The Windows Font Cache Service is a core component of the Windows operating system, responsible for managing the font caching system. The service helps accelerate the presentation of text in applications by caching commonly used font data. However, it can sometimes exhibit problematic behavior such as failing to start, high CPU usage, and others, leading users to seek methods to disable, fix, or understand the service better. In this article, we will look into the role, common issues, and troubleshooting solutions of the Windows Font Cache Service in Windows 11 or Windows 10.
What is Windows Font Cache Service?
The Windows Font Cache Service is a service present in Windows operating systems that enhances the speed and efficiency of applications by storing font data. By caching this information, the system can quickly access and load fonts, reducing the time required to start and operate applications, especially those involving significant text rendering.
It’s also worth noting that the Windows Font Cache Service is represented as svchost.exe in the Details tab of the Task Manager. This is because it runs inside a shared service process where other system services also reside.
Every time an application needs to display text, it sends a request to the operating system for the required font data. When the FontCache service is enabled, it retrieves this data from the cache instead of generating it anew each time, providing a more efficient user experience. This service is an integral part of the system, but like any other service, it can sometimes create problems.
Linked issue: Service Host Local System High CPU, Disk or Memory Usage
Windows Font Cache Service failed to start
At times, the FontCache service may fail to start. If you see an error message that reads “Error 1920 or 1921: Windows Font Cache Service failed to start,” you might need to manually start the service. These errors typically occur during the installation of a program when the installer cannot start the service.
To manually start the Windows Font Cache Service:
- Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.
- Type “services.msc” into the box and press Enter. This command will open the Services window.
- Scroll through the list to find the “Windows Font Cache Service”. Right-click on it and select “Properties”.
- Locate the “Startup type” dropdown menu within the properties window and select “Automatic”.
- Now click on the “Start” button under the Service status section.
- To save these changes, click on “Apply” and then “OK”.
If the service fails to start even after these steps, you might need to repair or reinstall the service.
Related concern: Why is My Memory Usage So High When Nothing is Running?
Windows Font Cache Service high CPU usage
There are instances where the Windows Font Cache Service might cause an unanticipated surge in CPU usage. This can subsequently slow down the overall performance of your PC, potentially indicating a problem with the service itself or the font cache.
Should the Windows Font Cache Service be the culprit behind high CPU usage, the initial step you can take is clearing the font cache. Here is the step-by-step procedure:
- Open the “Windows Explorer”.
- Navigate to the following directory: “C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local”. You will need to manually browse to this directory since directly entering the path in the File Explorer’s address bar will not take you to the folder due to permission requirements as you navigate through the folders. You will also need to enable the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option if you cannot see the “AppData” folder in the “LocalService” directory.
- Here, you will find a folder named “FontCache”. Open this folder and delete all the files in it.
- Once done, restart your computer.
Upon restart, Windows will automatically create a new font cache, effectively resolving the issue of high CPU usage in most cases.
How to disable Windows Font Cache Service
Given its role in enhancing font performance, the Windows Font Cache Service is typically useful and shouldn’t cause problems under normal conditions. However, if it consistently leads to high CPU usage or other issues, users might consider disabling it. Keep in mind that doing so can slow down the loading of fonts in applications.
To disable the Windows Font Cache Service:
- Press “Windows + R” keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Type “services.msc” and press enter to open the Services window.
- Find “Windows Font Cache Service” in the list, right-click it, and select “Properties”.
- In the “Startup type” dropdown menu, select “Disabled”.
- Click “Stop” under Service status.
- Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.
Relevant guide: How to Delete a Service in Windows 11 or 10 Using CMD
Windows Font Cache Service started and then stopped
Sometimes, the Windows Font Cache Service might start but then abruptly stop. This behavior could disrupt the functioning of text-based applications. It typically happens when the service encounters an error while trying to read the cached font data.
These issues can often be resolved by clearing the font cache, as described above, or by reinstalling the program that’s causing the problem. If these methods don’t work, it might be necessary to use a system restore point or seek professional assistance.
Reinstalling the FontCache service (FntCache.dll)
Reinstalling the Windows Font Cache Service is a bit more complex and should be considered as a last resort. It requires you to re-register the service DLL file and then restart the service. Here’s how to do it:
- Click the Windows Start menu and type in “cmd“. In the search results, right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator“.
- In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands one by one and press Enter after each:
net stop fontcache cd /d %windir%\system32 regsvr32 FntCache.dll net start fontcache
This will stop the font cache service, re-register the font cache service DLL file, and then restart the service.
Please note that these are advanced operations and should only be performed if you’re confident about what you’re doing. If you’re not comfortable doing these steps on your own, consider seeking help from a professional. It’s also always a good idea to create a system restore point before making significant changes to your system, to allow for recovery in case anything goes wrong.
The Windows Font Cache Service is a vital component of the Windows operating system, designed to boost the performance of applications using font data. Despite its importance, it may sometimes cause issues that require troubleshooting. It’s important to approach these issues carefully and seek professional help when needed.
The operation and troubleshooting methods for the Windows Font Cache Service remain largely the same for both Windows 11 and Windows 10. Whether you’re looking to disable, enable, or fix the service, you can follow the procedures mentioned earlier in the article.