CPU Usage Drops When I Open Task Manager – Ultimate Guide!

In the fast-paced world of technology, understanding the behaviour of your computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is crucial. 

When Task Manager is opened, CPU usage may drop due to idle tasks or scheduled processes. This can happen temporarily, and it’s normal. If you notice a momentary spike, it’s likely a normal response to a Task Manager opening, nothing to worry about.

Let’s dive into this phenomenon’s intricacies and explore its reasons.

Table of Contents

What causes this strange CPU fluctuation?

Decreased CPU usage on your Windows computer can mean something simple or a significant issue. If it’s a big problem, you should fix it quickly. The list below only covers some things but points out the main reasons for this happening.

  • The Task Manager is simply readjusting itself: If you notice the CPU indicator in Task Manager going down after you open something, that’s okay. It’s just the software giving a steadier reading.
  • Your computer has been infected with a virus: Bad software, called malware, can get into your computer and cause many problems. It’s essential to keep yourself safe by using good antivirus software.
  • Your computer is using cryptocurrency mining software: Some dishonest people have been caught getting into others’ computers and using their equipment to make cryptocurrency.
  • A bad actor has hijacked your machine: Like when people try to take control of cryptocurrency, some on the internet may try to take over other people’s computers. Luckily, there are special antivirus tools to keep you safe.

What Can I Do To Stabilize My CPU?

What Can I Do To Stabilize My CPU
Source: Avast

According to our research, the more complicated solutions tend to work better. But you can start with the simpler ones and see if they help:

  • Use your antivirus software to remove any harmful software on your computer. This often fixes the issue.
  • Install any updates you still need to do. If that doesn’t work, try starting your computer in a clean state before updating.

1. Run An SFC Scan And More

  • In the search bar on Windows, find Command Prompt and choose ‘Run as administrator.’
  • If a User Account Control window pops up, click ‘Yes.’
  • In the Command Prompt, type the following and press Enter on your keyboard:

Run the command: dism /online /cleanup-image /restore health

  • Wait for your computer to finish the process.
  • After that, type this command, press Enter, and wait for it to finish:

sfc /scannow

  • Now, type this to access a new set of tools:


  • Paste the given command and press Enter.

Use the command: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like “*SystemApps*”} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

  • Allow your computer some time to complete the task.
  • Once it’s done, restart your computer and check if the CPU usage problem is fixed.

You can solve various problems with your computer by returning it to an earlier time. A simple and safe way to do this is by using a specific program.

Fortect will carefully check your PC for parts that aren’t working correctly. It will then automatically replace all the essential files in your Windows system with fresh ones from its database.

In simple terms, you’ll get a new set of critical Windows files, making your system work as it should after a clean installation of Windows.

Follow these steps to use Fortect to restore your system:

  • Download and install Fortect.
  • Open the app and start the scanning process.
  • Please wait for it to find any stability issues.
  • Click the Start Repair button to fix all the problems.
  • Restart your computer to see if the changes are applied.

Keep in mind that using Fortect’s system restoration feature will take your Windows back to an earlier state. This means you might lose data saved after that point, but your system will return to how it was before any issues occurred.”

2. Use Process Explorer To Find Hidden Software

Follow these steps to use the Process Explorer app from Microsoft:

  • Visit Microsoft’s Learn page and get the Process Explorer app.
  • Extract the downloaded file and open it.
  • Take your time to explore Process Explorer and find out which other processes are using the CPU. If your computer has a lot of software running, this might take a while.
  • If you notice an unfamiliar app running, right-click on it and select ‘End Task.’ The image provided below serves as an illustration.
  • Open File Explorer and go to this address:


   Replace USERNAME with your computer’s name.

  • Find and delete any folders or applications with ‘archiver’ or ‘unarchiver’ in the name.

Process Explorer is a tool from Microsoft that shows you every file and directory running on your computer. It can reveal software that Task Manager might not detect.

Be cautious about downloading files from untrusted sources, as they might contain hidden malware. Look for processes with names like ‘archiver’ or ‘unarchive,’ as some people have reported issues online.

3. Clean Up System Files

Here’s an easy way to clean up your computer:

  • Open Windows Search and type ‘Clean.’
  • Choose ‘Disk Cleanup.’
  • Select the ‘Clean up system files’ button.
  • Check all the boxes in the Disk Cleanup window and click ‘OK’ to finish.

Remember, the CPU is a crucial part of your computer, so keeping an eye on it is essential. To help with this, consider installing a monitoring app. This software provides real-time information about your CPU’s load, clock speed, and RAM usage.

Suppose you build your computers or plan to check out AIO (All-in-One) coolers. They can be expensive but offer excellent cooling for processors.

CPU Usage Always At 70% Until Task Manager Is Open

CPU Usage Always At 70% Until Task Manager Is Open
Source: Quora

A task may run quietly in the background, possibly when your computer is idle or following a specific schedule.

When you open Task Manager or any other new active process, this background task might pause until your system is inactive again.

