System Idle Process High CPU Usage [Know the Reason 2024]

Written By Farhan Max

Windows Task Manager is a great way to check what’s running on the computer and see the usage.

But have you noticed that System Idle Process is taking high CPU and wonder why this is happening on your PC?system-idle-process-high-cpu-usage

Well, this article will explain System Idle Process, the reason, and describe if it’s good for your computer.

So, let’s start.

What is the System Idle Process?

The System Idle Process is a background process of the Microsoft Windows operating system that represents the percentage of free processor time the computer currently has. The number of System Idle Processes suggests that the CPU isn’t performing any user-level application code.

When the computer isn’t working, it enters the idle state to save usage and power consumption. The System Idle Process is accountable for reporting this idle time to the Windows operating system. So, the OS can allocate CPU resources to an application.

The System Idle Process has been included in Windows since Windows 95, and you can find it in the Windows Task Manager.

Here is the way to check the System Idle Process from Windows Task Manager:

  • Right-click on the Start and select Task Manager, or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
  • Navigate to the Details tab.
  • Find the System Idle Process from the list. system-idle-process

The percentage shows how much time the System Idle Process is taking. And, if you’re wondering why the number is high, consider reading the following passage.

Sometimes WUDFHost spikes up the CPU usage. Well, if that happens to you, do check our guide, where we give you the possible fixes to this issue.

Why is the System Idle Process Using a High CPU?

The high CPU usage number in System Idle Process doesn’t mean it’s occupying the complete processor’s power. Instead, it measures the free percentage of processor time and shows the available processing capabilities to execute an actual program or application.

The higher the CPU usage number, the better it is for running a task. For example, 95 percent of the CPU’s time means the System Idle Process utilizes only 5 percent of the process capabilities to execute a program.

It is similar to the 5 percent usage but showing in a different system. There are reasons behind this technique, and the following passage will describe them.why-is-the-system-idle-process-using-a-high-cpu

Here is the reason behind the high CPU usage of the System Idle Process:

Avoid Freezing

The System Idle Process occupies the usage to do something with the CPU. Without this process, the computer can not find any task to execute, and the system can freeze.

The System Idle Process keeps the background process running and prevents your PC from potentially freezing.

Schedule Tasks

The System Idle Process helps to execute the task scheduler. Without occupying the CPU, there may be a time when the scheduled task won’t find a free core to run a program.

It keeps space for the scheduled task to ensure a smooth user experience.

Saving Power

The System Idle Process can reduce power consumption by shutting down an unused part of a CPU. As soon as a program requires the power of that specific part, the System Idle Process wakes up the part and starts the execution.

With the System Idle Process, the operating system manages the whole program and ensures a balanced session.

If you want to set your computer to save its power consumption, we have a guide for you. Go take a look and do your bit for the environment.

Is the High System Idle Process Good?

Yes, a high System Idle Process value is good for your computer. It shows the PC isn’t overloaded with programs and has ample space for executing new applications. Also, it controls the background process to give a better user experience by maintaining efficiency.

When the System Idle Process is at 99 percent, it tells 1 percent of the CPU’s actual power is being used, and 99 percent is idle.

The high usage in System Idle Process is entirely normal, and it’s supposed to work like this. Even at the full System Idle Process, the idle CPU temperature remains normal and doesn’t affect your processor.

Some users have the misconception that the high CPU usage of the System Idle Process happens due to viruses & malware and hampers your computer.

Contrary to this misapprehension, the System Idle Process doesn’t represent a virus, malware, or spyware to your computer. Instead, it’s a legitimate operating system process that is added to every version since Windows 95.

It’s completely normal if you find a high System Idle Process on your computer, and you can leave it running without any tension.

However, if you have a high CPU usage for other applications, consider reading this article to fix the high CPU usage issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you end the System Idle Process?

No, the System Idle Process is a built-in program in every Windows OS, and you can’t kill or end the activity.

Is it normal for the System Idle Process to take so much CPU?

Yes, it identifies how much processing space is available, and it’s normal for the System Idle Process to occupy CPU usage.

Where can I find System Idle Process?

You can find the System Idle Process by going to the Details tab from the Windows Task Manager.


Usually, high CPU usage is a concerning matter. But it’s common for the System Idle Process, and there’s nothing to worry about.

This article has explained everything about the process and assured you of the high CPU usage with System Idle Process.

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