Microsoft.Photos.exe High CPU/Memory Usage but Suspended

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

If you’ve observed that a process called Microsoft.Photos.exe is causing high CPU and memory usage in Windows 10 or Windows 11, and its status quickly switches to “Suspended” when you look at it, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll explain what the Microsoft.Photos.exe process is, how it works in Windows 11, and how to fix the issue.

Also see: Windows 11/10 Photos App Not Working or Crashing (Fix)

Microsoft.Photos.exe High CPU Usage Windows 11/10

What is Microsoft.Photos.exe?

Microsoft.Photos.exe is the process for the Microsoft Photos app in Windows 10 and Windows 11. This app is used to open media files such as photos and videos and is set as the default media player in Windows 10 and Windows 11, unless you change to another default photo viewer or video player. When you open the Photos app, Microsoft.Photos.exe will appear in the process list in the Task Manager.

Why does Microsoft.Photos.exe appear when the Photos App is not open?

The Microsoft.Photos.exe process also handles tasks such as generating and creating thumbnails for your folders that have photos in them. This allows File Explorer to quickly show you folders with thumbnails without much loading. To generate these thumbnails, the process runs in the background only when your computer is idle, so that it doesn’t interrupt you when you use your PC.

The Microsoft.Photos.exe process also runs in the background to search for all photos and videos available on all of your disks and to create shortcuts and thumbnails on the Photos app. This allows you to have access to all your media files at a glance. When you open the Photos app, you can see a list of photos and videos you recently saved on your computer. To find these newly downloaded or existing photos and video files and to create shortcuts for them in the Photos app, the process will have to run on high CPU and memory usage in the background when your computer is idle.

The Microsoft.Photos.exe process may appear as “Suspended” in Task Manager when your computer is active and the process is no longer running in the background, which typically occurs when you move your mouse or press a key to exit idle status.

Microsoft.Photos.exe high memory usage

Is Microsoft.Photos.exe a virus?

No, Microsoft.Photos.exe is not a virus, provided it’s the legitimate file located in the correct folder. Malware could have the same name to disguise itself, so it’s always good to check the file location:

C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_2018.18051.17710.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Microsoft.Photos.exe Virus download location

The version number may differ, but as long as the file is in a similar folder, it should be safe.

How to fix Microsoft.Photos.exe high CPU or memory usage issue?

It’s important to note that in most cases, users should not worry about the Microsoft.Photos.exe process, as it is merely performing its designated tasks, such as generating thumbnails or searching for photos and videos. However, if you consistently experience high CPU and memory usage due to this process, there might be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

In the following sections, we will discuss various methods to resolve the high CPU and memory usage issue associated with Microsoft.Photos.exe in Windows 10 and Windows 11. It is recommended to try these solutions one by one and check if the problem persists after each fix.

Re-register Photos app in Windows 11/10

You cannot uninstall or disable Microsoft.Photos.exe, but you can re-register the Photos app. Doing this should fix any issues with it, including the unusual high CPU and memory usage or any issues related to Microsoft.Photos.exe not working as intended in Windows 10 and Windows 11. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Go to start menu.
  2. Search for Windows PowerShell.
  3. Right-click it and select Run as administrator.
  4. In the PowerShell, enter one of the following commands followed by Enter key.
    • To re-register all Windows apps for current account only, enter:
      Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
    • To re-register all Windows apps for all accounts in your PC, enter:
      Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Microsoft.Photos.exe Suspended

Disable thumbnails for folders in File Explorer

Disabling thumbnails for folders in File Explorer will stop Microsoft.Photos.exe from running to generate thumbnails for your folders. However, it will also stop File Explorer from showing thumbnails on folders that have media files. To disable it, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer in Windows 10 or Windows 11.
  2. Click on View on the menu.
  3. Click on Options at the right, then select Change folder and search options.
  4. In the Folder Options, go to View tab.
  5. Under Files and Folders, check and enable Always show icons, never thumbnails.Always show icons never thumbnails

To revert the change, simply uncheck the same option in the Folder Options.

Change the settings in Microsoft Photos app

To stop Microsoft.Photos.exe from searching for pictures or videos, you can change its settings to not search any of your folders as sources. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC.
  2. Click on the triple-dotted icon at the top right corner of the Photos app window.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. In the settings, click on the X for each of the listed folder to remove them as the sources. You may also want to try to toggle off the Microsoft OneDrive sync if you don’t use it.Show my cloud-only content from OneDrive

Restart your PC and see if the Microsoft.Photos.exe process high CPU or memory usage issue is fixed.

Stop Microsoft.Photos.exe by switching default app for opening pictures

Another way to stop Microsoft.Photos.exe from running is to disable it from being the default app for viewing photos and pictures. Follow the steps below to change the default app for photo viewer:

  1. In Windows 10 or Windows 11, go to the Start menu.
  2. Search for default app settings and open it.
  3. Under Photo viewer, click on Photos app or Choose a default if none has been set.Change default app Microsoft.Photos.exe
  4. Select a new default app to open your photos and pictures in the future. We recommend selecting the old Windows Photo Viewer which should work just as great without causing any high CPU or memory usage issue.

By following the steps above, you should be able to fix the Microsoft.Photos.exe high CPU and memory usage issue in Windows 10 or 11. Remember to always check the location of the file to ensure that it is the legitimate Microsoft.Photos.exe file, and not a malware pretending to be the process.

Categories: MicrosoftWindows 10

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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