How to Fix Modern Setup Host – High CPU and Disk Usage

Recover your PC's resources

Modern Host Setup Guide

Modern Setup Host is a piece of software designed by Microsoft that is baked into every PC and version of Windows 10 and 11 to handle the update process that they now do in the background. The issue is, that this program can often suck up resources it isn’t supposed to, mainly due to a number of reasons.

Why is Modern Setup Host using 100% of my Disk?

Because Modern Setup Host (MSH) is made to bring updates to Windows with as little trouble as possible, it’s got to use your disk drive to download them. However, because Windows 10 is pretty agnostic with specifications – unlike Windows 11 – it can find itself installed on hardware that just can’t cope with the speed at which it is expected to keep up.

If your disk drive is failing, old or you’ve canceled the Modern Setup Host via one of the methods below, you might find that an excess of old data has begun to clog up the system, that it is actively trying to delete the many files that have found themselves in your drive.

Why is Modern Setup Host using 100% of my CPU?

As said above, if the specifications of your machine don’t match with the modern needs, you can find that your PC just might not make the cut. However, as well as mentioned above, the PC might be working frantically to not only pull in a download connection but also clear the PC of old data at the same time.

Essentially, it might be time to upgrade.

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How to fix Modern Setup Host

Follow the steps below and we’ll take you through what to do! It’s very easy, but you’ll find that it’ll either alleviate the various issues you’re running into.

STEP
1

Task Manager

Head to the Start Menu or Search Bar/Button, then search for Task Manager. You can also hit CTRL+ALT+Delete, then select Task Manager.

If you end up with a little box and not the full-sized as shown in the picture above, then just press More Details in the corner.

While the PC I’m on actually is fully updated and doesn’t feature the MSH in the list, we’ll use an equally irritating program to demonstrate. 

STEP
2

End Process

There are two methods to doing this, you can either highlight the program and hit End Process, this will immediately kill the program and stop it in its tracks. There’s also a dedicated button at the bottom.

Be aware, doing this can have minor consequences if the PC was mid-download or mid-deletion, which can lead to it repeating the same issues once you restart or reboot the program manually.

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Command Line

This is a little bit more… high-tech, but you only have to copy three lines and wait a little bit. To start, of course, head to Start. Type in CMD to bring up the Command Prompt.

Don’t click as usual, but right-click to bring up the contextual menu and Run as Administrator. We need the elevated controls to get this to work.

The fearsome black box will appear, but don’t get scared off, as we’ll have it under our control sooner than later.

STEP
2

DISM.exe

Once in, we’ll be handling the DISM.exe, Deployment Image Servicing, and Management, which essentially hits the drive with another level of preparedness for updates and installs.

Run the following commands, waiting for each one to finish before the next. You can copy these off this page as usual but just right-click in the Command Prompt to paste into it, as CTRL+V might not work.

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Checkhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

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Last Resort: Disable Updates

If for whatever reason, this becomes a regular occurrence and upgrading or replacing the hardware just isn’t an option, you can turn off Windows Updates altogether.

Kill the Process as stated above, then in Start/Search type ‘Run’. In Run, we want to go to services.msc.

STEP
2

Change Windows Update Properties

This will bring up the Services menu, it’s a thick list of everything that the PC does on a frequent basis and can be very damaging to the PC if you begin to wander off to change various settings.

Run down the list and find Windows Update, right-click and go to Properties.

In the Properties Menu we only really need to change a couple of settings, both in drop-down menus. First, Startup Type, choose Disable, and following that, Recovery, choose the first option which should be set to automatically try again once it fails. Again disable this by choosing ‘Take No Action’.

This is the last resort to take, as disabling the Windows Update for too long can leave your PC vulnerable to viruses, attacks, or ransomware.