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Home / Tips and Tricks / What is the "System Idle Process" and why does it use so much CPU?

What is the "System Idle Process" and why does it use so much CPU?



Have you ever opened the task manager and noticed that the systemless process uses 90% or more of your CPU? Contrary to what you might think, it's not bad. This is what that process actually does.

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This article is part of our ongoing series that explains various processes found in Task Manager, such as Runtime Broker, Svchost.exe, dwm.exe, ctfmon.exe, rundll32.exe, Adobe_Updater.exe and many others. Don't know what these services are? Better start reading!

What is the system's idle process?

If you've ever encountered in Task Manager-Windows 1

0 users, look under the "Details" tab – you'll see that the System Idle process uses most, if not all, of your CPU. But System Idle Process is just that; an idle process made by the operating system. Without this process, you can keep your processor busy with anything to do. The system may freeze.

In other words, the CPU resources used by System Idle Process are only unused CPU resources. If the programs use 5% of your CPU, the System Idle process uses 95% of your CPU. You can think of it as a simple placeholder. This is why Task Manager describes this process as "percentage of the time the processor is idle." It has a PID (process identifier) ​​of 0.

Windows hides the system solution process information from the normal Process tab of the Windows 10 task manager to keep things simple, but it still appears on the Details tab.

 Systemless process on the Details tab of Windows 10 task manager

RELATED: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

Why does Windows need a systemless process?

Without this process, you can always keep your processor busy with something to do, and your system may freeze. 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 built into the Windows NT operating system, which dates back to 1993 – they also appear in Unix-like operating systems like Linux but work a little differently. A systemless process is a common part of your operating system that runs a single thread on each CPU core for a multiprocessor system, while systems using hyperthreading have an idle thread per logical processor.

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

System Idle Process & # 39; single purpose is to keep the CPU busy doing something – literally something – while waiting for the next calculation or process entered into it. The reason why everything works is that the free threads use a zero priority, which is lower than regular threads, allowing them to be pushed out of the queue when the operating system has legitimate processes to run. Then, when the CPU ends with that job, it is ready to handle the System Idle Process again. If free threads are always in a clear state – if they are not already running – the CPU keeps and waits for everything the OS throws at it.

Why does it use so much CPU?

As mentioned earlier, the process seems to use a lot of CPU, which is something you will discover if you open the Task Manager, looking for resource hungry processes. It is normal because it is a special task that is driven by the OS scheduler only when your CPU is idle, which-if you do nothing that requires a lot of processing power it will be quite high.

To understand the number next to the process in the Task Manager, you have to think the opposite of what you normally understand it means. It represents the percentage of CPU available, not how much it uses. If programs use 5% of the CPU, the SIP shows that it uses 95% of the CPU, or 95% of the CPU is unused or unwanted by other wires in the system.

But My Computer Is Slow!

If your computer is slow and you notice high usage of the System Idle Process well, it is not the fault of the system solution process. The process behavior is quite normal and suggests that the problem is not due to high CPU usage. It can be caused by lack of memory, slow storage or anything else using the computer's resources. As always, it's a good idea to run a scan with an antivirus program if you have problems and don't run anything that can slow down your computer.

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

If it doesn't matter and you're still experiencing slower than usual performance, try uninstalling unused programs, disabling programs that start up when you boot your computer, reducing system animations, freeing up disk space, or defrag your hard drive.

 Disable a startup program in Windows 10 task manager

RELATED: How to disable Windows startup software

System Idle Process is an integral part of the Windows operating system, and while It may look like it is high up 90%, it just shows your available resources and your CPU doesn't do anything with right now.


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