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If any process, such as the dwm.exe, is consuming high CPU of your Windows 10 computer, you need to fix it pronto.

For a Windows Service such as dwm.exe, you need to understand the function of this file before making the fix. Here’s all you need to know about the dwm.exe file, and how to fix its high CPU consumption.

What is DWM.exe? Where is DWM.exe Located?

The dwm.exe file is a valid Windows Service available across all Microsoft operating systems – from Windows Vista onwards. The “dwm” stands for Desktop Windows Manager.

In Windows 10, the dwm.exe file runs a process that manages visual effects. It is basically responsible to handle your activity whenever you swift between tabs and windows.

Without dwm.exe file, your Windows 10 runs into numerous display errors. As a genuine Windows Service, dwm.exe file requires some resources to run.

Advanced desktops and modern laptops can handle dwm.exe file’s processing load easily. At times, rendering responsibilities of the dwm.exe file could push your computer towards crashing.

Hence, the Desktop Windows Manager file consumes high CPU or memory of your system. It can cause your PC to slow down, compelling you to look for a fix.

Before you learn how to fix the high CPU usage by dwm.exe, you should know the reasons that amplify the memory usage of this process.

  • The dwm.exe file renders visual effects on desktop
  • It is a Windows Service that runs operations such as glass window frames and 3D window transition animation
  • The file offers high-resolution support to your computer, allowing you to watch high-definition content without compromising on the quality

Essentially, the dwm.exe file writes each picture displayed on the Windows. It creates a combined view of such pictures and consumes memory to save it before sending it to display.

Hardware Acceleration programs of your computer’s operating system use the dwm.exe file to create smooth animations. Owing to such key functions, the Desktop Window Manager consumes high CPU or memory.

In Windows 10, the dwm.exe file is located in the C: drive. You can access the dwm.exe process by entering the following address on your File Explorer window.


For other Windows versions, you can locate the dwm.exe file in this same address.

Best Fix for High CPU Usage by DWM.exe

There are several ways to reduce the high CPU usage of dwm.exe file. The following solutions are effective, and can certainly lower memory consumption of the Desktop Windows Manager process on Windows 10.

1. Use Windows Troubleshooter

Use Windows Troubleshooter

The fastest way to solve this issue is running a quick diagnostics. You can use your inbuilt Windows troubleshooter programs to boost system performance.

In earlier versions of Windows, you can browse through the Control Panel window and use troubleshooting options. On Windows 10, simply type “troubleshoot” on your Start menu search box. The results display multiple options for running diagnostics and resolving any issues your system encounters.

A quicker way to user Windows Performance Troubleshooter –

  • Go to Windows 10 Start menu
  • Search for “cmd” and press the Enter key
  • Open the Command Prompt window by double-clicking it
  • Paste the following command
msdt.exe /id PerformanceDiagnostic
  • Press the Enter key to execute this command
  • This opens a Performance Troubleshooter window
  • Follow the troubleshooting wizard by clicking on ‘Next

This detects the “high CPU usage by dwm.exe” and resolves it automatically.

2. Adjust System Performance

Adjust System Performance

You can also adjust the display settings on your Windows 10.  Adjusting the visual effects lowers the amount of memory dwm.exe consumes.

  • Go to the Start menu of your Click on “Settings” gear icon
  • In Settings window, click on “Display
  • This opens the Display Settings window
  • Open the “Performance Options” link
  • In the new window, click on the Visual Effects tab
  • Select the option – Adjust the system for best performance

This method optimizes the visual effects of your Windows 10 computer. That way, the dwm.exe file doesn’t consume high CPU processing.

3. Change the Desktop Wallpaper and your Windows Theme

Change the Desktop Wallpaper and your Windows Theme

Changing the background is a quick-fix to reduce high CPU usage by dwm.exe. You can also change the Theme of your Windows 10 computer to ease the dwm.exe file’s processing load.

Follow these simple steps to change the wallpaper of your Windows 10 PC.

  • Click on the Start menu icon
  • Type “Settings” in the search box or click on the Settings (gear icon) button in the Start menu
  • Settings menu displays multiple options, click on “Personalization
  • This action opens the Personalization window
  • Navigate the window and go to the Background option
  • Click on Background and select a simple background
  • There’ll be options underneath the Background header
  • Select either Picture or Solid Color instead of a Slideshow
  • After you choose, browse the computer to select the large-sized picture (you can also choose from default wallpapers)
  • After selecting the background, go to the “Choose a fit” options and select “Center

You can follow the same process to change the Theme of your Windows 10 system. Just select “Themes” instead of “Background”. Choose a different theme and see if it solves the problem.

Try out these three simple tricks and lower the high CPU usage in the Desktop Windows Manager process.

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