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How to Fix Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage Issue?


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    Summary: Modern setup host or SetupHost.exe is a Windows component responsible for automatically downloading & installing Windows updates. In this guide, we will try to understand the reasons behind the ‘modern setup host high CPU usage’ issue and how to fix it.

    Modern setup host or SetupHost.exe is an essential Windows background process that automates the download and installation of OS-related updates.

    While Windows OS has a lot of processes running in the background, occasionally, they act strange and cause various issues like stuttering, freezing, and so on. The modern setup host high CPU usage is one such incident that many Windows users encounter unexpectedly. This could be due to corrupted/damaged system files, malware infection, and more.

    So if you observe the ‘modern setup host’ hogging up the CPU resources, follow the easy workarounds explained further in this post.

    What is Modern Setup Host or SetupHost.exe?

    Before moving onto resolving the issue, let’s learn more about the Modern Setup Host process. As described earlier, the Modern setup host or SetupHost.exe is an executable component responsible for automatically installing Windows updates like bug fixes, minor feature updates, and more.

    modern setup host high cpu usage error on windows

    As its primary function is to install Windows updates, it is not a CPU-intensive task but rather an I/O-intensive task.

    What Causes Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage Issues?

    Due to the modern setup host high CPU usage issue, many users have observed the performance of their computers plummeting, causing freezing and stuttering. There are many reasons behind this unusual behavior –

    • Problematic OS Update
    • Outdated OS
    • Corrupted system files
    • Malware infection
    • Incompatible system configuration
    • Defective boot drive
    • Clashing background processes

    Methods to Fix Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage Issue

    If you are a user affected by the modern setup host high CPU usage problem, you need not look any further for solutions. In the proceeding section, you will learn how to use methods to fix the underlying issues resulting in modern setup host high CPU usage issue on your Windows PC.

    Method 1: Check for Malware

    Malware or virus infection is one of the major issues behind the modern setup host high CPU usage. If you suspect a malware doing this on your computer, use a reliable and renowned antivirus software to scan your computer and virus. You can also use Windows Defender for the same.

    Method 2: Perform SFC & DISM Scans

    If there are damaged, missing, or corrupt system files, it can lead to the Task Manager showing modern setup host high CPU usage. A damaged OS image can also be behind this. To fix the SetupHost.exe high CPU usage problem, run the System File Checker (SFC) and DISM commands in the command prompt. Here’s what to do –

    Use DISM commands to fix broken or damaged OS image –

    • Press WINDOWS + R and type CMD.
    • Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to open CMD as administrator.
    • Type and execute the following commands one by one –

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

    DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    execute dism commands in command prompt to fix the modern setup host high cpu usage error
    • Wait for the process to end.

    Use the SFC command to scan & fix system file-related errors –

    • After executing DISM commands, execute the following command – SFC /scannow.
    execute system file checker command in cmd to fix the setuphost.exe high cpu usage problem
    • Let the scan complete.
    • Restart your PC once the scan is over.

    Method 3: Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

    If you have recently installed some Windows updates and observed the modern setup host’s CPU or memory usage through the roof, it can be due to a bad update. To fix this, run the Windows update troubleshooter to fix update-related errors. Here are the steps for doing this –

    • Press WINDOWS + I to open the Windows settings app.
    • Click on Update & Security.
    • Click on Troubleshoot in the left pane.
    • On the right side, click on Additional Troubleshooters.
    open windows settings to run update troubleshooter causing the modern setup host high cpu or memory problem
    • Select the Windows Update troubleshooter and click on Run the troubleshooter.
    run the windows update troubleshooter
    • Let the troubleshooter detect problems. Once it completes the scan, follow the steps as displayed on the screen.

    Method 4: End the Modern Setup Host Process from the Task Manager

    As the modern setup host or SetupHost.exe is not a critical process for Windows, you can end it from the task manager to fix the modern setup host high CPU usage issue on your computer. Here are the steps to do this –

    • Right-click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager from the context menu.
    • In the task manager, look for the Modern Setup Host or SetupHost.exe process.
    • Right-click on it and click on End task from the context menu.
    end modern setup host task from the task manager to fix the high cpu usage issue

    Eliminating the modern setup host process will help you fix the high CPU usage and resolve the sluggish behavior of your computer.

