How to Fix High CPU Usage Caused by WMI Provider Host

06/05/2019     Author: Billy Gray

Noticed that WMI Provider Host is hogging up a big chunk of your CPU usage? What exactly is it and how can you stop it from draining your computer’s resources?


Windows Management Instrumentation Provider Host – shortened to WMI Provider Host – is an important program on your computer. If you delete it, then many applications and programs will cease to function and you’ll basically render your computer an inanimate brick of plastic components.

That being said, you can make some tweaks to this program to stop it from draining your CPU usage like a leach. First of all, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what WMI Provider Host is.

What is WMI Provider Host?

Windows Management Instrumentation Provider Host (WMI) is a program that allows applications to request information about your system. This is essentially in allowing that these applications can run smoothly.

It acts as a host for WMI providers (as the name suggests). Applications come with a WMI provider that can give information to administrative scripts and commands. WMI Provider Host allows these providers to give out the information in a standardized script. It means that everyone is reading from the same language and this makes it much easier for administrative functions to be performed.

You can even use this feature yourself to get information like your computer’s serial number, or the model number of your motherboard. You can use it for all sorts of things – most of which the average user won’t usually need, but still.

Why is WMI Provider Host using so many CPU resources?

Most of the time, WMI Provider Host doesn’t drain many resources from your CPU. You shouldn’t even notice it. It’s one of those programs that runs silently in the background that most people aren’t aware exists, but it does its part to help your computer run. You see it and think “I’m sure that has a role to play, I’ll just leave that alone.”

That is, until it starts to eat up tons of your CPU usage. In the event that this happens, something has probably gone wrong – you might even have a virus. But don’t worry, there are some simple fixes to this problem (and some more complicated ones).

It’s worth noting that while most of the time WMI Provider Host doesn’t do anything, sometimes it is fulfilling a WMI request and therefore will use a lot more of your CPU. If the program only has high CPU usage every now and then, then this is totally normal and you don’t need to fix it.

DO NOT REMOVE WMI PROVIDER HOST. This would have grave consequences as many applications on your computer would stop working and there likely won’t even be an error message prompting you to fix the problem.

How to stop WMI Provider Host from causing high CPU usage

There are various methods that you can try to stop WMI Provider Host from causing high CPU usage. First of all, you’ll need to install an antivirus software (we assume you already have one).

CHECK FOR VIRUSES: The first and simplest method you can try is to scan for viruses. It’s quite possible that some malware has infected your computer and is manipulating the WMI Provider Host program. If this is the case, then you definitely want to get rid of it ASAP. Run a full scan on your computer and neutralize any threats.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, then you’ll have to turn on Geek Mode. This can get a little wordy – we’ll try to lay it all out in plain English.

Restart WMI Provider Host

This should solve any lingering issues – you can do it the simple way by just restarting your computer. Alternatively, you can restart WMI Provider Host in isolation.

  1. Go to Start and search for the Services
  2. Find Windows Management Instrumentation service in the list.
  3. Right click it and select Restart.

If another process is causing the problem…

If high CPU usage from WMI Provider Host persists, then it’s likely that the problem isn’t coming from the program itself, but from another process on your computer that is constantly requesting information from WMI providers. There’s a pretty straightforward way to figure out which program this is. We’re going to find out which processes are behaving badly using this program in conjunction with Task Manager.

  1. First, go to Start and search for Event Viewer. In Windows 8 or 10, simply right click Start and you’ll find it here. On Windows 7, type msc and press enter.
  2. On the left pane, go to Applications and Service Logs > Microsoft > Windows > WMI Activity > Operational.
  3. Have a look through the list of events and find recent ones with errors. There will be a lot of events with errors throughout the list – focus on recent ones for now.
  4. Click on a recent error and have a look under the General box below. You’ll see a load of gibberish. This is the ID number of the error process. Note it down.
  5. Now open Task Manager (go to Start and search for the app).
  6. Go to the Details tab in Task Manager and find the PID that matches the number you’ve noted. You can now see what application or program the error is coming from. Now you can update, remove, or fix this program.

Final note

It’s important to remember to keep all of your applications updated so that they don’t run into these kinds of errors. On top of that, make sure you’re regularly scanning your PC for viruses. Ironically, when we tried this process on our work computers we often found that our antivirus was the program that was causing the errors – so make sure you keep that updated too!

Keep following our posts for more information on how to run your computer at its max performance. Enjoy!

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