How to Fix Ntoskrnl.exe High CPU or Disk Usage on Windows 10

Despite Windows 10 being a brilliant update, users still report some frequent errors and issues with it. One of the most frequently reported problem is high CPU and high disk usage. Now, this problem can be blamed on ntoskrnl.exe which is an integral part of Microsoft software and is causing your operating system to lag.
The ntoskrnl executable file or process is also known as NT Kernel & system. The best solution for high CPU and disk usage is to simply stop some programs from running. However, if this issue occurs very frequently then you may check the settings of those applications that are causing this problem.
To fix the high CPU and disk usage issue, simply follow the solutions provided below.
Note: It is recommended that you keep your device drivers up to date to eliminate the possibility of faulty drivers causing such errors.

Method 1: Stopping Windows search in Services

  1. Press both your Windows and X keys together at the same time and then select Computer management from the contextual.
    Ntoskrnl.exe High CPU or Disk Usage on Windows 10 [Solved]
  2. On the left-hand side of the computer management windows, search for and then double click on Services and application to expand it. Then under it, open Services.
  3. Now, in Services keep on scrolling until you find Windows Search and then double click on it.
  4. Next, navigate to the General tab and then in status section, click on Stop button.
  5. Click on OK button to save the relevant changes.

Method 2: Uninstalling interfering programs

This issue can sometimes occur due to certain programs such as anti-virus software, interfering with other programs. When these types of software are open in the background, they can cause high CPU or disk usage problems. The solution for this is simple. Either uninstall the program or reinstall it.

Method 3: Using Command Prompt

  1. In the search field on the bottom of your screen, type Then right click on the result that says Command Prompt and proceed to select the option of Run as administrator from the context menu.
  2. Type the command “Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” without any typing errors and then press Enter. Wait for the process to finish.
  3. Though this will fix the issue, you may repeat this process once again after restarting your computer if the problem still hasn’t been eliminated.

Method 4: Running Windows Performance toolkit

  1. First, download and install Windows Performance Toolkit (WPT). For information on this tool, visit  this page.

In short, WPT is a useful analytical tool for applications and operating systems and examines their performance. Used by Microsoft team of experts, this tool kit includes Windows Performance Recorder and Windows Performance Analyzer, which simply analyses traces. It also uses ETW (event logging for windows) which is rather quick with collecting information pertaining to OS and applications.

  1. In the search field on the bottom of your screen, type Then right click on the result that says Command Prompt and proceed to select the option of Run as administrator from the context menu.
  2. Type the following command, making sure there are no typing errors and then press Enter.
    “xperf -on latency -stackwalk profile -buffersize 1024 -MaxFile 256 -FileMode Circular && timeout -1 && xperf -d cpuusage.etl” 

  3. Now wait for exactly 1 minute while the CPU usage is being analyzed. After the trace is complete you will get a warning, and then return to C:\Windows\system32.
  4. Visit C:\Windows\system32 and locate the file “cpuusage.etl”.
  5. Now you will have access to all the programs which are causing this issue.

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