System interrupts high CPU usage in Windows 10

What is this System interrupts process? Do you see System interrupts consuming high CPU usage in Windows 10 Task Manager? Is it a virus or malware? Well, System interrupts is an OS process and if it is located in the System32 folder, it is not malware. If located elsewhere, it just could be. In this guide, we will help you understand System interrupts, and how to fix System interrupts high CPU usage in Windows 10.

System interrupts high CPU issue in Windows 10

What is System Interrupts in Windows

System Interrupts are like an alert system for CPU. If a scenario needs the attention of CPU, it alters the CPU about it. CPU then suspends what it is doing, saves it, and then takes care of that important job. Once the job is complete, it resumes back to what it was doing.

This means that even though System interrupts appears as a process; it’s not. In fact, it’s like a manager which reports to CPU about all interrupts that happen on a hardware level i.e.hardware interrupts. A lot of interrupts mean that there might be a lot of errors happening on a hardware level, and this is why they start taking a lot of resources.

Imagine a lot of employees (hardware) under a manager (System interrupts). Now, they all start complaining together (interrupts) about their individual issues to him, and manager it turns to start pushing all the requests to the CPU(Boss). The CPU will not be able to handle it together and become overburden.

Never think about disabling System Interrupts. Your PC will become almost useless without it.

System interrupts high CPU usage

If system interrupts takes up more than 5 to 10% of CPU, we have a problem. It could be happening because of a hardware or driver issue. The best way to fix this is to reboot your computer once and see if the issue comes back. Sometimes its a huge backlog for CPU, and it stays in the loop. A restart will fix it sometimes. However, if you see the CPU usage high again, here is how you fix it.

It’s going to be tough to figure out which hardware is causing problems. So fixing this will need both patience and time.

1] Update Hardware Drivers

It is possible that a rouge hardware driver is causing the problem. So its time to update it.

Update Hardware Drivers

  • Go to Settings > Update and Security
  • Check if an update related with drivers is pending. If yes, please update all of them.

2] Rollback Hardware Drivers

Rollback driver on Windows 10

If a recent update to the driver has started this issue, then you can rollback driver to its previous version. You can check with Windows Update History to figure out any recent updates. It is possible that the new driver has some unreported issue, and it’s not compatible with the current version of the Windows.

3] Unplug External Hardware

Now that you are sure that drivers are not an issue, its time to remove the external hardware like mouse, keyboard, printer, external hard drive, webcam and so on. Make sure to keep the task manager open, and remove them one by one. If you notice a huge change in System interrupts CPU usage after removing particular hardware, then you know the culprit.

4] Disable & Enable Hardware

If you do not wish to remove them, you can also choose to disable the hardware from the Device Manager. This can be applied to internal hardware as well.

  • Open Device Manager (WIN +X + M).
  • Navigate to the device you want to disable.
  • Right-click, and choose to disable the device.

Make sure to disable one device at a time. Give it a minute or two and notice if there was a shift in CPU usage to pinpoint the hardware. If there is no change, enable the device which you just disabled, and then move to next device. If you see a change, you know what was causing System interrupts high CPU usage in Windows.

Here is a piece of advice. Make sure not to disable any Drive which is necessary to keep your system up.

5] Check Hardware Failure

Again no easy method to find out, but you can:

These tools should help you a lot to figure out hardware failure on your Windows 10 computer.

6] Update Your BIOS/UEFI

BIOS updates were the most ignored updates a few years back. It was mostly because they had to be updated externally, but now that Windows is capable og updating the BIOS or the modern UEFI, keep it updated.

It is always best to update the BIOS by following instructions available on your OEM’s website. So make sure you know what you are doing, or have someone on your side who can do it for you.

Let us know if these tips helped you to resolve System interrupts high CPU usage in Windows 10.

Other posts about processes using high resources:

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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