What is Nessusd.exe and Why It Causes High CPU Usage

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Upon checking the Task Manager on your Windows computer, you might have stumbled across a process named nessusd.exe. For many users, this raises concerns. Is this process safe? Why is it consuming a large chunk of system resources? Should you disable it, and if so, how? This comprehensive guide will address these questions and provide detailed information on the subject matter.

Also see: High CPU Usage After Windows 11/10 Update (Fix)

What is Nessusd.exe

What is nessusd.exe?

The nessusd.exe is an executable file integral to the functioning of the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner, a top-rated security tool developed by Tenable. The file acts as the server component of Nessus, which is responsible for managing and coordinating vulnerability scanning activities. It interacts with other components such as the Nessus client or web interface to carry out scans and generate reports. Typically, the process file is located in either the C:\Program Files\Tenable\Nessus\ or C:\Program Files\Tenable\Nessus Agent\ directories.

Tenable Nessus nessusd.exe

How does nessusd.exe work?

The nessusd.exe process functions as a service running quietly in the background of your system. This service utilizes a comprehensive database of known vulnerabilities to perform a wide variety of scans. These include network scans, web application scans, and compliance scans. By employing both local and remote checks, the nessusd.exe process can evaluate a system’s security posture with a high degree of accuracy.

Useful guide: How to Know Which App is Using The Internet in Windows 11

Nessusd.exe causes high CPU, disk, and memory usage

Several users across different forums, including Reddit, have reported instances of high CPU usage by nessusd.exe. This issue has been found in both Windows 11 and Windows 10 systems. In some cases, high disk and memory usage linked to the process have also been observed.

Nessusd.exe high CPU Usage Windows 11

The high resource consumption is mainly due to the resource-intensive nature of the vulnerability scanning tasks performed by Nessus. It’s important to understand that vulnerability scanning can be a demanding process, necessitating substantial system resources.

However, if you notice unusually high and sustained resource usage that hinders your system’s performance, a potential solution is to restart the nessusd.exe service. Restarting the service can often free up system resources and resolve any temporary issues that may have caused the excessive usage.

To do this, you can follow the instructions provided in the next section on how to disable the nessusd.exe service. Instead of disabling it, choose the option to “Restart” the service. If the high resource usage persists even after a restart, further investigation might be required.

Pro tip: How to Limit CPU Usage of a Process in Windows 11

How to disable nessusd.exe

If you find that the nessusd.exe service is causing substantial system performance issues, you might want to disable it. Here’s how:

  1. Press the “Windows + R” keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type in “services.msc” and press enter to open the Services window.Open services.msc
  3. In the services list, locate the “Tenable Nessus” service.
  4. Right-click on “Tenable Nessus” and select “Properties”.Disable nessusd.exe
  5. In the properties window, you’ll see a dropdown menu for “Startup type”. Change this to “Disabled”.nessusd.exe service
  6. Click on the “Stop” button to halt the currently running service.
  7. Finally, click “OK” to apply your changes.

Remember, disabling the nessusd.exe process will result in your Nessus Vulnerability Scanner ceasing to function properly, so consider this as a last resort if the service is causing significant issues.

Related resource: How to Delete a Service in Windows 11 or 10 Using CMD

How to remove nessusd.exe

If you’ve decided that you no longer require the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner, you can remove the nessusd.exe file by uninstalling the software. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the “Control Panel” by searching for it in the Windows search bar.
  2. In the Control Panel, click on “Programs and Features”.Control Panel Programs and Features Windows 11
  3. In the list of installed programs, locate “Tenable Nessus” or “Nessus“.
  4. Click on the software, then click “Uninstall” at the top of the window.how to remove nessusd.exe
  5. Follow the prompts to uninstall the software.

This will remove the software and all of its associated files, including nessusd.exe. However, keep in mind that the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner is an important security tool. Before uninstalling it, ensure you have another security solution in place to avoid leaving your system vulnerable.


The nessusd.exe process is a crucial part of the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner by Tenable. Although it may cause high resource usage due to the nature of its tasks, it generally shouldn’t cause significant performance issues.

If you encounter persistent high CPU, disk, or memory usage issues linked to the nessusd.exe process, a good first step is to try restarting the service. Often, a simple restart can resolve temporary issues and free up system resources.

Lastly, keeping your software up-to-date and ensuring it’s sourced from a legitimate provider is crucial in maintaining system security.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. 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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