How to Fix Discord’s High CPU Usage Problem?

Using Discord, you might occasionally encounter high CPU usage, which can significantly hinder multitasking capabilities and slow down the performance of other applications since Discord consumes a substantial portion of the CPU. This excessive CPU usage can also lead to lags while gaming.

The problem may stem from various sources, such as VOIP (voice over internet protocol) during voice calls, instant messaging, receiving messages, or mentions, which cause Discord to process animations in the background, leading to high CPU usage.

This article provides guidance on how to mitigate Discord’s CPU consumption while it operates in the background.

1. Disable Hardware Acceleration

Hardware acceleration allows Discord to utilize your GPU to operate smoothly in the background, but this can also increase CPU load and cause spikes in usage. Turning off hardware acceleration can prevent Discord from excessively running in the background.

  1. Open Discord’s User Settings.
  2. Navigate to Appearance and switch off Hardware Acceleration.
  3. In the confirmation prompt, click Okay to apply the changes.

2. Disable Discord Overlay

Discord’s overlay allows users to interact on the platform without having to leave the game interface. However, this feature requires resources, potentially leading to high CPU usage. Disabling the overlay may rectify the issue.

  1. Again, go to Discord’s User Settings.
  2. Select Overlay on the left panel and disable Enable in-game overlay.
    Disable in-game overlay

3. Disable Voice Processing Features

Discord enhances voice chat with features like noise suppression and echo cancellation. While they improve voice quality, they also consume considerable CPU resources. Disabling these features may lessen CPU load.

  1. Go to Discord’s Voice & Video settings.
  2. Disable the following options:
    • OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc.
    • Hardware Acceleration
    • Echo Cancellation
    • Noise Suppression
    • Automatic Gain Control
    • Advanced Voice Activity
    Disable voice features
  3. Restart the Discord application to effect changes.

4. Enable Reduced Motion

The Reduced Motion setting curtails animations within the Discord app to conserve memory and CPU usage. Activating this feature may help to decrease CPU usage.

  1. Access Discord’s Accessibility settings.
  2. Toggle the switch for Reduce Motion to the “on” position.

5. Reinstall Discord

If none of the previous solutions resolve the high CPU usage, the issue could lie with the installation files of Discord. In this case, it is advisable to uninstall the application and install a fresh copy.

  1. Press Windows + R, type appwiz.cpl, and hit Enter.
    Opens Programs and Features
  2. Locate Discord in the list, select it, then click Uninstall.
  3. Follow the instructions to remove the application from your system.
  4. After uninstallation, visit the official Discord website, download, and reinstall the application.

By following these steps, you should be able to alleviate high CPU usage issues with Discord. Additional strategies include ensuring your drivers are up to date, closing unnecessary applications running concurrently with Discord, and regularly checking for Discord updates that may provide performance enhancements and bug fixes.


Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.