Have you noticed that your computer is suddenly slowing down? When you check the Task Manager, you find that a process called Modern Setup Host (SetupHost.exe) is causing high CPU usage and high disk usage in Windows 10 or Windows 11. Here’s what you need to know about the process and how to fix the issue.
What is Modern Setup Host? Is it a virus?
Modern Setup Host, also known as SetupHost.exe, is a Microsoft Windows process responsible for installing Windows updates, particularly major updates, in Windows 10 and Windows 11. The process runs in the background when there’s an update ready to be installed, whether your computer is idle or active at the moment.
This can be an issue when you’re working on something, and the Modern Setup Host suddenly starts running, causing high CPU and disk usage. In turn, this slows down whatever you were doing.
In most cases, Modern Setup Host will disappear on its own once it completes the necessary update installation. Depending on your computer’s performance, the process typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes, but it can take several hours if your hard drive has a slow write speed or if something else is running in the background that slows down the setuphost.exe process.
Modern Setup Host (setuphost.exe) is not a virus by default. It is a genuine Windows process developed by Microsoft to install updates downloaded by Windows Update. However, any process can become malicious if malware disguises itself as the process. If you’re concerned about it, scan the process with antivirus software.
How to fix Modern Setup Host high CPU and disk usage issue in Windows 10?
Since the Modern Setup Host process installs necessary updates for your PC, it’s best to allow it to run for a while. As mentioned earlier, the process duration depends on your computer’s performance. Try letting it run for several hours.
The process shouldn’t run too frequently, as it usually only runs when there’s a major update, which typically occurs every few months. When it does run, it’s usually installing a one-time, large update and will disappear on its own once its job is done.
Kill the Modern Setup Host or SetupHost.exe process
You can choose to kill the process by selecting Modern Setup Host or setuphost.exe from the Task Manager and then clicking on End Task. This action terminates the process immediately, and it should remain off until your next restart.
Upon your next boot-up, when it detects an update needs to be installed, Modern Setup Host will run again. This solution should only be a temporary fix.
Can I delete Modern Setup Host?
No, you can’t delete the Modern Setup Host process, even with admin privileges. It’s a crucial Windows component for installing important updates on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC.
Even if you find a way to delete it, we highly recommend against doing so, as it will break the Windows Update process.
Run DISM to check for Windows Update error
Killing the Modern Setup Host process is only a temporary fix. The process will continue to cause high CPU or disk usage as long as its job remains unfinished. If you’ve already tried allowing Modern Setup Host to run overnight, but it’s still causing high CPU or disk usage the next day, try running DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) and Windows Update troubleshooter to check for and fix Windows Update errors.
To run DISM, go to the Start menu. Search for command prompt. Right-click it from the search result and then select Run as administrator. In the elevated command prompt, enter the following command followed by the Enter key:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
DISM is a built-in Windows tool designed to automatically replace files and correct service problems.
Once the process is completed, restart your PC and try to run Windows Update again, or allow Modern Setup Host to run when it starts itself in the background. If DISM fixes any Windows Update issues, Modern Setup Host should be able to successfully install the updates and disappear on its own.
Disable Windows Update / Modern Setup Host
If nothing works and you don’t care about getting the latest updates, here’s how to disable Windows Update entirely. We do not recommend this, as Windows Update won’t be able to run and get crucial security updates for your computer. However, you can always turn it back on by repeating the steps below and choosing Automatic for the service.
- Press Win+R keys to open the Run window.
- Type services.msc and then click OK.
- In the Services window, look for the service called Windows Update.
- Double-click on the Windows Update service.
- Under Startup type, choose Disabled.
- Restart your PC.