Fix: wifitask.exe is causing High CPU Usage

Windows 10 is a great addition to the line of Microsoft’s Operating Systems. It has been well received in the majority. Where home users are migrating towards Windows 10 in bulks, corporations have also started deploying it in workplaces too. As its number of users increase, bugs and glitches are bound to be discovered as time passes no software is perfect and Windows 10 operating system is a mighty big software. Microsoft is also working on the bugs and issues that are brought to their knowledge and are being discovered daily but the time Microsoft takes to resolve them is simply isn’t fast enough.

One of the issues users recently have started reporting is a full and constant 100 % or nearly 100 % usage of their CPUs which slows down their computers significantly. On a closer look, probably in the Details tab, a user may find that a process named wifitask.exe would be taking up about 30-80% of the CPUs capacity, causing the eventual high CPU usage. A user my try ending that task hence reducing the CPU usage but it will only be a temporary victory as the task will automatically start again and the usage will climb back up bringing you back to square one.

The process in question here, wifitask.exe, is a Wi-Fi Background Task and is security related process associated with the Windows 10 Operating system so need to worry about malwares or anything. Mostly it is due to a malfunction in Windows Defender, an anti-malware program, which causes the wifitask.exe to behave like this. Following are the solutions that are known to bring the wifitask.exe behavior back to normal.

Solution 1: Verify Your Windows Account

You can skip this solution if you are using a local account in Windows only but if you synced your E-mail account with Windows then this can be the solution you need. If you have made some significant changes recently, Windows may put your account in an Unverified state causing its security processes like wifitask.exe to start up and go running around the processes causing the High CPU Usage.

To Verify it, simply Press and Hold the Windows key and Press I. Settings Windows will appear.

Click on Accounts.

In a light blue shade, you can see the Verify button under your Account name. Click it.

Enter your Email Account’s password that is synced with the Windows account. The verification method may differ and you may have to enter an alternate e-mail address or your phone number’s last 4 digits that is associated with your email account and a security code will then be sent to it.

Click Next and then Enter the security code you received on the phone number or the email address. And now Click Next.

Once your Microsoft account is verified, check if the issue resolved. If not, move on to the next solution.

Solution 2: Use a Substitute for Windows Defender

The process in question, wifitask.exe is a child process of Microsoft Defender, the default anti malware application in Windows 10. Due to a broken patch installed, it is known to cause high CPU usage and Disk usage. What can be done here is that you can use another 3rd Party Anti Malware application that would automatically turn of Microsoft Defender hence this problem, should be resolved.

There are many good and free Anti Malware applications out there like AVAST Antivirus, AVG, ESET Smart Security for Windows, although users have reported that AVAST Free Antivirus has worked specifically for this issue. You can Download it from this link.

After downloading, Run the downloaded file and Follow the on screen instructions. Once installed, check of the issue resolved. If not, move on to the next solution.

Solution 3: Turn Off Automatically enhance my photos

With the many new features introduced in Windows 10, one is the Automatic Enhancer in Windows Photo application which as the name suggests automatically enhances the brightness, contrast, etc. in your photos. In some cases, this feature is known to trigger this High CPU usage with wifitask.exe using the most of the CPU.

To turn it off, Press the Windows key to bring up the Start (Search) menu.

Click on All apps.

Scroll down and Click on Photos to run the Photos app.

Once the Photos app window appears, Click on Settings on the lower left corner of the screen.

On the Viewing and editing section, under “Automatically enhance my photos” and “When photos have online duplicates or digital negative, show just one“, Click on the left side of the slider button to Turn them off. The slider button will turn white.

Now Restart your system. The issue should be resolved now.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: wifitask.exe is causing High CPU Usage

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