How To Fix Windows Driver Foundation High CPU on Windows

Are you getting high CPU from Windows Driver Foundation, causing your system to freeze up? Here are some tips on how to resolve it.

In this article, you'll learn "How To Fix Windows Driver Foundation High CPU on Windows 10."

Windows Driver Foundation is a component of Windows that provides services for drivers. By default, it doesn't restrict the CPU's functions.

But due to errors, it can deplete battery power and cause system freezing if it reaches 100% CPU usage.

Let's dive in and learn how to resolve the "Windows Driver Foundation high CPU" problem.

Windows Driver foundation high CPU

Table of Contents 

What is the Windows Driver Foundation high CPU?

The Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF), also known as the "Windows Driver Foundation," is a set of libraries used by device drivers in Windows. Don’t worry — it’s not malware or anything dangerous. It’s an essential part of your operating system. Without drivers, you won’t use many components like computer mice or even your GPU.

Yet, some users experience high CPU usage from the Windows Driver Foundation. This issue can lead to performance loss or even an unresponsive system. If you want to fix this problem, you need to troubleshoot it using one of the following ways:

  • Run Windows Update to get the latest optimization features
  • Run one of Windows’ built-in troubleshooters
  • Try using Clean boot to identify the problem
  • Disconnect peripherals from your computer
  • Update and/or reinstall your Wi-Fi driver
  • Terminate the Windows Driver Foundation service task
  • Disable HID Sensor Collection V2 (Surface Pro)
  • Use a recovery point
  • Reset or reinstall Windows

Let’s review the steps you need to take to carry out these troubleshooting methods. You can find a step-by-step guide for each option below!

Solved: Windows Driver Foundation high CPU usage

Here are all the solutions to help you fix the Windows Driver Foundation process causing high CPU usage. Make sure to follow the steps carefully to avoid causing any further damage to your system.

Method 1. Disconnect peripherals from your computer

If Windows Driver Foundation uses a lot of your CPU power, it might be due to a bad driver. Disconnecting your peripherals will help you figure out what the root cause is. Then, if the problem is with the peripherals or their drivers, you can fix that.

Do you suspect that a damaged or corrupt peripheral driver is causing the high CPU issue? It may be worth disconnecting your peripherals. You can identify whether there are any faulty devices by doing this.

Disconnect your peripherals one by one. Check if the CPU usage of Windows Driver Foundation changes during the process. If the usage drops down after disconnecting a device, you may need to replace the drivers for said device.

Method 2. Boot your system in Clean Boot mode

As a way to ensure that your computer runs without third-party services, start in "clean boot." This will clear any applications and third-party conflicts off the system before booting. See if there are still issues with Windows Driver Foundation using up CPU resources when in a clean boot state.

This is how you can perform a clean boot on your Windows 10 system:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility in a new window.
  2. Type in “msconfig” without the quotation marks and press the Enter key on your keyboard. This will launch the System Configuration window.
  3. Switch over to the Services tab. Make sure that you check the Hide all Microsoft services box. This is going to ensure that you only see third-party services.
    hide all microsoft services
  4. After hiding all system services, click the Disable all button to disable every third-party service on your device.
    diable all
  5. Click the Apply button and restart your computer. When you boot next, your computer will only initiate essential Microsoft services.
  6. Restart your computer. You'll be in a clean boot state with only official Microsoft services running. Check if the Windows Driver Foundation is still using up CPU resources in this state.

If you notice that the Windows Driver Foundation is no longer causing high CPU usage in a clean boot state, there’s a service causing the issue. You need to identify it and replace the associated driver, app, or disable the service altogether.

Method 3. Use the System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Microsoft introduced a variety of ways to solve Windows issues. The built-in troubleshooters can help you fix your system not being able to shut down. The System Maintenance troubleshooter will attempt to resolve any problems related or unrelated to the system.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or alternatively use the Windows + I shortcut.
    windows start
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your built-in troubleshooters.
    uodate and security
  3. Switch to the Troubleshoot tab using the left-side pane. Here, you should be able to see a troubleshooter titled System Maintenance Troubleshooter.
    system maintenance troubleshooter
  4. Click on the Run the troubleshooter button. Wait for the troubleshooter to scan your device and identify any issues.
    run the troubleshooter
  5. If you don’t want to share full diagnostic data with Microsoft, click on the Additional troubleshooters link. Locate the System Maintenance troubleshooter.
    additional troubleshooters

Bear in mind that this troubleshooter is not perfect, which is why we suggest trying it last. It might not detect any issues, but that doesn't mean our other methods can't fix your computer!

