows Security scan (in the task bar or in Windows settings) is a good option for a free full scan.

Power Options.

The processor speed can be reduced with some power settings, no matter how powerful your computer is. In the Start menu, type “Change Power Plan.” After the window opens, click “Power Options” in its address bar. Choose the non-power plan from the list of available plans and activate it. Check your CPU usage again by clicking on “View Additional Plans.”

Find specific instructions online

If CPU utilization is high for many different reasons, there is no single solution. Search online for thread support for the specific process in the “Process” tab or in “Details” (i.e., a more detailed view) in Task Manager.

Adding any specific information you can, such as your CPU model and the names of other programs that seem to be causing the problem if you don’t see any results for the first query, might help. You should try some variations of your search if you don’t find any bugs that have already been discussed in hardware and game forums.

Installing windows

Most of us do not have system protection since Windows disables it by default, so you might have to reinstall Windows if you have a restore point before the CPU problems started. However, if that does not work, then reinstalling Windows might be your only option. Although this is a time-consuming process, it can be effective in solving CPU usage problems caused by software.

You will need to reinstall any non-Windows programs you use after a Windows 10 PC Reset, but your personal files will stay the same. Unless you save and back up your settings in those programs, you will be forced to reinstall them. Be sure to back up all of your personal files on an external drive or using a cloud storage service as a precautionary measure as well.

It can take an hour or more for the process to take place. You will then need to reinstall your programs after the procedure is complete. Click “Start” and type “Reset this PC.” After that, click “Start.” The procedure might take some time.

RECOMMENATION: Click here for help with Windows errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Use Ctrl + Shift + Escape to bring up the Task Manager (or right-click the Start button and select Task Manager from the list).
  2. Click on Cortana to display the active processes.
  3. Right-click on Cortana and select "Go to Details" to see what's going on.
  4. Click the Processes tab again and find Cortana.

"Cortana (or SearchUI.exe) should not consume a lot of resources when you explore it in the Task Manager. You may wonder why Cortana consumes resources. It's because it's loaded into memory so that it can be viewed immediately when you click on the "Windows Search" box in the taskbar or press Windows+S.

  1. Reboot. First step: save your work and restart your computer.
  2. Stop or restart processes. Open the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE).
  3. Update the drivers.
  4. Check for malware.
  5. Power Options.
  6. Find specific instructions on the Internet.
  7. Reinstall Windows.

Cortana is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows Search. So you will lose some Windows features if you disable Cortana: personalized messages, reminders, and natural language search in your files. However, the default file search will still work.

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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.