Guide to Reduce Windows News and Interest High Memory Usage

There’s been a surge of Windows 11 users reporting that the News & Interests widget is taking up most of the available RAM resources, slowing down their system to a crawl. This happens due to a bug in the code that Microsoft is still struggling to fix. This problem is confirmed to occur on both Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

High Memory usage of Windows News & Interests
High Memory usage of Windows News & Interests

Although the issue is all but eradicated on Windows 11, this memory leakage problem is still widespread on Windows 10. 

Potential causes include a missing Windows Update hotfix, an outdated Intel driver, or some type of system corruption. 

Here’s a short list of confirmed methods that should help you fix this issue: 

1. Install the available hotfix

This issue is more than 1 year old and Microsoft’s engineers have already released a couple of hotfixes aimed at fixing this issue on both Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

Although the issue is still not completely fixed, ensuring that the cumulative update KB5010415 is installed on your system should alleviate the problem of all your available RAM resources being taken up while the News & Interests widget is active. 

Note: The KB5010415 update is a cumulative update that also includes a fix for this widespread memory leak issue. 

This hotfix is available for every recent Windows version (Windows 10 and Windows 11). All you need to do to install it is to access the Windows Update pane and install every pending update. 

Here’s a quick guide on ensuring that the hotfix for the memory leakage issue is installed:

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” into the text box and click Ctrl + Shift + Enter to access the Windows Update tab in the Settings program.
    Access the Windows Update menu
    Access the Windows Update menu

    Note: Unless you altered the default UAC settings, an Account Control Prompt will appear after you press the combination above. Select Yes to allow administrative access to this instance.

  3. From the next menu, select Check for Updates from the menu on the right.
    Checking for Updates
    Checking for Updates
  4. Select Install Now to begin the installation procedure after the update has been downloaded locally.
    Note: This new button will only appear if at least one new update is available. 
  5. Restart your computer to determine if the problem has been resolved.

Note: If you can’t find this hotfix automatically via Windows Update, you can always use the Microsoft Update Catalog to download and install the update manually on Windows 10

2. Update Intel drivers

If you are using Intel drivers instead of relying on the generic software offered by Microsoft, this might be an indirect cause for the unusually high RAM usage of the News & Interests widget.

Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 are notorious for failing to update 3rd party drivers, even to the point of creating conflicts with them, where a generic driver is installed by default.

In this particular case, Intel has already adjusted its driver fleet with a series of fixes that will eradicate the issue. 

The simplest solution is to activate Intel Update Assistant and install the pending driver updates.

Here’s a quick guide on using the Intel Update Assistant to update every Intel driver to the latest ver:

  1. Use any web browser to visit the Intel Driver & Support Assistant website.
    Note: When using this tool for the first time, you will be prompted to download and install a small piece of software that will scan your system for outdated drivers and firmware. Install the local tool per the instructions if prompted.
  2. After the program has been locally installed, you must wait until it has finished searching for outdated drivers. If any instances are discovered, select Download All and wait for the application to download all necessary drivers.
    Download and install every pending Intel version
    Download and install every pending Intel version
  3. Choose Install All to update outdated drivers with Intel-specific equivalents.
  4. Restart your computer as advised, and then determine if the problem has been resolved.

3. Disable News & Interests via TaskBar Settings

If you’re like most Windows users and you never use the News & Interest widget, there’s no reason to allow the underlying process to run.

In this case, you can take care of the issue easily by effectively disabling the News & Interest widgets from the taskbar settings.

Note: If you do this, this widget will remain disabled and will no longer update itself with new news & interests in accordance with your preferences. If you intend to actually use the News & Interests widget, skip this method.

Here’s a quick guide on disabling the News & Interests widget via Taskbar:

  1. Right-click on a taskbar area that’s not populated by any app icons.
  2. From the context menu that just appeared, move your mouse over News & Interests to bring up the underlying context menu.
  3. Next, click on Turn off. 
    Turning off the News & Interests widget
    Turning off the News & Interests widget
  4. Reboot your PC to allow the changes to take effect.

4. Disable the widget via Gpedit.msc

If the widget is bugged to the point where you can’t interact with its Taskbar context menu, one additional way to prevent the News & Interests widget from hogging up the available RAM is to disable the underlying local group policy using the GPEDIT utility.

Note: Group Policy (gpedit) is a component of every Microsoft Windows operating system family that regulates the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. This utility is not present on every Windows edition – you won’t find it on Education, Home, and N editions of Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

To fix this issue, you’ll need to use the Local Group Policy Editor to access the Windows Component policies and disable the News & Interests policy.

Important: If you are on a Home edition of Windows, you can follow these steps to manually sideload gpedit on your system

Here’s a quick guide that will walk you through the steps of disabling the News & Interest widget via Gpedit.msc:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Next, type ‘gpedit.msc’ inside the text box, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Local Group Policy Editor with admin access. 
    Open up the Gpedit.msc utility
    Open up the Gpedit.msc utility
  3. At the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access. 
  4. Next, use the side menu on the left to expand the Computer Configuration options. 
  5. Navigate to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and Interests
  6. Move over to the right-hand side section and double-click on Enable news and Interests on the taskbar. 
  7. Inside the Policy Settings, set the main toggle to Disabled, then click on Apply to save the changes.
    Disable the policy
    Disable the policy
  8. Reboot your Windows PC to allow the changes to take effect. 

5. Terminate the underlying widget task

Another way to ensure that the News & Interests widgets are not permitted to hog any of your system resources is to completely remove them from your environment.

There are a couple of ways to do this, but the most user-friendly way is to use a Windows Terminal command to nuke the underlying widget task.

Note: Only consider this method if you don’t use this widget and you have no plans of using it in the future.

Follow the steps below to terminate the underlying widget task via Windows Terminal:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. 
  2. Next, type ‘wt’ inside the text box, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up a Windows Terminal window with admin access. 
    Access the Windows Terminal app
    Access the Windows Terminal app
  3. At the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access. 
  4. Inside the Windows Terminal app, type or paste the following command and press Enter to deploy it:
    REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Feeds" /v "EnableFeeds" /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
  5. Reboot your PC to allow the changes to take effect.

6. Clean install or reinstall Windows

If none of the aforementioned solutions worked, it’s likely that the enormous RAM usage of the News & Interests widget is caused by some type of system file corruption. In this instance, the only possible solution is to go for a procedure that resets every OS component.

You have two options for accomplishing this: a repair install or a clean install.

  • A clean install is a simple process that involves only a few mouse clicks and no installation discs. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you will likely lose the majority of your personal data (apps, games, user preferences, etc.) if they are not backed up beforehand.
  • A repair install would be the most effective option. This will require Windows installation DVD that is compatible, but it will allow you to retain all of your personal components, including applications, games, user preferences, and personal media. The process will only overwrite the OS components, leaving the rest of your data untouched.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamil Anwar


Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.
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Guide to Reduce Windows News and Interest High Memory Usage

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