Have you noticed any network or bandwidth usage during these times? I ask because it could run like Windows Update when your computer is not in use.

Another possibility is the built-in search indexer or an antivirus program (especially third-party ones like Kaspersky) that might perform background scans when your system is idle.

Common Reasons For CPU Usage Drops

1. Background Processes

Background processes are tasks that run behind the scenes on your computer, such as system updates, antivirus scans, or software installations. These processes can consume CPU resources, leading to fluctuations in CPU usage.

2. Task Manager’s Resource Consumption

Task Manager itself consumes system resources, including CPU usage, memory, and disk space. When Task Manager is open, it may contribute to CPU usage drops as it allocates resources to display system information.

3. Power Settings

Power settings on your computer can affect CPU performance. High-performance mode may increase CPU usage, while power-saving modes can throttle CPU performance to conserve energy, resulting in lower CPU usage.

4. CPU Throttling

CPU throttling occurs when the processor reduces its clock speed to prevent overheating or conserve power. This can lead to decreased CPU usage, especially during periods of low system activity.

5. System Idle Tasks

System Idle Tasks
Source: answers.microsoft

The System Idle Process represents the percentage of CPU resources not being used. When Task Manager is active, the System Idle Process may appear to increase, indicating a drop in CPU usage.

6. Driver Issues

Outdated or malfunctioning device drivers can cause CPU usage issues. Incorrectly installed or incompatible drivers may lead to high CPU usage or performance drops, impacting system stability.

7. Malware Or Virus Activity

Malicious software running on your system can impact CPU usage by consuming resources or attempting to evade detection. Malware may reduce its CPU usage when Task Manager is opened to avoid detection.

8. Software Updates

Regularly updating your software can improve system performance and security. Outdated or buggy software may cause CPU usage spikes or drops, requiring updates to resolve performance issues.

9. Hardware Issues

Hardware issues such as overheating, faulty components, or inadequate cooling can affect CPU usage. Monitoring hardware temperatures and troubleshooting hardware problems can help address CPU usage drops.

10. Insufficient Ram

Insufficient RAM (Random Access Memory) can lead to increased CPU usage as the system compensates for limited memory resources by relying more heavily on the CPU. Upgrading RAM can alleviate CPU usage issues.

High CPU Usage (& fan noise) Drop Drastically On Opening Task Manager

High CPU usage, accompanied by fan noise, drops drastically upon opening Task Manager. This indicates that certain processes may be monopolizing CPU resources until Task Manager intervenes.

CPU 100% Usage Unless Task Manager Opened

CPU 100% usage unless Task Manager opened
Source: answers.microsoft

CPU remains at 100% usage until Task Manager is opened. This behavior suggests that background processes may be utilizing significant CPU resources, which are then reallocated upon opening Task Manager.

Task Manager’s Role In CPU Usage

1. Monitoring Cpu Usage

Monitoring CPU usage is essential for maintaining optimal system performance. By keeping an eye on CPU utilization, you can identify resource-heavy tasks and take necessary actions to improve efficiency.

2. Ending Processes

Ending unnecessary processes can free up CPU resources and alleviate performance issues. Task Manager allows you to terminate processes that are no longer needed, helping to reduce CPU usage and improve responsiveness.

3. Analyzing Resource Consumption 

Analyzing resource consumption involves examining CPU, memory, disk, and network usage to identify bottlenecks and performance issues. Task Manager provides real-time data to help you understand how resources are being utilized.

4. Checking Startup Impact

Checking the startup impact of programs can help optimize system boot times and reduce CPU usage. Task Manager’s Startup tab displays the impact of each startup program on system resources, allowing you to disable or delay unnecessary startup items.

5. Monitoring System Performance

Monitoring overall system performance, including CPU usage, is crucial for detecting and addressing performance problems. Task Manager provides a comprehensive view of system performance metrics, enabling you to identify issues and take corrective actions.

6. Troubleshooting Performance Problems

Troubleshooting performance problems involves diagnosing and resolving issues that affect system performance. Task Manager can help you identify resource-heavy processes, software conflicts, and hardware issues, allowing you to address performance problems effectively.

CPU Usage Always At 70%+ Until Task Manager Is Open

CPU usage remains at 70% or higher until Task Manager is opened. This behavior could indicate that certain processes or applications are consuming a significant amount of CPU resources.

My CPU is Working On 100% Until I Open Task Manager

Your CPU operates at 100% usage until you open Task Manager. This suggests that some background processes or applications monopolize CPU resources until the Task Manager intervenes.

Cpu Usage 100%, Goes Down When Opening Task Manager.

CPU usage hits 100% and then drops when Task Manager is opened. This behavior is typically due to the system reallocating resources as the Task Manager takes priority temporarily.

High CPU Usage When Task Manger Opens Then Drops To 15

When Task Manager is opened, CPU usage initially spikes but quickly drops to around 15%. This is an expected behavior as the system reallocates resources.

CPU usage High Until I Open Task Manager

CPU usage remains high until Task Manager is opened, indicating that certain processes may consume significant CPU resources.

