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Runtime Broker High CPU Usage (FIXED): What Is Runtime Broker?

Runtime Broker is a Windows service that runs in the background. This is an essential service that keeps an eye on what UWP apps are accessing on your system. Specifically, all UWP apps are supposed to declare what devices/information on a system they will access and the Runtime Broker service makes sure they aren’t stepping out of line.

What is Runtime Broker?

The service is light and you won’t notice it unless you check in Task Manager. It’s also an essential app so it has to run no matter what. If it isn’t running on your Windows 10 system, you should be worried.

Runtime Broker will occasionally use a significant amount of processing power and you will see it spike in the CPU column in Task Manager however, it returns to 0% in a matter of seconds. The spike in CPU usage can be caught if you open a UWP app and you’re fast enough to find Runtime Broker in Task Manager’s processes list.

runtime broker

Fix Runtime Broker High CPU Usage

If the Runtime Broker is constantly using a significant amount of processing power, it isn’t normal and indicates a problem either with the system’s files. Try restarting your system and check if the service’s usage goes back down to normal. If it doesn’t, try the fixes below.

1. Change Windows 10 desktop settings

The constant high CPU usage by Runtime Broker may be caused by your desktop settings. These include, but are not limited to your lock screen settings and live tiles. Disable the following on your system and check if the Runtime broker’s usage goes back down to normal.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Personalization>Lock Screen.
  3. Open the Background dropdown and select Picture. 
  4. Select a static picture.
  5. In the Settings app, go to System>Notifications and actions.
  6. Uncheck the Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.
  7. Open the Start Menu.
  8. Right-click the Photos app.
  9. Go to More and select Turn off live tile.

Note: It may help to turn off all live tiles for all apps. 

2. Change registry settings

If changing the desktop settings doesn’t fix high CPU usage by Runtime broker, you can try editing the Windows registry to fix the problem. Be warned though, this solution will cause problems with Reminders by Cortana. If you don’t use the feature, you don’t have much to worry about.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter regedit and tap the Enter key.
  3. Go to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TimeBroker.
  4. Double-click the Start value and change its value to 00000004.

3. Quit OneDrive

OneDrive may be causing the spike in Runtime Broker’s usage. If you don’t use the app, you can uninstall it but to see if it is indeed causing problems, quit the app.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command to quit OneDrive: taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe.
  3. Check CPU usage by Runtime broker.
  4. If OneDrive was causing the problem, you can uninstall it with this command (for 32-bit Windows): %SystemRoot%System32OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall  or this command (for 64-bit Windows):%SystemRoot%SysWOW64OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall.
  5. Restart the system and install OneDrive again.
  6. Runtime Broker’s CPU usage should remain normal.

4. Uninstall Groove music

Groove Music is the stock audio player on Windows 10 and like OneDrive, it may be the reason Runtime Broker is using so much CPU power. You will have to uninstall the app to fix problems with it.

  1. Open PowerShell with admin rights.
  2. Run this command to uninstall Groove Music: Get-AppxPackage -name Microsoft.ZuneMusic | Remove-AppxPackage Get-AppxPackage -name Microsoft.Music.Preview | Remove-AppxPackage.

You can reinstall Groove Music from the Microsoft Store.

5. Disable background apps

This solution will make a significant impact on the apps you use and how they function.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcuts).
  2. Go to Privacy>Bacground apps.
  3. Turn the ‘Let apps run in the background’ switch off.

Conclusion

These fixes can help resolve high CPU usage by Runtime broker but there will be exceptions. If you’re unable to resolve the problem, you will have to install Windows 10 fresh or reset it. It’s not the simplest solution but it will work.

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