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FIX: Modern Setup Host High CPU and Disk Usage

Modern Setup Host Causing High CPU/Disk Usage? Our Troubleshooting Guide Will Help You Fix It

Modern Setup Host (SetupHost.exe) is a Windows process that runs in the background during the installation of major updates. The problem is that Modern Setup Host has a tendency to cause high CPU and Disk usage, making computers considerably slower and causing some applications not to respond or crash. This article is dedicated to helping you fix this issue.

What is Modern Setup Host?

Modern Setup Host is a core component of Windows that runs in the background when installing Windows updates. It’s also the service that triggers Windows to check for and install updates on your computer.

Fix Modern Setup Host 100% Disk Usage

As previously mentioned, Modern Setup Host is a Windows process that runs while Windows installs updates. Windows automatically downloads and installs Modern Setup Host’s installation file on your computer, which can be found in the $Windows.BT folder of your computer’s local disk.

On a side note, Modern Setup Host also plays a role in running the system setup process for upgrading to Windows 10 from previous Windows versions, mainly Windows 8. Specifically, this service triggers the upgrade to Windows 10.

Usually, Modern Setup Host is inactive. But, when you’re installing minor or major updates, the service springs into action. The main function of Modern Setup Host is to prepare your PC for Windows updates. You’ll find this service running in the background during the update installation process.

SetupHost.exe is a self-initiating file, meaning that you can’t start it manually unless there are Windows updates waiting to be installed.

Depending on your computer’s specifications, Modern Setup Host should run only for about 15-30 minutes during an update. However, if Windows installs a large update, SetupHost.exe may run anywhere between 2-4 hours.

Why does Modern Setup Host Cause High CPU/Disk Usage?

You may observe Modern Setup Host hogging close to 100% of your computer’s CPU or Disk resources in the Task Manager. This is not how this process should typically work. If Modern Setup Host consumes a lot of your CPU or Disk resources, then it may be due to several reasons.

The first reason is hardware-related. Modern Setup Host may consume close to 100% CPU or Disk resources if Windows downloads a significant update onto a hard drive with a slow read/write speed.

The second reason why Modern Setup Host may overload your CPU or Disk is if other resource-intensive tasks are running concurrently with SetupHost.exe, thus slowing it down.

The third reason Modern Setup Host may cause high CPU or Disk resource consumption is if your computer has been infected with malware disguised as SetupHost.exe.

The fourth reason for high CPU/Disk usage may be corrupted or conflicting temporary files on your PC.

Lastly, SetupHost.exe may cause high resource usage if Windows Update becomes stuck due to a bug.

In some cases, resource-hogging can be so bad that it causes SetupHost.exe to crash. As a result, you get a “Modern Setup Host has stopped working” error message.

How To Fix Modern Setup Host High CPU Usage?

Modern Setup Host is an annoying issue causing a lot of inconveniences. The good news is that there are things you can do to fix this problem. We have composed a list of potential fixes that should help you fix High CPU and/or Disk usage by Modern Setup Host.

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Video Guide on How to Fix Modern Setup Host High CPU and Disk Usage

Table of Contents:

Solution 1. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Right-click Start and click Settings

1. Right-click the Start button and select Settings.

Click Update & Security

2. Go to Update & Security.

Select Troubleshoot

3. Select Troubleshoot.

Click Additional troubleshooters

4. Then, click Additional troubleshooters.

Select Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter

5. Select Windows Update and click Run the troubleshooter.

6. Windows Update troubleshooter will identify the issue and apply a fix automatically.

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Solution 2. Disable Suggestions, App Control, and Background Apps

Right-click Start and click Settings

1. Right-click the Start button and select Settings.

Select System

2. Select System.

Select Notifications & actions

3. Then, select Notifications & actions in the left pane.

Uncheck Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows

4. Uncheck the checkbox next to Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.

Click the Back button

5. Then, click the Back button to go back to the main Settings window.

Select Personalization

6. Select Personalization.

Select Start

7. Select Start in the left pane.

Disable Show notifications occasionally in Start

8. Toggle off the Show suggestions occasionally in Start option.

Click the Back button

9. Then, click the Back button to go back to the main Settings window.

Select Update & security

10. Select Update & Security.

Select Windows Security

11. Then, select Windows Security in the left pane.

Select App & browser control

12. Select App & browser control.

Click Reputation-based settings

13. In the resulting Windows Security window, click Reputation-based protection settings.

Toggle off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for apps and files, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store apps

14. Toggle off Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for apps and files, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Store apps.

15. Close the Windows Security window.

Click the Back button

16. Click the Back button to go back to the main Settings window for the last time.

Select Privacy

17. Select Privacy.

Select Background apps

18. Select Background apps in the left pane.

Disable unnecessary apps

19. Scroll through the apps list and toggle off all of the apps you think are unnecessary.

20. Close the Settings window.

In the Run Dialog, type in control.exe srchadmin.dll and click OK

21. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

22. In the Run dialog box, type in control.exe srchadmin.dll and click OK.

Click Modify

23. Click Modify.

Uncheck all of the locations for indexing and click OK

24. Uncheck the options in the top section of the window and click OK.

Click Close

25. Close the Indexing options window.

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Solution 3. Run Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management (DISM) Scan

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to run Command Prompt as an Administrator

2. In the Run dialog box, type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command Prompt.

Run Dism ScanHealth and RestoreHealth commands

3. First, type in DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth in the Command Prompt window, and press the Enter key.

4. Then, type in DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press the Enter key.

5. Close the Command Prompt and restart your PC.

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Solution 4. Run System File Checker (SFC) Scan

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to run Command Prompt as an Administrator

2. In the Run dialog box, type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command Prompt.

Run the SFC /ScanNow command

3. Then, in the Command Prompt window, type in SFC /ScanNow and press the Enter key.

4. Then, close the Command Prompt and restart your PC.

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Solution 5. Clear the SoftwareDistribution Folder

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to run Command Prompt as an Administrator

2. In the Run dialog box, type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command Prompt.

Type in rd /s /q %systemroot%SoftwareDistribution in the Command Prompt and press Enter

3. First, in the Command Prompt window, type in net stop wuauserv, and press the Enter key.

4. Then, type in rd /s /q %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution and press the Enter key.

5. Lastly, type in net start wuauserv and press Enter.

6. Close the Command Prompt.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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