How to use Windows Resource Monitor to troubleshoot high CPU usage

Xiaobai Software  2023-10-19 15: 39  read 42 views

Resource Monitor provides a detailed graphical user interface to help you monitor the health of system resources.The program's interface may be confusing at first, but once you get to know it better, it will become an indispensable tool for troubleshooting high CPU usage issues on Windows.

So, let's look at some use cases of the Windows Resource Monitor application.


What does the Windows Resource Monitoring Utility do?

You may have experienced headaches with your Windows computer running slowly due to high CPU usage.Generally, high CPU usage is caused by background processes or a large number of applications running on the system.The good news is that you can easily determine which applications or services are consuming your CPU resources.At this time, Windows' built-in resource monitoring tools come in handy.

Resource Monitor provides you with real-time information about the hardware utilization of all processes and services.With graphical charts and numerical data, you can quickly diagnose high CPU usage issues and take steps to resolve them.

What can I monitor using Resource Monitor?

The Resource Monitoring Dashboard provides an overview of current system-wide resource utilization, covering four key areas:

CPU Usage: This section shows overall CPU usage over time and displays a list of processes and their impact on the CPU.It provides detailed information such as PID, status, number of threads, and CPU usage cycles.

Memory Usage: Here you can view system memory details such as total physical memory and processes consuming memory.

Disk Activity: This tab is used to monitor current disk read/write operations.It includes a histogram showing response time distribution.

Network Activity: Here you can track bytes sent/received by process as well as real-time network utilization graphs.


Taken together, these categories give you a comprehensive view of all hardware resource consumption for each process and service.If you are not a technical geek, you can also get some useful information for troubleshooting.

1. How to use Resource Monitor to troubleshoot high CPU usage

If your computer is unresponsive and running slowly, the first step is to open Resource Monitor and look at the CPU tab.

Here, you'll find two types of sections -- an overall CPU usage graph and a per-process CPU usage list.Usage charts are very easy to understand, but their main use is to show a list of processes with all the details.


The CPU history graph at the top shows overall CPU usage by category over time.If you see a blue spike, it means there is a sudden increase in CPU usage.This may be due to a particular process or application taking up a lot of CPU resources.

On the left, click the CPU column header to sort the processes by current CPU usage in descending order.Note that these numbers are just the percentage of CPU consumed by the process.Therefore, a higher number means it consumes more CPU resources than other processes.

2. How to use Resource Monitor to diagnose slow network connections

Resource Monitor also makes it easy to determine whether network connection issues, such as slow speeds or high latency, are caused by bandwidth-hogging applications.

Simply click on the "Total (B/sec)" column header to sort processes by network usage and identify any bandwidth-heavy applications.Programs like running web browsers or games will definitely consume more data.Beyond these programs, though, if any process shows a number that's too high, that's a warning sign.


Resource Monitor helps simplify the process of diagnosing slowdowns on your connections by isolating network-related metrics by process.

3. How to check disk activity using Resource Monitor

Slow system performance is not always the fault of the CPU.Sometimes poor disk activity can also be a major drag if processes are queued for too many read/write operations.

At this point, Resource Monitor's Disk tab can provide valuable insights.The disk usage graph on the right shows real-time reads and writes.

But most importantly, the process disk activity list shows which specific applications or services are doing all the writing and reading operations.Click the "Total (B/sec)" column to sort by disk usage to see which processes are causing the most headaches.The remaining columns show read and write operations for each process separately.


4. How to use Resource Monitor to find processes consuming memory

Available memory is as important to performance as CPU and disk resources.Memory leaks can cripple even the most powerful system.Best of all, Resource Monitor gives you enough detailed information to troubleshoot system memory.

In the Memory tab of Resource Monitor, there are several metrics to monitor.Mainly available memory, memory in use and hard faults/second.


Available memory and memory in use show the amount of memory currently unused and the amount of memory used by the system, respectively.If you find that the "in use" memory count rises too high, make sure to close some unnecessary running programs.

On the other hand, if the value of Hard Faults/sec is high (click its name to sort), it indicates that the system is facing memory pressure.Simply put, the higher the number, the system is relying on virtual memory to make up for the lack of physical memory.

To see which processes are consuming the most memory, click the Working Set (Memory) column header to sort by current memory usage.Then, you can find outliers taking up available memory.

With available memory information and the tips we give below, you can easily troubleshoot memory bottlenecks:

If a process is showing high memory usage, try closing that specific application (via Task Manager) and restarting your PC.

If possible, add more memory if available memory is frequently used up.Applications you use on your computer may require more memory than is currently installed.

Check out how to disable startup programs on Windows, and try disabling programs that aren't immediately available when you turn on your computer.

Use Resource Monitor to keep an eye on CPU-hogging processes

Once you understand the basics of using Resource Monitor, you can go from staring at a slow, unresponsive computer to pinpointing the processes or services that are hogging system resources.

We highly recommend reviewing each tab and using the sorting feature to check for offenders by CPU, network, disk, and memory usage.Once you've identified the resource-hogging process, you can stop the offending process/task.

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