Skip to Content

How to Reduce High GPU Usage (Here’s How to Fix It!) 

How to Reduce High GPU Usage (Here’s How to Fix It!) 

Now that there are no programs open and your computer is idle, you’ve observed that the GPU is being used heavily. Unfortunately, both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards frequently experience excessive GPU utilization when your computer is not in use. 

Especially because it compels the fans to spin at full power, which can be loud, it can be extremely annoying, and even a bit frightening.

Additionally, since another service is using the GPU’s resources, you won’t be able to play games very well. Here’s how to reduce excessive GPU consumption. 

One common bug with overlay apps is high GPU consumption. Disable any GPU overlays and auto replay functions to reduce heavy GPU consumption. Open GeForce Experience on Nvidia. Disable Instant Replay under Settings > General > Settings. Launch Radeon Software Manager for AMD users. Disable in-game replay and overlay under the General tab. 

The excessive GPU utilization when idle is typically resolved by removing the GPU overlays and auto replay features. A significant improvement in frame rate while playing video games is also expected. 

In the end, GPU consumption when it is not in use should be zero. However, if your GPU utilization is excessive, it may be 50% or higher even while you’re on the desktop and have no open programs.

Even though no apps are active, the task manager will probably notice that the card is being utilized for video encoding. 

How to Identify Other Programs that Use a Lot of GPU?There’s a risk that you’ll notice programs using the GPU in the background. It’s possible that malicious software and Bitcoin miners are exploiting your GPU. Disabling any shady programs or services by selecting the starting tab in the task manager won’t do any harm. Real-time Protection, as well as Tamper Protection, should always be turned on.
Reinstall software and drivers thoroughly Software and driver problems can possibly be the root of the overlay bug. The issue may be resolved by reinstalling. 
How to Fix Nvidia High GPU Usage?Open GeForce Experience’s settings to access the In-Game Overlay area and turn off Instant Replay. Down the page, click Privacy Control to deactivate Desktop Capture. Once you’re back in GeForce Experience, disable the in-game overlay once you’re again in the game.
How to Fix AMD High GPU Usage?Turn off In-Game Replay, Record Desktop, and Capture of a Borderless Region among other settings in the latest version of AMD’s graphics card.
An Overview of the Article

The issues with high GPU usage 

You should try to resolve high GPU use when idle as soon as possible for several reasons. 

First off, excessive GPU use might cause your graphics card to overheat, forcing the fans to run continuously. This is probably why your PC sounds like a jet engine. 

More importantly, because resources are being consumed by unneeded background programs, the card won’t be able to run games at their maximum capacity. 

You may have the overlay bug if you’ve noticed that your frame rate in games is significantly lower than usual. In the event that a background application consumes 90% of your GPU, for instance, just 10% of the power will be accessible for gaming. 

Finally, operating a graphics card constantly at full power might shorten its lifespan and use far more electricity than usual, which could result in a much larger energy bill than you are accustomed to. 

The GPU used should always be less than 5% while the computer is idle, and no programs are running. When hardware acceleration is enabled, and HD videos at 1080P or greater are being watched, web browsers can cause GPU utilization. 

How to Fix Nvidia High GPU Usage? 

  • Open GeForce Experience’s 
  • To access settings, click the cog icon in the top right corner. 
  • To access the In-Game Overlay area, scroll below. 
  • Turn off Instant Replay. 
  • To access the overlay, click Settings (cog icon on the right). 
  • Down the page, click Privacy Control 
  • Deactivate Desktop Capture 
  • Disable the in-game overlay once you’re back in GeForce Experience. 
  • If it did, check Task Manager to make sure. There should be no GPU utilization. 

How to Reduce AMD High GPU Usage?

  • Open Radeon Software 
  • Click on the gear icon in the top right corner. 
  • Tap the General tab. 
  • Turn off Instant Replay. 
  • Disable In-Game Replay and disable Instant GIF 
  • Disable Record Desktop and turn off Display Indicator 
  • Disable Capture of a Borderless Region 

You should notice that the GPU use has decreased to the typical range when idle after the settings have been automatically saved. 

Remember that if some of the aforementioned services aren’t offered, it’s likely that your card doesn’t support them. If so, disable every service listed for your card, and the problem should be resolved. 

