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Home / Tips and Tricks / What is "System Idle Process" and why is so much CPU used?

What is "System Idle Process" and why is so much CPU used?



Have you ever opened Task Manager and found that the system idle process consumes 90% or more of your CPU? Contrary to what you may think, that's not a bad thing. The following actually does this process.

RELATED: What is this process and why is it running on my PC?

This article is part of our ongoing series that outlines various processes that can be found in Task Manager (such as Runtime Broker), Svchost.exe, dwm.exe, ctfmon.exe, rundll32.exe , Adobe_Updater.exe and many others. Do not know what these services are. Start reading!

What is the system idle process?

If you've ever played around in Task Manager ̵

1; Windows 10 users need to look at the Details tab – you'll see system idle is displayed The process uses most, if not all, of your CPU. But the system idle process is just that; an idle process performed by the operating system. If this process is not constantly busy with the processor, it can potentially cause the system to freeze.

In other words, the CPU resources used by the System Idle Process are only the CPU resources that are not used. When programs use 5% of their CPU, the system idle process uses 95% of their CPU. You can think of it as a simple placeholder. Therefore, Task Manager describes this process as "percentage of the time the processor is idle." It has a PID of 0.

Windows hides the System Idle Process information on the normal Processes tab in Task 10 of Windows 10 Manager to keep things simple, but it's still going on Details tab appears.

 The system idle process on the Details tab in the Windows 10 Task Manager

RELATED: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

Why does Windows require a system idle process?

Without this process, your processor must always be dealing with something that can cause a system shutdown. Windows runs this process as part of the SYSTEM user account, so it is always active in the background while Windows is running.

System Idle processes are native to Windows NT operating systems from 1993 and are also displayed in Unix-like formats. Operating systems like Linux, however, work slightly differently. A system idle process is a normal part of your operating system that runs a single thread on each CPU core for a multiprocessor system, whereas systems that use hyperthreading have an empty thread per logical processor.

RELATED: CPU Basics: Multiple CPUs, Cores and Hyper-Threading Are Explained

The system idle process has the sole purpose of keeping the CPU busy – literally everything – while it's on the next calculation or waiting for the next process. The reason why this all works is that the inactive threads use a zero priority lower than that of ordinary threads, so they can be moved out of the queue if the operating system is running legitimate processes. Once the CPU is done with this job, it can re-run the system idle process. When idle threads are always idle (if they are not already running), the CPU remains in operation, waiting for whatever the operating system throws at it.

Why is she using so much CPU?

As mentioned before, this process seems to take up a lot of CPU. This is something you'll notice when you open Task Manager and look for resource-hungry processes. This is normal because this is a special task that is performed by the OS Scheduler only when the CPU is idle. If you do not do something that requires a lot of computing power, it will seem quite high.

Understanding the Number Next For the Task Manager process, you need to understand the opposite of what you normally mean by "action". It represents the percentage of CPU available and not how much of it is consumed. When programs use 5% of the CPU, SIP indicates that 95% of the CPU is being used or 95% of the CPU is not being used or being unwanted by other threads of the system.

But my computer is slow!

If your computer is slow and you notice a high utilization of the system idle process, this is not due to the system idle process. The behavior of this process is completely normal, indicating that the problem is not due to high CPU utilization. This may be due to a lack of memory, slow memory, or other computer resource consumption. As always, it's a good idea to run a scan with an antivirus program if you experience problems and the PC does not slow down.

RELATED: Which is the best antivirus for windows? 10? (Is Windows Defender good enough?)

If this does not help, and you still work slower than usual, try uninstalling unused programs, turning off programs that start when your computer starts, reducing system animation, disk space release or defragment your hard drive.

 Disabling a Startup Application in Windows 10 Task Manager

RELATED: Disabling Boot Programs in Windows

The system idle process is an integral part of the Windows operating system and, even though it looks like it exceeds 90%, only the available resources are displayed and the CPU does not do anything right now.


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