What is a WMI Provider Host? How to Fix High CPU Usage?

WMI Provider Host is an important component of Windows that runs in the background. It allows other programs on your computer to access information about your computer. It should not normally use many system resources, but if another process on your system is behaving badly, it may consume a lot of CPU time.

What Is a WMI Provider Host?

“WMI” stands for “Windows Management Instrumentation”. Software and administrative scripts can use this feature to request information about the state of your Windows operating system and data. “WMI Providers” provide this information, when requested. Software or commands could find information about BitLocker drive encryption, for example. They can also view entries from the event log or request data from installed applications that support WMI. Microsoft has a list of available WMI providers on its website.

This is a particularly useful feature for enterprises that centrally manage PCs since information can be requested via scripts and shown in a standard way in administrative consoles. In spite of this, some software you have installed on your PC may request information about the system through the WMI interface.

You can also use WMI yourself to find a variety of useful information that is not exposed in the Windows interface on your own PC.

Why Is It Using So Much CPU?

The WMI Provider Host shouldn’t typically use much CPU, as it shouldn’t normally do anything. When other software or a script on your PC requests information via WMI, it may use some of your PC’s CPU. CPU utilization is likely just a sign that another application is requesting data through WMI.

However, prolonged high CPU usage is a sign that something is wrong. The WMI Provider Host should not constantly consume CPU resources.

It may be helpful to restart the Windows Management Instrumentation service if it’s stuck. There is also a way to restart the service without rebooting your computer. Open your Start menu, type “Services.msc”, and press Enter to launch the Service tool.

Select the “Windows Management Instrumentation service” in the list, right-click it, and select “Restart”.

A high CPU usage indicates that another process on your system is acting poorly. The WMI Provider Host process will use a lot of CPU if a process constantly requests a large amount of information from WMI providers. That other process is the problem.

Use the Event Viewer to identify which specific process is causing problems with WMI. To open the Event Viewer, right-click the Start button and select “Event Viewer”. Open the Start menu, type “Eventvwr.msc”, and press Enter to launch it.

Navigate to Applications and Service Logs/Microsoft/Windows/WMI-Activity/Operational in the left pane of the Event Viewer window.

Find recent “Error” events by scrolling through the list. In the bottom pane, click each event and look for the number to the right of “ClientProcessId”. This is the process ID that caused the WMI error.

There’s a good chance you’ll find several errors here. You may see multiple different process IDs causing errors, or you may see the same process ID number causing errors. To find out what the ClientProcessID is, click each error.

A process that may be causing problems can now be pinpointed. To open the Task Manager window, press Ctrl+Shift+Escape or right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager”.

Navigate to the “Details” tab, click the “PID” column to sort processes by process ID, and locate the process corresponding to the ID number in the Event Viewer logs.

Here, we see that the “HPWMISVC.exe” process caused the errors on this particular computer.

You won’t see the process here if it has since closed. Additionally, when a program closes and reopens, it will have a different process ID number. Therefore, you should look for recent events, since the process ID number from older events in your Event Viewer will not help you find anything.

Can I Disable WMI Provider Host?

Technically, you can disable the “Windows Management Instrumentation service” on your computer. However, this will break a lot of things on your PC. This is an important feature of the Windows operating system, and it should be left alone.

According to the official description for this service, “most Windows-based software will not operate properly if this service is disabled”. So don’t disable this service! You need to identify what process on your computer is causing the WMI Provider Host to use so much CPU if you have a problem with it. You need to update, remove, or disable that process instead.

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