Fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU Usage (DWM.exe)”


The Desktop Windows Manager is responsible for managing the visuals of the desktop. With the latest Windows 10, it manages 3D animation, high-resolution support, and everything. These processes always run in the background and consume a specific amount of CPU usage. However, some users experience high CPU usage from these processes. There are several things that can cause high CPU usage. In this article, I’ll be giving you some methods on how to fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage (DWM.exe)”. The DMW.exe is a Windows service that helps in filling visual effects like desktop icons and transparency. It also helps to display live thumbnails. On some older Windows versions, DMW.exe could be disabled. But from Windows 7 to 10, it can’t be disabled because it is integrated into the OS and a crucial part in rendering the Graphical User Interface.


Method 1: Change Your Wallpaper or Theme

The DWM manages your visuals which includes your themes and wallpapers. It could be that your current theme or wallpaper is causing high CPU usage. So you need to change them.

Step 1: Go to Windows settings and then click on Personalization

Step 2: At the left-hand menu you’d see different options, click on Background
Step 3: Here, you need to just change your current wallpaper and theme. This should be able to fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage (DWM.exe)”.

Method 2: Disable Screensaver

The Desktop Windows Manager also controls your screensaver. In the latest Windows 10 update, many users reported that screensaver settings cause high CPU usage. So we’ll try to disable screensaver to see if it fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage (DWM.exe)”

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Step 1: Open lock screen settings, you can access this by searching for it in the Windows search bar.

Step 2: Once you open the lock screen settings, click on the screensaver settings link at the bottom.

Step 3: From the screensaver drop-down, pick (None).

Step 4: Click OK followed by Apply to save changes.

Method 3: Malware Scanning

If you are experiencing Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage, there’s a tendency that it is caused by malware on your PC. Therefore, it is recommended to run a full system malware scan.

Step 1: Go to Windows Defender (you can access it by typing it in the Windows search bar).

Step 2: When it opens, from the right pane you will see the Advanced Scan Options. Choose the full scan option. It will take some time to fully scan your PC.
Step 3: Once the scanning is complete, restart your PC to check if “Desktop Window Manager High CPU usage (DWM.exe)” has been resolved.

Method 4: Disable Hardware Acceleration for MS Office products

Step 1: Open any Microsoft Office Product, and click the File option from the left corner.

Step 2: Under the file option, scroll down to choose options.
Step 3: Once it opens, click on Advanced Option. Once you click on it, on the right-hand side multiple options will be available, just locate display options. Here, just checkmark the “Disable hardware graphics acceleration” option.

Step 4: Save all the settings and reboot your PC to apply the changes.

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Method 5: Delete Specific Applications

If the methods above do not resolve the issue then you can try this method. It is very vital to check which application is causing trouble for your PC. Some of these applications include OneDrive, Dropbox, and SitePoint. You can try to temporarily disable any of the applications or deleting them. This can help to fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU Usage (DWM.exe)”

Method 6: Chance Default App Mode

With the latest Windows update, it comes with advanced features like Dark and Light default app mode. This is also one of the causes of Desktop Window Manager High CPU Usage.

Step 1: Go to Windows settings then click on Personalization.
Step 2: From the left-hand side, click on Color under personalization.
Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom until you can find the Choose your default app mode heading.

Step 4: Choose the Light option
Step 5: Reboot the system to apply the settings.

I hope this article helps you to fix “Desktop Window Manager High CPU Usage (DWM.exe)“. However, if you have any questions regarding this then ask us in the comments section below.

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