Is the dwm.exe process consuming a lot of resources? Fix it

One of these essential processes for the proper functioning of Windows is Desktop Window Manager, which runs in the background with hardly any resource consumption. However, there may be occasions where we do notice that it uses high RAM and CPU resources, so it will be important to find a solution.

What is Desktop Window Manager

Desktop Window Manager or dwm.exe is a critical system process that we find in the Windows task manager. It is in charge of managing the visual effects, being responsible for the graphic effects of Windows, such as animations, transitions, wallpapers, transparent windows or the thumbnails of the live task bar. It is a vital process for the proper functioning of Windows so we cannot prevent it from running.

So this is a regular process that runs smoothly most of the time and should consume very few resources of our system. However, it may happen that something could go wrong and this process begins to consume too many resources, causing black screen errors or software crashes. Therefore, we are facing a serious matter, which, although it does not have an official version by Microsoft, it is speculated that it may be an error caused by the Intel drivers.

To find the dwm.exe process we must access the “Task Manager” by pressing the key combination “Windows + Alt + Del”. Next, click on the “Details” tab and we will find the dwm.exe process running.

Prevent dwm.exe from slowing down your PC

Next, we are going to see a series of measures that we can take in case we do not have that the Desktop Window Manager process is consuming a high amount of CPU and RAM of our system.

Restart the Explorer.exe process

On many occasions it is to solve the problems related to the dwm.exe process can be solved restarting Explorer.exe from Windows Explorer. It is the main process of Windows Explorer, being the main responsible for the majority that we see and interact with the operating system. Restarting this process will restart other system processes so that dwm.exe will stop using high CPU and RAM consumption and will return to its original state.

Restart Windows Explorer

To restart the Explorer.exe process we must access the Task Manager by pressing the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” key combination. We go to the “Processes” tab and locate the “Windows Explorer”. We select it and click on the “Restart” button at the bottom right.

Update Intel graphics driver

A problem with our Intel graphics driver it may be the cause of the high consumption of resources by Desktop Window Manager, so we must check that it is not outdated. This is something that we must do from the Device Manager. To access we must press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + X” that will open a menu on the left side of the screen where we must select it.

Once inside we must expand the section of “Screen adapters”. Next, we right-click on our Intel integrated graphics card and select the “Update Driver” option. Later we indicate that it looks for the drivers automatically so that it installs the updates that are available.

Update Intel driver

In the event that we have recently installed a driver update we should try to reverse it. To do this, we double click on our Intel graphics card and go to the “Driver” tab and select the “Revert driver” option.

Change the wallpaper

As we have mentioned, the Desktop Window Manager process has the function of managing all the use of the desktop. That is why in the event that we use a resource-consuming desktop background or theme we must change. And it is that a very heavy background or that is animated can reduce the resources of the dwm.exe process, so it is always convenient to replace it with another, either from the default ones that the Microsoft operating system has or another that we have.

Change Windows background

To do this, click on the “Windows + I” shortcut and access the “Configuration” section. Later we click on “Personalization”, from where we will be able to change the background image, themes and the background of the lock screen. Click on “Examine” and change the background to see if this solves the problem.

Perform a full system scan

It may be that a malware or virus is causing the high consumption of RAM and CPU dwm.exe, so we must scan the system for possible infections. This is something that we must do with the antivirus that we have installed or directly with Windows Defender.

To do this, we press “Windows + I” and we will access the “Windows Configuration” section where we must click on the “Update and security” section. Here, in the left column, click on the “Windows Security” tab and then on “Open Windows Security”, which we find on the right side.

Open Windows 10 security

In the new window, in the left column, click on “Antivirus and threat protection” and in the right panel, select “Microsoft Defender Offline Scan”. Finally, we make sure that we have saved all our work and close the open programs, before clicking on the “Scan now” button, which we find at the bottom.

Microsoft Defender scan if connection

Once this is done, Windows will reboot and proceed to perform an offline scan. Once finished, and Windows appears again, we access the Task Manager to check if the dwm.exe process continues to consume too many resources.

Use the performance troubleshooter

To troubleshoot performance-related problems, Windows has the MsDT tool, which stands for “Microsoft Diagnostic Troubleshooting Wizard”. It is a Windows component that is responsible for coordinating transactions between various resource managers, so its use can help us to solve problems of high resource consumption of the Desktop Window Manager process.

To do this, in the search box of the Start menu we write cmd so that the Command Prompt appears, which we must Run as administrator. Once open, we write the following text and press Enter:

msdt.exe / id PerformanceDiagnostic

Windows performance solver

Once this is done, we wait for the troubleshooting process to finish and then check if it has managed to solve the problems of high CPU and RAM consumption in the dwm.exe process.

Update Windows to the latest version available

Always having Windows updated to its latest version helps to solve any internal problems that may occur with the various components of the operating system, such as the high consumption of resources by dwm.exe. To do this, we are going to press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” and access the “Configuration” section. Later we click on the Update and security button.

Windows Update updates

Here we can check if we have updates pending to install that can help us solve the problem with the Desktop Window Manager process. That is why we proceed to install them and later check if it has been solved.

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