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CPU running at 60% and higher but when I open task manager it drops to 2%?

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Recently I've been running into issues where my computer has been running incredibly slow, so my first thought was to check task manager to see whats clogging up the CPU. Every time I open it though it immediately reads as 60% or higher and than lowers to 1% a second later, leading me to believe that some sort of malware or something of the like is hiding its CPU usage every time I check task manager. I've ran multiple scans using Malwarebytes (note: with rootkit scan enabled) and it hasn't come up with a single thing, could I get a hand?

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Hello Blitz    :welcome:

When one starts Task Manager,  one must have patience and allow the system to settle down for at least One Minute.  The measurement displays on Task Manager take a good while to reflect a true readout !   Do not expect accuracy right at the very start.   Let the applet settle down.

If this is your only "issue"  then discount it.


The CPU usage can fluctuate depending on all sorts of conditions.  It  ( high cpu usage  at some moment in time) does not mean that there is some kind of "infection".

For example, it can be due to the mix of tasks ( jobs )  and programs in use.   Also, Task manager will MOST Often show at 100%  when first displaying.  You must wait a few minutes for Task Manager to stabilize with real numbers

You need to have patience / allow Task Manager to settle in.  The behavior you describe is not unusual.

Task Manager will settle down in most cases after a while.

The question needing to be asked:  What are you trying to get to ?

IF you are suspecting some kind of infection  - - - >  do scans with Malwarebytes for Windows.

Then, later on, take an inventory of all of the programs on your box that are auto-started with Windows.

See what programs are NOT a absolute-must-have for auto-start.


You may  want to review this topic and see if it applies to your system as well.   It takes a while for Task Manager to compute tasks & then refresh the display..

Edited by AdvancedSetup
corrected font issue
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That is fine  & expected.    😄

Just use Malwarebytes for Windows or Windows Defender antivirus   ( or other security app)  to do the checking if you suspect some kind of infection.


Backup is your best friend.  Keep backups of your system on a regular basis to offline storage & keep those safe. https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/136226-backup-software/

It is not enough to just have a security program installed. Each pc user needs to practice daily safe computer and internet use.

Best  practices & malware prevention:
Follow best practices when browsing the Internet, especially on opening links coming from untrusted sources.
First rule of internet safety: slow down & think before you "click".
Never click links without first hovering your mouse over the link and seeing if it is going to an odd address ( one that does not fit or is odd looking or has typos).

Free games & free programs are like "candy". We do not accept them from "strangers".

Never open attachments that come with unexpected ( out of the blue ) email no matter how enticing.
Never open attachments from the email itself. Do not double click in the email. Always Save first and then scan with antivirus program.

Pay close attention when installing 3rd-party programs. It is important that you pay attention to the license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed.
Take great care in every stage of the process and every offer screen, and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next".

Use a Standard user account rather than an administrator-rights account when "surfing" the web.
See more info on Corrine's SecurityGarden Blog http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_7.html
Dont remove your current login. Just use the new Standard-user-level one for everyday use while on the internet.

Do a Windows Update.

Make certain that Automatic Updates is enabled.

Keep your system and programs up to date. Several programs release security updates on a regular basis to patch vulnerabilities. Keeping your software patched up prevents attackers from being able to exploit them to drop malware.

For other added tips, read "10 easy ways to prevent malware infection"


Keep in mind that you can still Upgrade for free to Windows 10 from Microsoft.    That would get this machine onto a more modern and more secure Operating System,  At zero cost.

Ed Bott at ZDNet has a excellent resource article   from May 2020



Stay safe.  I wish you all the best.   😎



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  • Root Admin

Glad we could help.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this thread. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.

Please review the following for Tips to help protect from infection

Thank you



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