You can see any programs that are using the GPU by sorting the processes in the task manager by GPU utilization. 

NVIDIA Container may be using 50% or more of your GPU in the background, as you may have noticed. This problem is caused by an application named Radeon Settings Host Service, which uses a lot of GPU resources. 

How to Identify Other Programs that Use a Lot of GPU?

Other Programs that Use a Lot of GPU
Other Programs that Use a Lot of GPU 

Your GPU might be utilized by other outside programs. To see if any applications are using the GPU, launch the task manager and check the applications tab. 

To sort the applications by GPU utilization, tap the GPU column. If an overlay is the root of the issue, either NVIDIA Container or Radeon Settings Host Service will be using a lot of GPU resources. That problem should be resolved by turning off the overlays. 

Additionally, there’s a risk that you’ll notice a dubious program using the GPU in the background. It’s possible that malicious software and Bitcoin miners are exploiting your GPU’s resources without your knowledge. 

Close any program that uses a lot of GPU resources and isn’t one of the services mentioned previously. Disabling any shady programs or services by selecting the starting tab in the task manager won’t do any harm. 

Open Windows Security (enter it into the start menu) and select Virus & Threat protection if you think a virus is the root of the problem. To check your device for viruses and other unwanted software, select Quick Scan. Real-time Protection, as well as Tamper Protection, should always be turned on. 

Picture of the Blue Gene P Supercomputer
Blue Gene P Supercomputer

Reinstall software and drivers thoroughly 

Software and driver problems can possibly be the root of the overlay bug. The issue may be resolved by reinstalling. 

Uninstalling GeForce Experience or AMD Radeon Software from your programs can solve the problem if you think the software is to blame. 

Reinstall NVIDIA GPU drivers 

Download the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) tool, which will be used to thoroughly remove the NVIDIA driver files and settings and prepare your system for a fresh installation. Additionally, I advise removing GeForce Experience. 

Your screen could briefly flash as you run DDU to delete the drivers. Start your computer again. We must now download and set up the updated drivers. 

The most recent drivers can be downloaded manually or through GeForce Experience, which you can download first. For me, manually downloading the drivers is preferred. 

Enter your graphics card model on the NVIDIA Download Drivers page to download the most recent drivers. Let the installation finish after opening the file. Restart the computer once again. 

When a new driver update is available, GeForce Experience will notify you. 

AMD Radeon Drivers 

Although DDU can also be used to remove the files, AMD provides a utility specifically designed for driver file cleanup called AMD Cleanup Utility. 

You should use one of these applications first to completely purge your system of any AMD files and software, but either one will do the task. 

To install drivers, you have two options: either use AMD Radeon Software or manually. 

It’s a good idea to manually install the drivers if you think the software, is the problem. To download and install the most recent driver package, simply choose your AMD graphics card from the list

Gaming Monitor
Gaming room equipped with RGB powerful personal computer for online videogames tournament and gaming chair


What causes high GPU usage? 

Answer: High GPU utilization typically happens when an app uses more GPU resources than it should. It might also be that a program that isn’t supposed to utilize GPU resources is doing so. You can fix your issue if you can locate the problematic program. 

Is normal GPU utilization at 95%? 

Answer: If a game requires a lot of graphics, the GPU utilization can range from 60% to 100%. Normal GPU usage for gaming ranges from 95% to 100%. When rendering computer graphics, you should utilize your GPU to the fullest extent possible. Any less than that may result in bottlenecking problems. 

AMD or Nvidia: Which is superior? 

Answer: Nvidia chips typically tend to be more powerful, especially at the high end, whereas AMD cards offer greater value at lower price points and a more user-friendly graphical user interface. This is the most fundamental difference between AMD GPUs and Nvidia GPUs. 


  • If your computer’s GPU is frequently used when it is not in use, there is a good chance that the overlay services include a flaw.
  • The flaw is widespread in software from AMD and NVIDIA. The GPU use should return to normal when you turn off options like Instant Replay, Record Desktop, and In-Game Overlay. 
  • It’s crucial to address this problem as soon as you see it because it could significantly impact on your graphics card’s performance and shorten its lifespan. 
  • I advise performing a clean install of the drivers and re-installing the related applications if deactivating the overlays does not solve the problem. 

Other Articles: