Fix Windows Shell Experience Host process using too much memory/CPU

The Windows Shell Experience Host process may use quite a bit of memory or CPU when it is running.

To find out whether this is the case on your machine running Windows 10, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Task Manager.

Click the “more details” link at the bottom left of it and locate the Windows Shell Experience Host process in the listing. You may click on name to sort the processes alphabetically which may make it easier to find it in the listing.

The process name is ShellExperienceHost.exe and on the right of it you will find its cpu and memory use.

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Use may be normal, as was the case on the Windows 10 computer we tested this on, or too high. Too high means that you will see constant or higher than usual cpu and memory usage.

windows shell experience host

The description simply repeats the name of the process which is not helpful in finding out why it is running.

While the full functionality of the process is unclear right now, it is linked to the desktop background of the system, or more precisely, to the automatic color changing of interface elements based on the wallpaper’s dominant color.

Users of Windows 10 who reported these issues managed to resolve them by turning off the automatic color changing based on the wallpaper. Note that the feature is enabled even if you only use a single wallpaper.

To resolve it, do the following

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  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type Settings and hit enter.
  2. Navigate to Personalization > Colors.
  3. Turn off “Automatically pick an accent color from my background”, and select a static color instead.

You should notice that cpu and memory go down after the change. There may be more to the process than just that but making the change fixed it on several systems that ran into the issue in the past.


Article Name

Fix Windows Shell Experience Host process using too much memory/CPU


Martin Brinkmann


Find out what you can do if the Windows Shell Experience Host process uses too much memory or CPU on Windows 10.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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