Method 4. Update Windows to the latest version

An update to your operating system may fix many underlying issues, such as the Windows Driver Foundation using too much CPU. Download the latest version of Windows and see if the problem persists.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or use the Windows + I shortcut.
    windows start
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your Windows Update settings and choose when to receive updates.
    update & security
  3. Make sure to stay on the default Windows Update tab. Click on the Check for updates option and wait for Windows to find available updates. If you see any updates displayed, click on the View all optional updates link to see and install them.
    windows update
  4. When Windows finds a new update, click on the Install option. Wait for Windows to download and apply the necessary updates.

Method 5. Update or reinstall your drivers

Just like your system itself, your drivers can become outdated as well. You might have installed the correct drivers in the past and forgot to update them. It’s also possible that your computer came with built-in drivers when you first got it.

Here’s what you need to do to update your drivers quickly and efficiently to possibly solve high CPU usage from Windows Driver Foundation.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and click on the Device Manager option from the WinX menu.
    windows start
  2. Expand the driver menus by clicking on the arrow next to one. Right-click on the driver you want to update, and then choose Update Driver from the context menu. In this case, we’ll update a Bluetooth device driver.
    update driver
  3. Select the method of updating your driver. You can either let Windows 10 search for a driver automatically or manually locate a new driver file already on your computer.
    update driver automatically
  4. Wait for the driver installation to complete. Repeat this for any other drivers you use, and see if the issue has been fixed. For good measure, make sure to restart your computer when you’re done updating your drivers.

Method 6. Disable HID Sensor Collection V2 on Surface Pro

If you’re using a Surface Pro device, you can try to disable the HID Sensor Collection V2 device in order to solve the Windows Driver Foundation using too much CPU. Here’s everything you need to do.

  1. Attach the type cover to your Surface device if it’s not attached already. Next, press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard and click on the Device Manager option from the WinX menu.
  2. Locate the Sensors section and expand it.
  3. Right-click on the HID Sensor Collection V2 option in the list, and choose Disable from the context menu.
  4. Restart your Surface Pro computer and see if the issue has been resolved.

Method 7. Repair your system files

Corrupted systems files can cause massive problems with your operating system, including high CPU usage. The System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in tool to help troubleshoot toWindows. It's able to detect and repair corrupt files.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type Command Prompt in the search box. When you see it in the results, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator.
    command prompt
  3. When prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to allow the app to launch with administrative permissions.
    scf/ scanow
  4. Type in the following command and press Enter to execute it: sfc /scannow
  5. Wait for the System File Checker to finish scanning your computer. In the case of a discrepancy, the utility will restore system files and fix all errors related to them.

Method 8. Repair your system with System Restore

Your system may have stored a restore point before the shutdown issue happened. In that case, you’ll be able to return your system to that state. This could fix the problem, as it's like traveling back in time before a system error took place. Check what files will be affected by System Restore here.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type in System Restore and click on Recovery from the search results. This should be on the top, in the Best match category.
    system restore
  3. This will take you to the Control Panel. Here, click on the Open System Restore link that can be seen in the Advanced recovery tools section.
    system restore
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore a past point in time. You can select a restore point yourself, or use the recommended one if Windows 10 shows the option. Don’t forget to check what files and applications will be affected!
    system restore
  5. After choosing the options you’re happy with, click on the Finish button and wait for Windows 10 to restore your computer.

After completing the restoration process, check if the Windows Driver Foundation process uses high CPU resources.

Method 9. Reset or reinstall Windows

If nothing above worked, you may only fix your issue if you reset or reinstall Windows. You may reinstall the system without losing any personal files depending on your preferences. Unfortunately, this will delete most of your applications and system configuration to give your device a fresh start.

Check our install windows 11 guide for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to install Windows. For refresh and reset instructions, head to the official Microsoft support page.

Final thoughts

That‘s it: How to identify and resolve the Windows Driver Foundation high CPU issue. You should find a solution that will work for your PC's needs in one of these steps.

If you still have questions after reading our article or need help with anything tech-related, please contact us! We're happy to help you get back up and running without any hassle at all.

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