If you are seeing the WMI Provider Host, with the process name of WmiPrvSE.exe in the Task Manager, running at abnormally high CPU usage in Windows 11 or Windows 10, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
It’s important that you know what WMI Provider Host is, what does it do, and what would cause it to run on high CPU usage, before you try to fix anything that shouldn’t be fixed at the first place.
What is WMI Provider Host (WmiPrvSE.exe)?
WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) Provider Host is a process Windows uses when an app or service request information about your OS. WMI Provider Host provides such info when requested.
For example, information that can be requested from WmiPrvSE.exe includes your Windows serial number, your hardware model numbers, your devices drivers’ versions, health status of your hard drive, etc.
The process will run when an application request these info from Windows. Therefore, you should not disable or stop the service. It’s an important process many Windows components, software and applications rely on.
Technically, you can disable WMI Provider Host in Windows 11 or 10. But, that will certainly breaks many Windows services and apps on your PC. It’s certainly not recommended to do so. So, what can you do about it if it bothers you?
WMI Provider Host causes High CPU usage
If the process is running at very high CPU usage, sometimes as high as 100% usage, it could indicate that an application is requesting a huge amount of data from WMI Provider Host.
If the process continues to run at high CPU usage for a prolonged period of time, it probably means something is wrong with the application which request information from it.
You can try to restart your computer, or restart the process to see if it fixes the problem. To restart the WmiPrvSE.exe service, go to Start menu and search for Services. Open it and look for “Windows Management Instrumentation service” from the list of services. Right click it and select Restart.
If the problem persists even after you’ve tried to restart the WMI Provider Host service, instead of trying to disable the service, we should identify the problematic application that causes the error, and then fix it. Here’s how to do it.
- Go to Start Menu in Windows.
- Search for Event Viewer and open it.
- Expand Applications and Service Logs, then browse to the following path.
- Under Operational, click on the “Error” event.
- Under the General tab, look for ClientProcessId.
- If there are multiple error events, click on each one of them and check on their ClientProcessId. This is the ID of the process that causes error in WMI Provider Host activity. Write down the ID.
- Now, go to Task Manager by right-clicking the Taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Under Details tab, click on the PID column to sort the ID. Look for the ID you’ve written earlier.
- This is the process that causes the WmiPrvSE.exe to run at high CPU usage.
- If you know what’s the process is about and which application the process is from, you can then decide what you want to do about it. You can choose to update the program, terminate the process, or simply remove the application.
- If you don’t know what the process is for, do a search on Google to learn about it before you terminate or remove it.
- If that’s a crucial app that you need, try to update it and see if it fixes the problem. If you don’t need the app or service, you can disable or remove it.
Is WmiPrvSE.exe a Virus?
No, WmiPrvSE.exe is not a virus if the file is located at C:\Windows\SysWOW64\wbem. As long as the file is located under C:\Windows, it’s safe.
If it’s located elsewhere, you might have a problem. It could be a virus or malware pretending to be the process. Scan your computer with an antivirus software immediately to get rid of it.