Computer Runs Better With Task Manager Open

The computer performs better when Task Manager is open. Task Managers can help manage system resources more effectively, optimizing performance by identifying and addressing resource-heavy processes.

High Cpu Unless Task Manager Is Open (Windows 11, Nitro An517, Eset S.S.P )

The CPU remains at high usage levels unless Task Manager is open. This behavior, observed on a Windows 11 system with a Nitro AN517 and ESET Smart Security Premium, suggests background processes may be the cause.

Cpu Usage Drops When I Open Task Manager Windows 10

CPU usage decreases upon opening Task Manager in Windows 10. This common occurrence happens as system resources are reallocated when the Task Manager takes priority briefly.

Task Manager High Cpu Usage Windows 11

Task Manager exhibits high CPU usage on Windows 11. This could indicate background processes or tasks consuming significant CPU resources, impacting overall system performance.

Cpu Usage Drops From 50% To 5% When Opening Task Manager.

When Task Manager is opened, CPU usage drops significantly from 50% to 5%. This is a normal behavior as the system temporarily reallocates resources to prioritize Task Manager.

Cpu Running At 60% And Higher But When I Open Task Manager It Drops To 2%?

When my CPU runs at 60% or higher, opening Task Manager causes it to drop to 2%. This behavior suggests a temporary reallocation of resources by the system.

Cpu Usage Drops Significantly When I Open Task Manager. Malware Suspected.

When I open Task Manager, CPU usage drops significantly. This sudden decrease may indicate malware, prompting further investigation into potentially malicious processes or applications.

Cpu Goes To 100% Until I Open Task Manager And It Goes Back Down

My CPU usage spikes to 100% until I open Task Manager, after which it returns to normal levels. This behavior is expected and typically indicates background processes consuming resources.

Cpu Usage Very High, Drops To Normal As I Open Task Manager

When my CPU usage is very high, it returns to normal levels when I open Task Manager. This behavior is often attributed to background processes readjusting their priorities.

How To Check CPU Usage Without Task Manager

To check CPU usage without Task Manager, use system monitoring tools and command-line utilities like “person” or desktop widgets. These options provide insights into CPU performance and resource allocation.

Windows Powershell Command To List Processes By CPU Usage

The Windows PowerShell command “Get-Process | Sort-Object CPU -Descending” lists processes by CPU usage, showing the most CPU-intensive processes at the top.

In A Nutshell

CPU usage dropping when opening Task Manager is typically a normal behaviour. To ensure stability, focus on routine maintenance, including antivirus scans, system updates, and exploring tools like Process Explorer. Consider cleaning up system files and utilizing restoration options for long-term optimal computer performance.

Related Questions

1. Does Task Manager negatively impact CPU performance in the long run?

No, Task Manager does not have a lasting negative impact on CPU performance. It orchestrates resource allocation temporarily.

2. Are there alternatives to Task Manager for monitoring system performance?

Yes, several third-party tools offer in-depth monitoring features as alternatives to Task Manager.

3. How can I optimize Windows update settings for better CPU performance?

Navigate to Windows Update settings and choose options for timely installations without disrupting your workflow.

4. Should I be concerned about the initial spike in CPU usage when opening Task Manager?

No, the initial spike is a normal part of Task Manager’s functioning and is not a cause for concern.

5. What steps can I take if I experience sudden drops in CPU usage?

Use built-in Windows diagnostic tools and follow troubleshooting steps to identify and address the root cause.

6. Why Does Task Manager Say 100% Cpu When I Open It?

Task Manager might initially show high CPU usage due to the system allocating resources to display information accurately.

7. Why Does My Computer Calm Down When I Open Task Manager?

Opening Task Manager can alleviate system strain as background tasks may pause momentarily for resource allocation.

8. Why Does My PC Run Better When Task Manager Is Open?

The task manager’s presence can influence system behavior, possibly prompting background processes to reduce activity and improve overall performance.

9. Does CPU Usage Drop When I Open Task Manager Windows?

Yes, CPU usage may temporarily decrease upon opening Task Manager as some processes pause or reduce activity momentarily.

10. Windows Process Explorer?

Windows Process Explorer is a tool that provides detailed information about running processes, similar to Task Manager.

11. How To Check Cpu Usage Without Task Manager?

You can use alternative tools like Resource Monitor or third-party software to monitor CPU usage without Task Manager.

12. Windows Powershell Command To List Processes By Cpu Usage?

The command Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property CPU -Descending lists processes by CPU usage in Windows PowerShell.

13. When I Open Task Manager, The Cpu Usage Quickly Drops From 60% To 2%. Is This Normal? Is This A Sign Of Malware?

Yes, it’s normal for CPU usage to drop briefly when opening Task Manager as system priorities shift. However, drastic drops or suspicious activity could indicate malware.

14. Why Is My Cpu At 100% When I First Open My Task Manager, Then Falls Down Rapidly To 1-2%?

When you first open Task Manager, your CPU usage may spike to 100% briefly due to the system allocating resources; it then quickly drops as background processes are optimized.

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