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What Is the Windows Shell Experience Host and Why Is It Consuming Too Much PC Resources?

What Is the Windows Shell Experience Host and Why Is It Consuming Too Much PC Resources?

What Is the Windows Shell Experience Host?

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps are native to Windows 10, and the Windows shell experience host is responsible for managing these universal apps, including the graphical elements of Windows applets. Windows shell experience host handles various elements on your screen, such as the shortcuts on your Start menu, the visuals for every notification that pops up, and even the transparency of your Taskbar. All of these are possible because of the Windows shell experience host.

Windows Shell Experience Host

For instance, when you use a slideshow as your Desktop background, Windows shell experience host is the process that allows you to do so. Basically, it’s main role is to facilitate the integration of universal apps with the Windows Shell.

Windows shell experience host is a critical Windows 10 process and should not be tampered with or stopped at all cost. Doing so would lead to serious issues with the user interface.

Let’s look at some information about this file:

  • Application: Windows Shell Experience Host
  • Developer: Microsoft
  • Program file: ShellExperienceHost.exe
  • File location: C:\Windows\SystemApps\ShellExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy\
  • File size: 2,095,968 bytes
  • Operating system: Windows 10

Because the Windows Shell Experience Host is in charge of the aesthetic functions of Windows, there are times when this process triggers a spike in CPU usage. This is particularly true during the early days of Windows 10. But after a few updates, the spikes have reduced significantly, though it is still something that users have to watch out for.

Windows Shell Experience Host’s High CPU Or Memory Usage

Windows Shell Experience Host usually does not consume extensive computer resources. Sometimes it will eat up some of your resources when some graphical changes are executed, but it will quickly settle back down to zero once the change has been completed. So if you find that the ShellExperienceHost.exe process is taking up more than 25% of your CPU or RAM, then there is definitely something wrong with your computer.

When you notice that the Windows Shell Experience Host is taking up too much of your CPU or memory, it could mean that there are frequent changes to your Desktop interface that is overworking this process. For example, if your Desktop background regularly changes colors or you’re using a slideshow, then it means Windows Shell Experience Host will have to manage every visual changes on your Desktop.

Sometimes this problem is caused by outdated universal apps or the Windows operating system itself. Or perhaps there are corrupted system files on your computer that is causing the ShellExperienceHost.exe process to misbehave.

You can also refer to this guide for in-depth information about why Windows Shell Experience Host is behaving this way:

How to Fix Windows Shell Experience Host High CPU Or Memory Usage

Fortunately, issues with the Windows Shell Experience Host are easy to deal with. Here are some things you can do if you noticed that it is consuming more resources than it should.

Solution #1: Install all available updates.

Check if there are system and app updates that need to be installed in Windows Update. Click Start > Settings > Update & Security, then click the Check for updates button. Install all available updates and see if the problem has been resolved.

Solution #2: Change your background.

If you’re using a slideshow as a background, replace it with a static image or color. To do this, go to Settings > Personalization > Background, then choose either a solid color or upload a background image.

You should also disable the accent color option in the Personalization menu. Simply uncheck Automatically pick an accent color from my background.

Wrapping Up

Windows Shell Experience Host is an unfamiliar process to most Windows users, so it is often considered malicious when it causes high CPU or RAM usage. But before you decide to categorize it as malware, try the solutions above first to see if they are able to remedy the problem.

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