How to Troubleshoot System Interrupts High CPU Usage on Windows

If you’re experiencing a slow or unresponsive computer, it may be due to high CPU usage caused by system interrupts. In this article, we’ll explore the causes and solutions to help you troubleshoot the issue on your Windows device.

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    What are System Interrupts and How Do They Affect CPU Usage?

    System Interrupts are signals sent to the CPU by hardware devices, such as a keyboard or mouse, to request attention. When the CPU receives these signals, it temporarily suspends the current process to handle the request. High CPU usage caused by system interrupts can occur when a hardware device continuously sends signals, causing the CPU to spend more time handling these requests than performing other tasks.

    To troubleshoot high CPU usage caused by system interrupts on Windows, first, identify the hardware device causing the issue through the Task Manager. Once identified, update the device driver or try disconnecting the device to see if the CPU usage returns to normal. Additionally, disabling unnecessary devices in the Device Manager can also help reduce the number of system interrupts.

    By managing system interrupts, CPU usage can be optimized, ensuring that the PC runs smoothly and efficiently.

    Possible Causes of High CPU Usage Due to System Interrupts

    • Outdated drivers: Drivers are software programs that help the operating system communicate with hardware components. If drivers are outdated, they may not function properly and cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts.
    • Hardware issues: Faulty hardware components, such as a malfunctioning network adapter, can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts.
      Outdated drivers: Drivers are software programs that help the operating system communicate with hardware components. If drivers are outdated, they may not function properly and cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts.
Hardware issues: Faulty hardware components, such as a malfunctioning network adapter, can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts.
    • Software conflicts: Conflicts between software programs can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts. This can happen when two or more programs try to access the same hardware component at the same time.
    • Virus or malware: Malware or viruses can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts by running hidden processes that consume system resources.
    • Overclocking: Overclocking your CPU or GPU can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts, as it puts extra stress on the hardware components.
    • Power management settings: Incorrect power management settings can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts. For example, a computer may be set to enter sleep mode too quickly, causing the CPU to be interrupted frequently.
      Overclocking: Overclocking your CPU or GPU can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts, as it puts extra stress on the hardware components.
Power management settings: Incorrect power management settings can cause high CPU usage due to system interrupts. For example, a computer may be set to enter sleep mode too quickly, causing the CPU to be interrupted frequently.

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  • How to Check and Monitor System Interrupts on Windows

    System interrupts are processes that are triggered by hardware events such as receiving data from a network card or a mouse click. When system interrupts consume too much CPU usage, it can cause your computer to slow down significantly.

    To check and monitor system interrupts on Windows, follow these steps:

    1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager.

    2. Click on the Performance tab.

    3. Click on the “Resource Monitor” button at the bottom.

    4. Click on the “CPU” tab.

    5. Look for the “Interrupts” section in the list of processes.

    6. Check the percentage of CPU usage for Interrupts. If it’s consistently high, then it may be causing your computer to slow down.

    7. To monitor system interrupts over time, click on the “Monitoring” tab and select “CPU.”

    8. Click on the “Interrupts/sec” checkbox to monitor the number of interrupts per second.

    By monitoring system interrupts, you can identify any hardware issues that may be causing high CPU usage. If you suspect that a specific device is causing the problem, try updating its drivers or disabling it temporarily to see if the CPU usage improves.

    Effective Methods to Fix High CPU Usage Caused by System Interrupts

    • Identify which drivers are causing the high CPU usage by checking the System Interrupts process in Task Manager.
    • Visit the website of the hardware manufacturer and download the latest drivers for the identified devices.
      Identify which drivers are causing the high CPU usage by checking the System Interrupts process in Task Manager.
Visit the website of the hardware manufacturer and download the latest drivers for the identified devices.
    • Install the downloaded drivers and restart the computer.

    Method 2: Disable Devices

    • Open Device Manager by pressing Windows key + X and selecting “Device Manager”.
    • Identify which devices are causing the high CPU usage by checking the System Interrupts process in Task Manager.
    • Right-click on the identified devices and select “Disable device”.
    • Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.
      Right-click on the identified devices and select "Disable device".
Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.

    Method 3: Change Power Settings

    • Open Control Panel and select “Power Options”.
    • Select “Change plan settings” for the current power plan.
      Open Control Panel and select "Power Options".
Select "Change plan settings" for the current power plan.
    • Select “Change advanced power settings”.
    • Expand “Processor power management” and then “Maximum processor state”.
    • Change the value to a lower percentage, such as 80%.
    • Click “Apply” and then “OK”.
      Change the value to a lower percentage, such as 80%.
Click "Apply" and then "OK".
    • Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.
      Right-click on the identified devices and select "Disable device".
Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.

    Method 4: Run System File Checker (SFC) and DISM

    • Open Command Prompt as an administrator by pressing Windows key + X and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
    • Type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter. Wait for the scan to complete.
    • Type “dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth” and press Enter. Wait for the process to complete.
    • Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.
      Right-click on the identified devices and select "Disable device".
Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.

    Method 5: Perform a Clean Boot

    • Open System Configuration by pressing Windows key + R and typing “msconfig“.
    • Select the “Services” tab and check the box for “Hide all Microsoft services”.
      Open System Configuration by pressing Windows key + R and typing "msconfig".
Select the "Services" tab and check the box for "Hide all Microsoft services".
    • Click “Disable all”.
    • Select the “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager”.
    • Disable all startup items by right-clicking on them and selecting “Disable”.
    • Close Task Manager and click “OK” in System Configuration.
      Disable all startup items by right-clicking on them and selecting "Disable".
Close Task Manager and click "OK" in System Configuration.
    • Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.
      Right-click on the identified devices and select "Disable device".
Restart the computer and check if the high CPU usage is resolved.

    Preventative Measures to Avoid System Interrupts High CPU Usage in the Future

    To avoid system interrupts high CPU usage in the future, there are some preventative measures you can take. Firstly, make sure your system is free from malware and viruses by running regular scans with a reliable anti-virus software. Additionally, ensure that all your drivers are updated to the latest version, as outdated drivers can cause system interruptions.

    Another preventative measure is to minimize the number of programs running at the same time. Running too many programs simultaneously can cause high CPU usage, leading to system interruptions. Close any programs that are not in use or necessary.

    Lastly, keep your system clean and free from dust by regularly cleaning your computer’s fans and vents. Dust buildup can cause the CPU to overheat, leading to system interruptions.

    By taking these preventative measures, you can avoid system interrupts high CPU usage in the future and keep your system running smoothly.

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