Question Periodic high CPU usage by Windows Explorer on my laptop (Windows 10)

Feb 25, 2023
Can anyone help me with this laptop issue of mine, where Windows Explorers CPU usage periodically spikes to above 20%, ramping up my laptops fans until it's restarted, either in Task Manager, or clicking the Task Bar a few times?

Things I've tried thus far that haven't solved it:
  1. cleaning junk files/disk cleanup
  2. virus scans (McAfee LiveSafe, Malwarebytes and the Malicious Software Removal Tool)
  3. disabling cloud storage (Dropbox)
  4. creating a new user account; it still happens, even in the new one
  5. Windows updates (up to date at time of writing)
  6. clearing out the Windows\Temp folder
  7. moving AudioSes.dll out of the System32 folder (it won't let me without permission from TrustedInstaller!)
  8. running SFC and Check Disk scans

It happens even when the system is idle, with very few programs running, yet there have also been a few occasions when it hasn't happened, despite having both my browser (with a dozen open tabs), and video editor running.


My best guess, this is the time when Win collects telemetry on your system and sends it to Micro$oft. It happens regularly until you disable it.

In an event it isn't the telemetry collection, download and run Process Explorer,

Guide on how to understand it,

Process Explorer tells you exactly which tasks are hogging your system resources. Once you've established what it is, you can go forward and deal with it.
Feb 20, 2023
HDD or SSD ? Also don't install so many anti-virus software at once, it's a bad idea.
Finally you might have a virus or trojan that didn't get picked up during scans.