Plenty of Windows 11 users reported that Windows Explorer uses 80-100% GPU on their computer even when File Explorer doesn’t work actively. What causes this problem and how to fix it? MiniTool Solutions will explain them to you in this post.

Are you suffering from this problem: Windows Explorer uses 80-100% GPU on your Windows 11?

Today I am stuck into a problem, suddenly my Windows Explorer process started to use 80-100% of GPU, and sometimes it falls into 1-2% for a few seconds, whenever I try to restart the process my Windows crashes with the error "Critical Process died". I’d like what to do, maybe it is a virus or something, tried to scan my windows with Malwarebytes but it didn't find

Why is the Windows Explorer Using So Much GPU?

GPU, referred to as the graphics processing unit, is used to manage and improve the performance of the video and graphics. But why does Windows Explorer occupy such a high GPU on your computer? Here we collect some possible reasons.

  • Outdated GPU driver: Incompatible driver is likely to be the cause of this error. You can update or reinstall the driver to fix the problem.
  • Corrupted system file: System files corrupted or missing will affect system performance and trigger problems. You can use a Windows built-in utility to fix the problem easily.
  • Outdated Windows version: The unfitness Windows version may also lead to high GPU usage. If this is the reason, just go to update your Windows version to the latest one.
  • Malware or virus attack: If your system is infected by malware or virus, the issue is possible to be triggered. Run an antivirus software to check the security of your computer.
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How to Fix Windows Explorer Using 80-100% GPU on Windows?

Fix 1: Run SFC Scan

SFC is a command line used to find and repair corrupted system files. You can run the sfc /scannow command by using Command Prompt with a few steps.

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run window.

Step 2: Type cmd and press Shift + Ctrl + Enter to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 3: Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter to execute this command.

run the command line

Wait for the process to end. If the problem that the GPU is full because of explorer.exe is caused by corrupted files, this method can help you resolve it.

Fix 2: Update/Reinstall Graphics Driver

As explained before, an outdated driver might also be responsible for the problem. Follow the next to check and update the Graphics driver.

Step 1: Press Win + X and select Device Manager from the WinX menu.

Step 2: Expand the Display adapters option.

Step 3: Right-click on the graphics and choose Update Driver from the context menu.

update the graphics driver

Step 4: Choose Search automatically for drivers in the popup window.

Go to check whether the Windows Explorer uses 80-100% GPU problem is solved or not. You can also choose to reinstall the graphics driver: choose Uninstall Device from the same context menu, click Uninstall again, and then restart your computer to install the driver automatically.

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Fix 3: Update Windows

If you haven’t updated your Windows system for a long time, go to check whether the current version needs to be upgraded.

Step 1: Press Win + I to open Windows Settings.

Step 2: Choose Update & Security > Windows Update, then click on the Check for updates button.

update Windows

Wait for the scan process to finish. You need to install the system with the on-screen instructions if any updates are available for your computer. After all these operations, restart your computer to see whether the problem is rectified.

Fix 4: Perform a Clean Boot

Clean Boot is another method to diagnose the problem that occurred on your computer. The Clean Boot will not start the third-party programs; thus, you can check whether the problem is caused by the third-party programs. Then, try these applications one by one to find out the cause and uninstall it.

For specific steps about how to perform a clean boot, you can go to this post: How To Perform A Clean Boot On Your Windows 11 PC.

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Bottom Line

The Windows Explorer uses 80-100% GPU problem might affect your use experience. You can try the above methods to fix the problem when facing this problem.

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