system interrupts high CPU usage windows 11

The System Interrupts the process consuming 100% of CPU and make Windows 11 PC slow or unresponsive. In this article we discuss what is system interrupts process, is it a virus or malware, and why it’s causing high CPU in task manager. Well, the system interrupt is a legitimate system process if it is located in the system 32 folder and it’s not a virus or malware. Usually, the system interrupts process manages the communication between your computer hardware and the system and displays the system resources used by all the hardware interrupts happening on your PC. There are multiple reasons cause Windows 11 system interrupts 100 CPU usage, here we have a few workarounds apply to fix the problem.

What is a System interrupt?

It’s like a signal that is sent to a processor (CPU) to resume whatever it doing and to take up the priority task that needs the intervention of the CPU. For example, a printer connected to your PC works smoothly, but if there is a paper jam or low ink level this creates a system interrupt and the signal is sent to the CPU to resume whatever it is doing and say display this message to the user.

System Interrupts is like a “representative” for all hardware interrupts happening on your computer, and is not considered a “traditional” process.

Is System Interrupt a Virus? No. System Interrupts is a legitimate, built-in feature of the Windows operating system. It has an important role, and we do not recommend disabling it.

Usually, it’s designed to examine CPU interrupts brought on by lower-level system processes and services running in the background on your computer. However, if they are causing the CPU to overload here is how to fix the problem.

  • First of all, restart your computer, which refreshes the Windows 11 operating system, and its process clears temporary glitches that may be causing high CPU usage problems. And restart Windows 11 helps many users fix the system interrupt problem.
  • The next thing you need to perform a full system scan with the latest antivirus or antimalware programs to remove any virus or malware infection that might be interfering with system hardware or process, causing high CPU usage.
  • In addition unplug all external devices such as USB drives, secondary HDD or external disk, printer scanner etc, and check if remove external devices helps sort out the issue. If this helps, re-plug the devices one by one until you see the problem occurring again.

Update windows 11

Microsoft regularly updates Windows 11 with the latest bug fixes and security enhancements that also improve overall Windows 11 performance. Let’s check and install pending Windows updates that may have a bug fix for Windows 11 high CPU usage caused by the System Interrupts process.

Make sure you are up to date with the latest version of Windows 11

  • Press the windows key + x and select settings,
  • Go to Windows update then hit the check for updates button,
  • if pending updates there, allow them to download and install on your PC.

windows 11 checking for updates

  • In addition click on advanced options then optional updates, if optional updates or driver updates are available allow them to download and install on your PC.
  • Once done reboot your computer to apply the changes, now check if the CPU usage comes down to normal.

Perform a clean boot

Third-party software applications and services running in the background can generate interrupt requests and consume CPU resources. Performing a clean boot disables non-essential startup programs and services, allowing you to identify and troubleshoot software-related causes of interrupt-related CPU usage.

  • Press together the keys: Ctrl + Shift + Esc to access the task manager;
  • Click on startup and disable all programs that start with Windows;
  • Now press the Windows key + R, type msconfig and click ok
  • Move to the services tab, checkmark on Hide all Microsoft services then click on Disable All,
  • Restart the PC and check if the “System Interrupts” process still consumes 100% of the CPU.

Run a disk cleanup

  • Press Windows key + R and type: cleanmgr press Enter;
  • Select system Drive C and click ok
  • Next, click on Clean System Files and wait for the files to load;
  • Select all files and click ok to delete them;

Disable Audio Effects

  • Press Windows key + R, type mmsys.cpl and click ok
  • Move to the playback tab, then click on the default device then select properties,
  • Now move to the enhancement tab, then checkmark on Disable all enhancements,
  • Click on apply and then ok to save changes.
  • Now check if this helps fix the system interrupt high CPU usage problem.

Disable Windows fast startup

For a few users disable the Windows fast startup feature helps fix the problem.

  • Press Windows key + R, type powercfg.cpl and click ok
  • Click on Choose what the power buttons do then Change settings that are currently unavailable
  • Here Under Shut down settings, untick the option Turn on fast startup(recommended) and click Save Changes,

Disable fast startup windows 11

Run System File Checker (SFC) and DISM

Sometimes, Corrupted system files can disrupt normal system operations and lead to increased CPU usage by system interrupts. Running SFC and DISM scans helps repair corrupted system files, restoring system stability and reducing interrupt-related issues.

  • Press the Windows key and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator.
  • First run the system file checker command sfc /scannow to scan and repair corrupted missing system files, it may take some time depending on the corruption level.
  • Next run the DISM restore health command, dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth to scan and repair the Windows image.
  • Let the scanning complete, 100% and reboot your computer to apply changes.
  • Now check if the system CPU usage comes to normal.

SFC and DISM command

Update BIOS/UEFI Firmware

For a few users, the only solution that worked was to update the BIOS to the latest available version. Updating BIOS or UEFI firmware ensures that the motherboard and other hardware components operate optimally with Windows 11, minimizing interrupt-related CPU usage.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator and run the following commands to get BIOS version details.

systeminfo | findstr /I /c:bios

wmic bios get manufacturer, smbiosbiosversion

  • Now head to the manufacturer site to see if an update is available.

In addition, Loose or damaged hardware connections can cause intermittent interruptions in data transfer between devices and the CPU. By inspecting and fixing hardware connections, you can ensure stable communication and prevent unnecessary system interrupts.

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Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.