Fix Desktop Window Manager High Memory Usage Issue


Updated on Dec. 06, 2021

Position: Resource - Disk Utilities - Fix Desktop Window Manager High Memory Usage Issue

How do I fix Desktop Windows Manager high memory usage issue? In regular cases, the Desktop Windows Manager (dwm.exe) process runs smoothly, and yet sometimes it may go wrong and make high use of memory or CPU. This article offers 7 solutions to help you fix the Desktop Windows Manager high memory or high CPU usage issue in Windows 10/8/7.

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Hi, I've recently noticed that the Desktop Window Manager is taking up a lot of memory at some point, even though I have nothing open but the Task Manager. So far, it hasn't caused any crashes, but with this memory usage, it's only a matter of time, and I'm worried that it will cause something I can't fix. Can you offer some advice or help?

In Windows 10 operating system, the computer gradually stuck. Through the Task Manager, you can see that the Desktop Window Manager occupies a high memory. At this time, how can we solve it? Desktop Window Manager is a manager that controls various functions of Win 10 system, such as visual effects, 3D Windows transition animation and so on. The Desktop Window Manager runs in the background, and the CPU or memory utilization is very low. However, in order to make the animation smoother, dwm.exe must use some hardware acceleration. Once the Desktop Window Manager memory is too high, you can refer to the following methods to solve the problem!

What is Desktop Window Manager?

Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is a synthetic window manager that renders all those nice effects in Windows: transparent windows, real-time taskbar thumbnails, Flip3D, and even high-resolution monitor support.

The application writes the picture of its window to a specific location in memory rather than displaying it directly on the screen. Windows will then create a "composite" view of all the windows on the screen before sending it to your screen. Because Windows composes and displays the contents of each window, it can add effects such as transparency and window animation when displaying windows hierarchically.

Can I end Desktop Window Manager?

No, you can't. In the Vista era, Desktop Window Manager was controlled by a service that you could turn off and then disable all visual effects. Starting with Windows 7, the Desktop Window Manager became a more integral part of Windows, which is critical to creating graphical user interfaces. This integration is further deepened with Windows 8 and Windows 10. The good news is that Desktop Window Manager is getting better at managing resources, and you shouldn't really need to turn it off.

How to solve Desktop Window Manager High Memory problem?

Solution 1. Update the graphics card driver

The first and most important thing you should do is make sure your graphics or video drivers are up to date. Whether you're using integrated graphics or dedicated graphics, it's important to have the latest drivers. This is mainly because bugs in outdated drivers cause Desktop Window Managers to take up a lot of memory. Follow these steps to update the video driver in Windows.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu.

Step 2: Select Device Manager.

Step 3: Expand "Display Drivers".

Step 4: Right-click the video driver.

Step 5: Select Update Driver.

Step 6: Click "Search Automatically for Drivers".

Solution 2. Change theme or wallpaper

Hardware acceleration is usually used for Desktop Window Manager to work more smoothly. If you often see this process using too much CPU or memory, you need to make some changes to the personalization settings.

Step 1: On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I key at the same time. Then click Personalization.

Step 2: Select the settings you want to change from the left pane. You may need to change the background, colors, lock screen and themes one by one to see if the problem goes away.

If necessary, try switching to Basic Theme, which will greatly reduce the load on your system and battery.

Desktop Windows Manager High Memory

Solution 3. Disable the Screen Saver

Step 1: Press Windows + S to open Windows Search.

Step 2: Type Lock Screen Settings on the keyboard and press Enter.

Step 3: Look for the Screen Saver Settings option in the right panel and click on it.

Step 4: Select "None" in the "Screen Saver" drop-down list.

Step 5: Click the OK button at the bottom.

Desktop Windows Manager High Memory

Solution 4. Run performance troubleshooting in Windows

Windows includes a basic performance troubleshooter for finding and fixing problems. Here's how to use it.

Step 1: Open the Start menu.

Step 2: Search for Command Prompt.

Step 3: Right-click the command prompt.

Step 4: Select Run as administrator.

Step 5: Execute the following command: msdt.exe / id PerformanceDiagnostic

Step 6: After running the troubleshooter, close the command prompt window.

Desktop Windows Manager High Memory

This will fix the high memory usage of the Desktop Window Manager.

Sometimes you may have to restart the system after running the performance troubleshooter.

Solution 5. Adjust performance Settings

If Windows is configured to prioritize appearance over performance, this can cause the Desktop Window Manager to use more memory. To solve this problem, you can set it to high performance, or let Windows decide what is best for your system. Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu.

Step 2: Select the System option.

Step 3: Click "Advanced system settings" under related Settings.

Step 4: Click "Settings" under "Performance".

Step 5: Select "Adjust for best performance".

Step 6: Click "OK".

Desktop Windows Manager High Memory

Solution 6. Clean and start Windows

In some cases, other processes, applications, or services may interfere with the Desktop Window Management process and cause it to consume more memory. In this case, you can perform a clean boot to find the program or process in question. Once you find it, simply uninstall or disable it and the Desktop Window Manager's high memory usage will be fixed.

Solution 7. Scan for viruses or malware

If your system is infected with viruses or malware, it is likely that they are interfering with the Desktop Window Manager, or the legitimate dwm.exe process may have been replaced with the infected dwm.exe process. In these cases, it is best to do a complete system scan to find and delete viruses or malware infections.

To Sum Up

The high memory consumption of Desktop Window Manager is a common problem. If you also encounter this problem, please try according to the methods provided above. If you have other questions and suggestions during the operation, you can contact us at any time.

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