    Method 5: Temporarily Disable Windows Update

    If your PC has become slow and shows signs of stuttering, you can temporarily disable the Windows Update service. As the modern setup host is related to Windows updates, disabling the update service will help you fix the high CPU usage issue. Here are the steps –

    • Press WINDOWS + R and type services.msc. Press Enter.
    open run utility and type services.msc
    • The Services window will appear.
    • Look for the Windows Update service and select it.
    • Right-click on it and click on Properties. Alternatively, you can simply double-click on it to open properties.
    locate windows update in the services window
    • In the Properties window, navigate to the Service Status section and click on Stop.
    • Click on the pull-down menu against the Startup Type and select Disabled.
    • Click on Apply and OK to save the changes.
    stop the windows update service to fix the modern setup host high cpu usage error

    Notes –

    • As disabling the Windows Update service for too long leaves your computer vulnerable to viruses and malware. Hence, enable it after some time to get the latest security updates.
    • After enabling, you can also make this process manual instead of automatic. Simply select the Manual in the pull-down menu against the Startup Type label.
    make the windows update service manual

    Method 6: Disable Unnecessary Components

    Some users reported fixing the modern setup host high CPU usage problem by turning off certain unnecessary components like Tips, App suggestions in the start menu, Smartscreen, Background applications and file indexing. You can refer to this user comment for more information.

    Method 7: Perform Clean Boot

    Conflicting third-party applications and processes can sometimes cause problems like modern setup host high CPU usage. If you observe the SetupHost.exe to show high CPU usage in the Task Manager, perform a clean boot to eliminate any process/application conflicts. Carefully follow the steps below to perform a clean boot –

    • Press WINDOWS + R to open the Run utility.
    • Type in msconfig and press Enter.
    • Under the General tab, choose the Selective Startup option and checkmark the Load System Services option.
    open the system configuration window and select the selective startup option
    • Then, head to the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft Services and click on Disable.
    disable third party applications
    • Finally, go to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
    open the task manager
    • Disable all the startup programs programs one by one.
    • Exit the Task Manager and press Apply and OK.
    • Restart the computer.

    Your PC will boot in a clean boot state. Check if the task manager still shows modern setup host high CPU usage. Gradually, enable the programs to circle out the problematic app/process.

    Pro Tip

    Sometimes, high CPU usage can cause unexpected freezing or stuttering, leading to an irresponsive computer. In some severe conditions, frequent system freezes can even cause system crashes, thereby making the system unbootable. This will prevent you from accessing your data on the computer.

    To recover your data from an irresponsive or unbootable computer, you can take the help of a professional data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional. With its advanced algorithms, you can easily recover hard-to-find files lost in various data loss scenarios and from numerous storage devices, such as HDD, SSD, SD Card, and more. Want to know how to use this software for recovering data from a crashed computer? Use this detailed guide.

    Say Goodbye to High CPU Usage

    The Modern Setup Host or SetupHost.exe is a Windows process responsible for automatically downloading and installing updates. It runs in the background without interfering with other processes and applications. Sometimes, however, due to damaged system files, errors, or malware, background processes can cause problems.

    In this post, we shed some light on various reasons behind the modern setup host high CPU usage problem and deep-dived into methods that can be used to fix it. Hence, if your computer has become sluggish due to the SetupHost.exe showing high CPU usage, you can use the methods explained above.

    High CPU usage by Wudfhost.exe

    FIXED – Antimalware service executable high CPU usage problem

    FAQs

    Q. What is the use of SetupHost.exe?

    A. The modern setup host or SetupHost.exe is a vital component of Windows OS that runs in the background. It is responsible for automatically downloading and installing OS updates.

    Q. Is SetupHost.exe a malware?

    A. SetupHost.exe is a vital system file. However, sometimes, malware can mimic it to cause high CPU usage issue, leading to unexpected system freezes and stuttering.

    Q. What is the quickest way to fix the modern setup host high CPU usage problem?

    A. Restarting the computer is the simplest and quickest way to fix the modern setup host high CPU usage error.

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    About The Author

    Keshav Katyal

    A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

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