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What is the WMI Provider Host and why is it using so much CPU?

In this article, we will highlight everything you need to know about the WMI Provider Host process in Windows 10.

Author:Daniel BarrettJun 10, 202256911 Shares801565 Views
The WMI Provider Host process is an essential part of Windows and often runs in the background. It allows other applications on your computer to request information about your PC.
Processes like the WMI Provider Host aren’t well known to most Windows users, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not essential to the operating system. In this case, and like other critical processes such as csrss.exe, the WMI Provider Host shouldn’t be something you need to think about unless it causes high CPU or RAM usage. This article will highlight everything you need to know about the WMI Provider Host process in Windows 10.

What is a WMI Provider Host?

“WMI” stands for “Windows Management Instrumentation.” This is a Windows feature that provides a standardized way for software and administrative scripts to request information about the state of your Windows operating system and data on it. “WMI Providers” provide this information when requested. For example, software or commands could find information about the state of BitLocker drive encryption, view entries from the event log, or request data from installed applications that include a WMI provider. Microsoft has a list of included WMI providers on its website.
It is also useful for enterprises that centrally manage PCs, especially as information can be requested via scripts and shown in a standard way in administrative consoles. However, even on a home PC, some software you have installed may request information about the system through the WMI interface.
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You can also use WMI yourself to find a variety of useful pieces of information that aren’t normally exposed in the Windows interface on your PC. For example, we’ve covered the WMI Command line tool (WMIC) to get your PC’s serial number, find your motherboard’s model number, or see a hard drive’s SMART healthstatus.

Why Is It Using So Much CPU?

WMI Provider Host shouldn’t normally use much CPU, as it shouldn’t normally be doing anything. However, it may occasionally use some CPU when another piece of software or script on your PC asks for information via WMI, and that’s normal. However, prolonged high CPU usage is a sign something is wrong. WMI Provider Host shouldn’t be using lots of CPU resources.
If you see consistently high CPU usage, another process on your system is likely misbehaving. For example, if a process constantly requests a large amount of information from WMI providers, this will cause the WMI Provider Host process to use a lot of CPU. So that other process is the problem.
Instrumentation service may help if it’s stuck in a bad state. Of course, you could also restart your computer, but there’s a way to restart the service without restarting your computer. First, open your Start menu, type “Services. msc”, and press Enter to launch the Services tool.
To identify which specific process is causing problems with WMI, use the Event Viewer. On Windows 10 or 8, you can right-click the Start button and select “Event Viewer” to open it. On Windows 7, open the Start menu, type “eventvwr. msc”, and press Enter to launch it.
In the left pane of the Event Viewer window, navigate to Applications and Service Logs\Microsoft\Windows\WMI-Activity\Operational.
Scroll through the list and look for recent “Error” events. Then, click each event and look for the number to the right of “ClientProcessId” in the bottom pane. This tells you the process ID number that caused the WMI error.
There’s a good chance you’ll see several errors here. For example, the same process ID number may cause the errors, or you may see multiple process IDs causing errors. Click each error and see what the ClientProcessId is to find out.

WMI Provider Host

You can now pin down a process that may be causing problems. First, open a Task Manager window by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Escape or right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.”
Click the “Details” tab, click the “PID” column to sort running processes by process ID, and locate the process matching the ID number that appeared in the Event Viewer logs. For example, we’ve seen that the “HPWMISVC.exe” process caused these errors on this particular computer.
If the process has since closed, you won’t see it in the list here. Also, when a program closes and reopens, it will have a different process ID number. Therefore, you need to look for recent events, as the process ID number from older events in your Event Viewer won’t help you find anything.
With this information in hand, you know the process that may be causing problems. You can search for its name on the web to find out the software it’s associated with. You can also right-click the process in the list and click “Open File Location” to open its location on your system, which may show you the larger software package the program is a part of. Also, You may need to update this software if you use it or uninstall it if you don’t.

Checking Whether WMI Provider Host Is Legitimate

The WMI Provider Host process you’ll see in Windows Task Manager is a Windows system process, or it should be. You can check whether this is the case (and if a virus or other type of malware is hiding in plain view) by tracing the file location of the process.
Open Windows Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar at the bottom of your window and selecting the Task Manager option from the menu.
In the Task Manager window, find the WMI Provider Host process in the Processes tab (or wmiprvse.exe in the Details tab). Right-click the process, then select the Open file location option.
This will launch Windows File Explorer, opening the location of the WMI Provider host executable file. This should be found in the C:\Windows\System32\wbem folder. If it is, then the process running on your PC is the legitimate Windows system process.
If you find that another location opens in File Explorer, you have a problem, as the process you see running in Windows Task Manager is not the legitimate system process. You’ll need to search for and get rid of the malware as part of your next steps to ensure that your PC is safe to use.

Can I Disable WMI Provider Host?

Yes, you can. However, this will break many different things on your PC. It’s an important part of the Windows operating system and should be left alone.
As the official description for this service says, “If this service is stopped, most Windows-based software will not function properly.” So don’t disable this service! If you have a problem with it, you need to identify the process on your computer causing the WMI Provider Host to use so much CPU and update, remove, or disable that process instead.
The only exception is if another process is named WMI Provider Host when it isn’t the real process. In addition, some types of malware have been known to mimic important processes to fool users during a glance at Windows Task Manager.
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Daniel Barrett

Daniel Barrett

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