High CPU usage is one of those annoying problems that everyone encounters sometimes. If you already determined that Runtime broker is the service causing your CPU usage to rise, you’re halfway there to fix the issue.
What is Runtime broker?
Despite its name that suggests a busy little guy in a suit, it is simply a service that manages app permissions in Windows. It runs in the background all the time, but it comes to the forefront when you are using universal apps. These apps are capable of running on any Microsoft device.
What can cause the high CPU usage of Runtime broker?
The high CPU usage might have a number of reasons including:
- antivirus features conflicting with Runtime broker
- different (and seemingly unrelated) Windows services conflicting
- internal error of the service
We have compiled a list of successful methods to solve the problem. Try them one by one and let us know in the comments which one worked!
Antivirus software is the most common cause of Runtime broker interference. Try turning certain features off and see if the CPU usage decreases. If that doesn’t work, try temporarily disabling your antivirus altogether. If that solved the problem, you might need to try other antivirus solutions. Bitdefender seems to be a favourite for this exact reason: it doesn’t interfere with your system.
End Runtime broker task
Sometimes it is as simple as stopping the problematic service. While disabling Runtime broker is not advised due to its security functions, killing the task might solve your problem.
- Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del.
- Find Runtime broker in the list, select it and choose End task.
Many users reported that with a simple registry change, the high CPU usage went away.
- Press Windows + R to open Run, then type “regedit“. Press Enter to open Registry editor.
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/TimeBrokerSvc.
- Right-click the Start DWORD entry, choose Modify, and change the data to 00000004.
This is supposed to optimize performance, but it will also affect some Cortana reminders.
Check if the issue is resolved. If it persists, you can try disabling numerous different Windows services that are connected to Runtime broker.
Disable the tips about Windows
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose System.
- Click on Notifications & actions, then disable Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows.
Check CPU usage now. If it’s still high, try more methods below.
Switch lock screen background to Picture
Seemingly, the slideshow background on the lock screen can cause this problem.
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose Personalization.
- Click on the Lock screen section on the left, then set Background to Picture.
Check if this fixed the problem. If not, try changing the update settings.
Disable peer-to-peer updates
Peer-to-peer updates are useful because they allow you to download updates from other computers. However, this feature can increase the CPU usage of Runtime broker. Take the following steps to resolve this:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose Update&Security.
- Click on Delivery Optimization. Disable Allow downloads from other PCs.
This means you can only access update downloads from Microsoft. Check if this solved the high CPU usage. If not, there are still options you can try.
Disable background apps
Background applications are sometimes the cause of the high CPU usage. Try disabling them by following these simple steps:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings, and choose Privacy.
- Click on Background apps on the left, then set the Let apps run in the background toggle to Off.
You have disabled background apps. This means that some notifications by Universal apps will be disabled too.
If you are still having trouble with high CPU, you still have some options. Try the following methods.
Delete Groove Music using Powershell
Groove Music used to be a music streaming app in Microsoft. They discontinued the service when they struck a deal with Spotify and encouraged users to transfer their playlists there. However, this app remained, and it is known to raise CPU usage of Runtime broker. As this is a universal app, you need Powershell to delete it.
- Type “powershell” in the Search bar, then click Run as administrator.
- Type “get-appxpackage *Microsoft.ZuneMusic* | remove-appxpackage“, then hit Enter.
You have removed Groove Music. See if this fixed the problem. If it didn’t, try the next method to remove OneDrive.
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud-based storage solution. It may cause the high CPU usage, so it’s worth disabling it to see if it is the culprit.
- Type “cmd” in the Search bar, then click Run as administrator.
- Type “taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe“, then hit Enter.
This ends all processes in OneDrive. If this is not enough, you might want to uninstall OneDrive. You can do this in the next step.
- If you have a 32-bit system, type “%SystemRoot%System32OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall“, then hit Enter. For a 64-bit system, type “%SystemRoot%SysWOW64OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall“, then hit Enter.
This should have solved the high CPU usage problem.
We hope one of the above solutions worked for you and your PC is running smoothly again.