Why Does My CPU Keep Spiking? CPU Performance Enhancement Guide

Why Does My CPU Keep Spiking


The CPU is the heart and soul of any computer system. The system will work only as well as the CPU, so everything else will fall apart should the CPU fail.

This being the case, you need to take measures that help ensure your CPU is always at peak performance.

You might notice that your CPU peaks when it shouldn’t, sometimes when you are running light programs that shouldn’t affect it.

This can be an indicator for several problems so let us break it down and see how you can get around this problem and hopefully fix it;

Why Does My CPU Keep Spiking?

There are many reasons behind your PC spiking, and it is often subjective, depending on what you do with your PC. Let us look at some of the most common causes so you know where to start your repair process;

  • Running too many apps at once

Sometimes you might get lost in your work and forget the toll you are putting on your laptop. You need to know how powerful your PC is so you can estimate the work it can run without spiking. Sometimes you open several heavy apps and launch lighter apps without closing them.

As such, it seems as though your PC is spiking without tasks, yet you have several heavy tasks running in the background.

An app like chrome can take up gigabytes of your RAM and compromise the CPU’s performance if you leave too many tabs open.

You can look at this at the task manager to see which apps take the most space. Once done with an app, close it to give the laptop an excellent place to operate.

  • Harmful software

You can get spikes in your CPU when you have a virus in the system. Some viruses will infect your system and self-replicate in the background so that they slow down everything in your PC.

The additional work will make the CPU spike even when handling simple tasks. In extreme cases, the PC will not run and will hang a few minutes after turning it on.

Try using an antivirus to see if you have malicious software on your computer. If so, uninstall them, and the problem should go away.

You should know that most antiviruses are heavy apps, and they run in the background, so it might cause the problem.

Try and get a setting that won’t always run the app, so you can control when the antivirus uses your memory.

  • Normal processes and accounts

Your CPU is the computer’s brain, so every process you run will use the CPU. Heavy tasks like gaming or editing videos might cause a spike, especially if you have an old or underpowered system.

Having several user accounts on one computer could lead to spikes even when they are not in active use.

Log out of your account and see if any other accounts are active. The logged-in account will be running tasks that cause the spike in your CPU.

How To Fix Spikes In Windows 10

There is nothing worse than your CPU grinding to a halt in the middle of your project because of high CPU usage.

This can be frustrating, especially if it happens more than once. Here are some things you can check to help manage this problem;

  • Check your power settings.

Some power settings can throttle your CPU’s speed and cause spikes. When the PC is underpowered, the CPU will have a hard time doing some tasks that would be otherwise simple; thus, you will get a lot of unnecessary spikes.

Go to the additional power settings in your PC to see what plan your system is on. If you see a high-performance plan in that window, choose it, and that should give your CPU more power. This plan will use more energy, so your battery will drain faster, but it will be worth it.

If you dint want to take too much of your battery and are running relatively easy tasks, you can use the “balanced” setting.

This will give your CPU more power than a power-saving plan, so you should get better performance.

  • Look at the task manager.

The task manager can give you a good overview of what is happening to your computer, so you know what app is using too much space and causing the spikes. Right-click on the taskbar and select task manager.

You need to check several things here; first, go to the startup tab and see the apps there. There might be apps or processes that start with your computer and take up most of your CPU power. Disable all the apps you don’t need and make it easier on your PC.

Go to the processes tab and see what is running. You can right-click on a process and go to ‘open file location’ to see the app responsible for that process.

If you see apps, you don’t use, delete them but avoid any Windows extensions and files since they are vital for the OS.

If you think a specific application is causing the spikes in your CPU, you should uninstall it. Go to apps in the settings menu to see all the applications and delete any you don’t want. Select an app, and a popup with the option to uninstall will come up.

  • Turn off notifications

Sometimes the number of notifications from windows can lead some users to experience performance issues.

Go to the notifications settings and turn off any notifications that are not crucial for your system’s operation.

Windows will watch what you are doing and send notifications whenever they feel like and it can slow your PC down, especially if you have a lot of apps.

It would be best to allow notifications for windows updates since they are essential for a system to run smoothly.

Sometimes you will have spikes in your CPU because of using outdated software. Out-of-date software won’t work as efficiently as the updated options, so you might expect to lose some performance if your software is old.

CPU Shopping Tips

You can have so many problems with a CPU, and you have to replace it or upgrade and get a new one with better performance.

Without proper help, you might end up with a product that will not be any better than your previous CP, so here is a guide to help you get the right CPU;

  • Make sure it fits

If you already have a rig or PC and are buying a replacement CPU, make sure you get one that physically fits into the motherboard you are planning to use.

There are a lot of specs you have to look at in terms of size, sockets, and electrical compatibility, so don’t be scared to look it up.

The better choice will be to look at the exact model number of your original CPU and get a more powerful CPU that matches its physical attributes.

It would be best to get a CPU that your PC can power comfortably without damaging other processes.

  • Look at the performance you get within your budget

Initially, whoever had the higher clock speed was faster, but everything changed since the clock speed wasn’t meaningful unless you had more information.

You need to know how much work a CPU can do with each cycle, and the higher the number, the better the CPU.

You need to get websites that test CPUs with apps you use most frequently to know what you are getting.

For some people, it isn’t all about speed. CPU reviews from reputable sites will give you a rundown of other important information.

You need to account for the number of cores in each CPU and the top speed a CPU can attain when running different tasks.

This will directly affect your PC’s performance, so getting the right CPU will help solve your PC’s spiking issue.

  • Additional features

There is more than the basics; you need a CPU that makes your life better and easier. CPUs offer many features above basic processing, which can help your final choice since some features make a big difference in performance.

You should know about the power consumption, heat output, maximum memory support, security features, overclocking limits, and more details that make a CPU stand out. With all this information you will be ready to make a good decision on the product to get.


Your CPU will spike whenever there is a heavy task on it, whether in standard processing or a virus causing the problem. Use the task manager to look at all the apps and how much CPU they use to eliminate useless apps that drain your system.

Try changing your power settings to see if that makes a difference since most power-saving plans throttle CPU performance. If you don’t improve, it might be time to install a new CPU since you might have an old or underpowered one.



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