System idle process

What is the role and need of system idle process in a Windows operating system?

The system idle process is a process which runs on the PC when the CPU has is not running. It means that the system idle process is software which runs when the computer system has no task to perform. Actually, the system idle process is not a process, but is a counter which is displayed in the Windows Task Manager used for measuring how much idle time the CPU is having at a particular time. This will also display how much CPU Resources, as percentages are 'idle' and accessible for use. The system idle process functions in the backdrop of every Windows Operating System. To find out the CPU usage during a system idle process, open the Windows task manager, by pressing the combination Ctrl+Del+Alt keys.

Discussed below are the role and issues related to system idle process:

  • Role of system idle process

  • Major functions

  • Some issues faced

Role of system idle process

If you are busy on the PC with lots of different applications open, you can expect the system idle process to fall significantly. After all, it is there as an indicator of how idle your CPU is. If you find that programs are under performing or if it is running slow, never end the system idle process. This will not help you to increase the performance; instead it may crash your PC in certain situations.

Major functions

System idle process constantly calculates the memory usage and the available resources. If you have a high figure like higher 90s, it means that your CPU is remaining idle with plenty of power to play with. It does not mean that 99% of your resources are being drained by the system idle process. One of the main functions of system idle process is power saving. In Windows 2000 and later versions of the Operating System, threads are employed by the system idle process in saving power. The process of power saving can be understood correctly by obtaining information about the firmware and hardware capabilities of the system being used.

Some issues faced

You may notice that sometimes a computer can be very slow when it returns from an idle state. It can be frustrating when your computer suddenly becomes a laggard by not running any applications. This is usually a sign that your drivers are damaged. Then you have to verify through the list of installed drivers and upgrade them as soon as possible. Sometimes, you may even have to re-install Windows. You will find that the Ssystem idle process is at its most demanding when high videos are being placed on the graphics card. Most applications should run on a PC with reasonable specifications, but if you start playing videos or the latest PC games, you will observe that it gives the system idle process a battering. Video cards place tremendous demands on the CPU and this can leave your system idle process with close to zero resources. Another issue to be cared about is the effect of anti-malware software. Some malicious users are known to move spyware which intentionally wraps itself to look like the system idle process.

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