Desktop Window Manager High GPU Usage on Windows 11: Fixed

Disabling fast Startup will help you overcome the High CPU usage issue


Desktop Window Manager (DWM) is a crucial Windows process that helps to display items on your system’s desktop. Normally, it uses a minimal system’s graphics resources to work properly, but sometimes, it can suddenly start using an extensive amount of GPU power, which hampers the system’s performance.

If you are facing this problem, you are not alone as many other Windows users complain about this issue. This error can be caused by various factors like corrupted system files, malware attacks, misconfigured graphics settings, or outdated Windows versions. Regardless of the cause, this guide will give you a solution.

Before going for more advanced solutions, try out this quick fix below.

  • You can resolve this problem by rebooting your computer. This step is quite simple but it is very effective as it helps to correct minor errors and glitches that might be causing the high GPU usage.

If this step does not work out, try out the solutions listed below.

1. Disable visual effects

Because Windows’ DWM process controls the desktop’s visual elements like window transparency, shadows, and animations, disabling these visual effects, can free up some resources and lower DWM’s GPU consumption. You can achieve this by following the steps listed below.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search bar, type Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows in the text field, and launch it.
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  2. Click the radio button for the Adjust for best performance option and select OK.
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  3. Lastly, check to see if the problem has been fixed.

2. Update your Windows operating system

Carrying out a Windows update is a very effective way to fix the high GPU usage on Windows as a system update will provide the needed bug fixes and some additional features that would help you overcome this problem.

  1. Press Windows + I to open the System application.
  2. Navigate to Windows Update on the left tab and click the Check for Updates button on the right-hand side.
  3. If any update is available, download and install them.

3. Update graphics drivers

The next step should be to manually upgrade your GPU drivers because Windows upgrade doesn’t always retrieve the most recent versions. Perhaps you haven’t enabled the option to automatically update your GPU drivers, causing your graphics card to remain at an outdated version. Follow the steps below to do this.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search bar, type Device Manager in the text field, and choose the relevant option.
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  2. Expand the Display adapters, right-click the graphics driver, and choose Update driver.
  3. Next, select Search automatically for drivers.
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  4. Allow Windows to update the drivers and check to see if the problem has been fixed.

4. Modify personalization

If you’ve installed live wallpaper on your Windows computer’s desktop, that might be the biggest offender because live wallpaper functions properly by using a lot of GPU resources. In light of this, we advise you to change the desktop backdrop of your Windows 11 PC to any solid color.

  1. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose Personalize.
  2. Next, choose Background.
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  3. From the Personalize your background drop-down menu, pick Solid color.
  4. Now pick a color for your background.
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  5. Return to the Personalization menu, and choose Colors.
  6. Disable Transparency effects.
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  7. Return again to the Personalization menu, and pick Themes.
  8. Finally, pick either Windows (Light) or Windows (Dark).
  9. Doing this should help resolve this error.

5. Disable Hardware Accelerated GPU scheduling

A performance-enhancing technology called Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling (HAGS) improves the speed and latency of your graphics card. Some consumers reported that after turning off the aforementioned feature on their Windows 11 computer, the problem with DWM.exe was resolved. We also advise you to use this solution by following the steps below.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search bar, type Display Settings in the text field, and choose the required option.
  2. Next, select Graphics.
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  3. Now choose the Change default graphics settings option.
  4. In the next menu, disable the toggle for Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling.
  5. Finally, reboot your computer to implement the changes you made.

6. Disable fast startup

Fast Startup, which speeds up system boot by blocking unused apps and services from beginning at system boot is pre-activated on the majority of Windows 11 PCs, and this may be preventing essential apps and services from starting, resulting in this error.

  1. Press Windows + S to open the Search bar, type Control Panel in the text field, and choose the required result.
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  2. Ensure that Large Icons or Small Icons is displayed at the top right corner.
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  3. Next, choose Power Options.
  4. On the left pane, select the Choose what power buttons do option.
  5. Click the Change settings that are currently unavailable link.

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  6. In the Shutdown settings section, uncheck the box for Turn on fast startup (recommended) and Hibernate.
  7. Next, head over to the System Configuration menu.

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  8. Navigate to the Services tab, click the check box for Hide all Microsoft services, and click the Disable all button.

  9. Lastly, restart your device and see if this helps to fix high CPU usage.

Wrapping things up

This guide has covered the best ways to resolve desktop window manager high GPU errors and get your system working without any issues, so ensure to follow these steps carefully. You could also run a malware scan by selecting from a list of the Best Free Antivirus Without Ads .

If you have further questions, reach out to us via the comment section below.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.