[SOLVED] Desktop Windows Manager becomes bloated

Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
New computer, 2 weeks old. After computer was on for approx 2 hours, I noticed CPU usage was holding at 60% or higher with nothing but one instance of MS Word open. At the beginning of the day, I had been on the internet for approx 10-15 minutes checking email and stock quotes.

I opened Task Manager and found that Desktop Windows Manager was using 638 MB of memory. I restarted the computer and started Task Manager. Desktop Windows Manager showed 49 MB memory usage.

Two questions:

  1. Is this increasing memory usage normal operation for Desktop Windows Manager?
  2. Is there some setting to make it release memory as apps close?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
found that DWM was consuming 2,685.3 MB or 86% of memory.
You have 8gb of ram, how can 2.6gb be 86%??
Even if I look in Process explorer, it only shows that if dwm is running, csrss.exe uses most of it. csrss,exe = System in Task manager. Client Server runtime process. Its the environment where your user exists.

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

the default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, but unlike task manager, it shows the ram usage of each part so you can see what is eating your ram

along top under the menu options are a series of charts. click on one and it shows


if you leave it running in the background while you work, you can come back and hover mouse over the chart and it should show which process is causing most usage at that time.
if you right click on a header line such as Process, it shows select columns.
if you click on Process GPU you can add the GPU Usage column to see process names like I have above.

hard part is working out which part of your user is using the ram, if that is the cause.

or you can run process monitor and set it up to log any actions involving DWM but I can guess already you going to get too much info
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Here are the system, Windows, & anti-virus specs:

Acer T-895
Device name DESKTOP-568L5D6
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-10100 CPU @ 3.60GHz
Installed RAM 8.00 GB (7.89 GB usable)
System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
Pen and touch None
Camera None
Microphone None

Edition Windows 10 Home
Version 20H2
Installed 2/18/2021
OS build 19042.804
Experience Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.551.0

First Turn on Date: 2/16/2021
Bitdefender Total Security:
First App Installed, first day out of the box
Firewall - Active
Online Threat Protection - On
Antispam - On
Advanced Threat Protection - On
Exploit Detection - On

I don't stream music or videos. I rarely spend more than a hour a day on the internet. I don't currently have any Anti-Malware software installed.

With all Bitdefender's features active from day one, I doubt there is any malware.
 
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Update: PCMag lists Bitdefender as best Anti-Virus with Malware. Scanned system - 0 issues found.
With only Task Manager open, Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) continues to increase in memory usage. Opening a browser session increases DWM memory usage. DWM memory usage does not decrease after closing apps. It just continues to increase.

With only Task Manager open DWM usage at 410 MB. Display went into sleep mode. After waking up, DWM usage at 2,685 MB and computer showed 89% memory usage.

Something is seriously wrong here.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Desktop Windows Manager sits between Applications & GPU so it grows as you run graphical things on PC.

here are some suggestions - https://appuals.com/fix-desktop-window-manager-high-cpu-usage-dwm-exe/
note I did search for memory and this was in result here - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/dwmexe-high-memory/106bed98-1f6b-44b5-885d-2113265746f2?auth=1)

try this
right click start button
choose powershell (admin)
type SFC /scannow and press enter
once its completed, copy/paste this command into same window:
Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth and press enter
SFC fixes system files, second command cleans image files, re run SFC if it failed to fix all files and restart PC

try updating GPU drivers.
 
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Solved! Earlier, I did an internet search for this issue and found many hits.

I changed the display background option from Slideshow to Picture and the Desktop Windows Manager (DWM) memory usage issue resolved immediately. DWM memory usage now stays between 42MB and 50MB.

If the "Slideshow" feature is so crappy, why did Microsoft include it???
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Arrrggghhhh. The problem is back again today and is worse than ever.

After returning from lunch, I woke up the computer and found that DWM was consuming 2,685.3 MB or 86% of memory.

I am working with a Microsoft Adviser over at the Microsoft Windows Community. I will report back any success or failure.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
found that DWM was consuming 2,685.3 MB or 86% of memory.
You have 8gb of ram, how can 2.6gb be 86%??
Even if I look in Process explorer, it only shows that if dwm is running, csrss.exe uses most of it. csrss,exe = System in Task manager. Client Server runtime process. Its the environment where your user exists.

Download Process explorer and run it as admin (it comes from Microsoft so its safe)

the default view is tree structure meaning like your task manager screen, it will show what processes are under each service, but unlike task manager, it shows the ram usage of each part so you can see what is eating your ram

along top under the menu options are a series of charts. click on one and it shows


if you leave it running in the background while you work, you can come back and hover mouse over the chart and it should show which process is causing most usage at that time.
if you right click on a header line such as Process, it shows select columns.
if you click on Process GPU you can add the GPU Usage column to see process names like I have above.

hard part is working out which part of your user is using the ram, if that is the cause.

or you can run process monitor and set it up to log any actions involving DWM but I can guess already you going to get too much info
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Thanks Colif. Got hung up on another issue yesterday.

The 86% is total memory usage. There are approx. 150 processes running according to Task Manager and that is with no apps open.

I will try your suggestion today.
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Issue solved, BUT it is a bizarre solution to this perplexing problem.

I have noticed over the last 7 days the DWM excessive memory usage issue has resolved itself since I connected a second monitor. Over those 7 days the memory used by DWM has ranged from 25MB to 65MB.

When I inserted the second HDMI cable, I noticed that the first cable was in the lower port. I'm wondering if when there is only one monitor connected, it should be connected to the top port??? Because all I did was add a second monitor.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Which graphics card, I don't think there are specific outputs you have to use, i don't think it makes any difference. Its not something I have ever considered. MY GPU has 3 DP outputs but none are numbered, all the plastic cover over the slots says on it is DP
 
Feb 17, 2021
24
0
10
0
Device Manages says - Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630

Order of HDMI ports was just a "Could it be..." guess. From the first day, DWM consistently hogged CPU memory for 15 straight days, requiring 3-4 restarts a day. The instant I attached the second monitor, the issue disappeared completely. I did not install any software or change anything.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Looks at details again, oh an Acer... finds pictures, so it has 2 HDMI outs, I doubt it makes any difference which you used.

that is an odd solution. putting pc under more stress made it happier.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS