Windows Driver Foundation – User-mode Driver Framework (WUDFHost.exe) is a set of libraries and tools by Microsoft which helps reduce the complexity while writing Windows drivers. It pushes drivers to user mode. This service is necessary for the overall stability of the system.
What is Windows Driver Foundation (WUDFHost.exe) process?
Windows Driver Foundation is a set of libraries and tools that let you reduce the complexity while using drivers on your Windows PC. In other words, this process helps you continue using a stable system all the time. At times, users may face issues with the system, where the Windows Driver Foundation occupies a major chunk of the CPU usage. While it does not exactly restrict the functionalities of the CPU for most users, it certainly drains the battery and might cause freezing of the system at times, especially if the usage shoots up to 100%. Attempting to kill the process in the Task Manager doesn’t help because it is a system process.
Windows Driver Foundation (WUDFHost.exe) using high CPU or Memory
To find if the strain on the CPU usage is because of Windows Driver Foundation – User-mode Driver Framework (WUDFHost.exe) or its constituent wudfsvc.dll file, open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the Taskbar and selecting Task Manager.
Here, check for the process occupying high CPU usage. Is it Windows Driver Foundation? In the Windows 11 or Windows 10 Task Manager, you may see the entry Windows Driver Foundation prefixed with any one of these:
- WUDFHost.exe, or
- User-mode Driver Framework Host process, or
- Kernel-mode Driver Framework Host process.
The WUDFHost.exe process is located at:
If it indeed consumes high resources, try some of these troubleshooting suggestions:
- Run Windows Update
- Run Troubleshooters
- Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
- Try removing peripherals from the system
- Update and re-install WiFi drivers
- Suggestions for the Pro’s
Let’s check out these steps in detail.
1] Run Windows Update
Make sure that your Windows operating system is up to date with the latest patches and fixes. If not, it is recommended to install all the available updates.
2] Run Troubleshooters
Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter. To run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter. Open Run, type the following and hit Enter:
msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic
Does it help?
Next, run the System Performance Troubleshooter. To do so, open an elevated Command Prompt, type the following and hit Enter to run the Performance Troubleshooter.
msdt.exe /id PerformanceDiagnostic
This troubleshooter helps the user adjust settings to improve operating system speed and performance.
Read: How to fix 100% Disk, High CPU, High Memory usage0.
3] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State
A Clean Boot will help you troubleshoot the issue. Log on to the system as an administrator. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. Enter the command ‘msconfig’ and press Enter.
Click the General tab, and then click Selective Startup. Clear the Load Startup Items check box, and ensure that Load System Services and Use Original boot configuration are checked.
Now under Services tab, select the option which says ‘Hide all Microsoft services‘ and then click on Disable all.
Click Apply and restart the system.
The reason for performing a Clean Boot is to isolate any software that was causing the issue. If a Clean Boot resolves the high CPU usage issue, then try to find out the exact software which was interfering. You will have to do this manually by enabling/disabling each process or startup.
4] Try removing peripherals from the system
Remove peripherals from the system one by one and check if it resolves the issue. If it does, that particular peripheral might need to be replaced or maybe its Driver updated.
5] Update and re-install WiFi drivers
Many users have reported that reinstalling the WiFi drivers helped them resolve the issue. The process to update Device Drivers is as follows:
Press Win+X and click on Device Manager to open it. In the list, which is in alphabetical order, find ‘Network Adapters’ and click the forward-pointing arrow in front of it.
Find the wireless drivers in the list, right-click on them one by one and update them.
Restart the system and check if the issue is resolved. If not, proceed to re-install the drivers.
Open the Device Manager once again and right-click on the wireless drivers. Then click on ‘Properties’. Open the Drivers tab and click on Uninstall to uninstall the drivers. Keeping the system connected to the Wifi, reboot the system. It should detect the drivers automatically.
6] Suggestions for the Pro’s
The Performance Monitor is a good built-in tool that lets you monitor and study how applications you run affect your computer’s performance, both in real-time and by collecting log data for later analysis. It is quite useful in identifying and troubleshooting high resource utilization by processes and in generating a System Health Report of your Windows. But at times, you may feel the need to use a third-party freeware tool for controlling such processes which may use a high CPU. Process Tamer is a freeware tool that will help you manage high or 100% CPU utilization in Windows.
Is Windows Driver Foundation necessary?
Yes, Windows Driver Foundation is necessary to have on your computer running Windows 11/10. It helps you use the drivers smoothly on your computer. As drivers help you connect your hardware to software, you must have the Windows Driver Foundation enabled on your computer.
What is Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF)?
Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF) is a wrapper around Microsoft Windows Driver Model (WDM) interfaces. It is a set of libraries that you can use to write device drivers that run on the Windows operating system. WDF defines a single driver model that is supported by two frameworks: Kernel-Mode Driver Framework (KMDF) and User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF).
All the best!
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