Windows Explorer is a file management utility in Windows operating systems. It keeps running in the background as a part of Windows Process. You can see it in the Task Manager. Usually, it takes up a few system resources but sometimes, you will find it causing high memory and CPU usage. If an app or process takes up high system resources for a long time, it becomes a matter of concern as it affects the system’s performance. Apart from high CPU and Memory usage, high Power Usage is one more problem that users experience sometimes. In this article, we will see how to fix the Windows Explorer High Power Usage issue on Windows 11/10.
Fix Windows Explorer High Power Usage
There are several causes due to which you experience high Power Usage issues on your Windows computer, like the disabled Page file, corrupted system image files, recent files and folders in the Quick Access menu, etc.
If you see Windows Explorer consuming High Power on your system, try the following solutions to get rid of the issue.
- Run Power Troubleshooter
- Restore your Power Plan settings to default
- Re-enable or reinstall your battery driver
- Set your PC to the best performance
- Check for Windows Update or uninstall the recent Windows Update
- Repair corrupted system image files
- Disable recently opened items in File Explorer
- Uninstall Google Drive
- Rebuild Windows Search Index
- Perform a System Restore
Let’s see all these fixes in detail.
1] Run Power Troubleshooter
Power Troubleshooter is an automated tool in Windows operating system that helps users troubleshoot the problems occurring due to power issues. You are encountering high power usage by Windows Explorer. Hence, in this case, running the Power Troubleshooter can fix the problem.
2] Restore your power plan settings to default
Windows 11/10 lets you create multiple Power Plans. You can also edit the default Power Plan settings via the Control Panel. If you have created a new Power Plan or edited the default Power Plan settings on your PC, restore your Power Plan settings to default and see if this helps.
The following steps will help you restore your Power Plan settings to default.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Go to “Hardware and Sound > Power Options.” Or type Power Options in the Control Panel search bar and select the desired option.
- Select your Power Plan and click on the Change plan settings link.
- Now, click on the Change advanced power plan settings link.
- The Power Options window will appear. Click Restore power defaults.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
3] Re-enable or reinstall your battery driver
If your battery driver is not working properly, you may experience power issues in your system. One possible fix for the power issues on a Windows device is to re-enable or reinstall the battery driver. The following steps will guide you on this.
- Open the Device Manager.
- Expand the Batteries node.
- Right-click on the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery driver and select Disable device. Click Yes in the warning prompt.
- Now, wait for up to 30 seconds and right-click on the same driver again, and select Enable device.
See if this fixes the problem. If not, reinstall the battery driver. To do so, right-click on the driver, the name of which we have mentioned above, and select Uninstall device. After that, close the Device Manager and restart your system. Windows will automatically install the missing driver on restart.
4] Set your PC to the best performance
If the problem persists, change the performance settings of your PC and see if it helps. The steps to do so are written below:
- Click on Windows Search and type advanced system settings.
- Now, select View Advanced System Settings from the search results.
- The System Properties window will appear. Under the Advanced tab, click Settings in the Performance section.
- Under the Visual Effects tab, select the Adjust for best performance option.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
5] Check for Windows Update or uninstall the recent Windows Update
Check if a Windows Update is available. If yes, install it. Installing the latest Windows Updates fixes most of the PC problems. Therefore, it is always recommended to keep your system up to date.
If you have recently updated your system after which the problem started occurring, uninstall the recently installed Windows Update.
6] Repair corrupted system image files
The issues like high CPU, high memory, and high Power consumption also occur due to the corrupted system image files. Windows OS has built-in tools to repair the corrupted system image files. Run the System File Checker and see if it can repair the corrupted system image files. If the SFC scan fails or does not fix the problem, you can run another tool for the same purpose, DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management).
7] Disable recently opened items in File Explorer
Windows Explorer displays the recently opened folders or the folders that you open most frequently in Quick Access. You can also pin folders to Quick Access. Sometimes, Windows Explorer freezes, crashes, or consumes high CPU, memory, and power due to the files and folders pinned to Quick Access. Hence, if you have pinned folders to Quick Access, unpin them and disable the recently opened items in File Explorer.
The following steps will help you disable the recently opened items in File Explorer in Windows 11/10.
- Open Settings.
- Go to “Personalization > Start.”
- Turn off the button next to the “Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer” option.
8] Uninstall Google Drive
According to the feedback of some users, Google Drive causes the explorer.exe process to consume high CPU and high memory. Google Drive may be one possible cause of the high power usage by Windows Explorer. If you have installed Google Drive on your system, uninstall it and see if it brings any changes.
9] Rebuild Windows Search Index
Windows Search Index creates an index of the files stored on your computer. When you search for something on your computer by typing a word or a phrase, Windows looks in the index and displays the search results faster. In some cases, users have found searchindexer.exe causing high CPU and memory usage. It might be possible that the Windows Search Index is causing high power usage.
The issues caused by Windows Search Index can be fixed by rebuilding the search index. The following steps will guide you on how to rebuild Windows Search Index.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Switch the View by mode to Large icons and click Indexing Options.
- In the Indexing Options window, click Advanced.
- Now, click Rebuild.
The rebuild process will take some time. Do not interrupt the rebuilding process. After the process gets completed, check if the issue persists.
10] Perform a System Restore
System Restore is a built-in tool in Windows OS that captures a snapshot of Windows system image files and registry and stores them on the hard disk. These snapshots are called System Restore Points. You can take your system back to the previous working state if any problem occurs by running System Restore. That’s why it is strongly recommended to enable System Restore on Windows.
If you have enabled the System Restore, Windows has created System Restore Points on your computer automatically. If Windows Explorer still shows high Power Usage, restoring your computer using System Restore can fix the problem.
How do I fix high CPU usage in Windows Explorer?
There might be several causes of high CPU usage by Windows Explorer, like corrupted system files, malware or virus infection, a third-party conflicting background app, etc. To fix this issue, run System File Checker and Chkdsk scan to repair the corrupted system image files. If this does not help, run an antimalware scan and troubleshoot your computer in a Clean Boot state.
How do I reduce explorer.exe high memory usage?
To reduce high memory & CPU usage by explorer.exe, unpin your folders from the Quick Access and disable recently opened items in Windows Explorer, run an antimalware scan, SFC scan, and Chkdsk scan. If this does not help, troubleshoot your system in a Clean Boot state to find the culprit program.
Hope this helps.