What is Modern Setup Host

Also known as SetupHost.exe, Modern Setup Host is an important Windows component that is responsible for the proper installation of updates. Whenever users upgrade their system, Modern Setup Host launches in the background mode to finish the update. The component can work in active mode for up to 4 hours depending on the size of installing updates. It is normal to see Modern Setup Host allocated with most resources in Task Manager whilst updating your system. Unfortunately, during its vital activity, some users experience severe drops in system performance due to excessively high resource usage. CPU, Disk, or even Memory can be overloaded to 100% resulting in freezes and system crashes eventually. This, therefore, prevents users from installing updates correctly. Sometimes it may be hard to detect the issue unless you know the most common origins of it. As a rule, the main reasons that cause SetupHost.exe to soar up in resource consumption are low hard drive capacity, the presence of malware, corruption, and incompatibility issues. To make sure the problem is solved, follow our tutorial down below.

modern setup host (setup.exe) high disk and cpu usage

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Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair Pro to fix the “SetupHost.exe High CPU and Disk Usage” problem in Windows 10.

1. Turn off unnecessary tasks running in the background

To start combating the issue, you can try to lower resource consumption by disabling unnecessary processes. We are going to switch off some features in Notifications, Windows Defender, and Background apps settings to decrease the number of tasks working whilst Modern Setup Host is on. Follow our instructions right below.

Notifications & actions:

  1. Press Windows key + I buttons at the same time to open up Settings.
  2. Then navigate to System > Notifications & actions.
  3. On the right pane of visible features, unmark the box next to Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.
  4. Now, go back to Settings and choose Personalization. Click Start on the left pane and disable the Show suggestions occasionally in Start option.

Windows Security:

  1. Open Settings as we did above.
  2. This time go to Update & Security.
  3. On the left pane choose Windows Security.
  4. Then click on App & Browser control, go to Reputation-based protection settings, and toggle off SmartScreen under Check apps and files.
  5. It is important to enable this feature back after installing the updates.

Background apps:

  1. Open Settings as we did previously.
  2. Choose Privacy and open Background apps.
  3. Scroll down the list and toggle off apps you do not use. It is a good idea to disable default Microsoft games as most users do not use them at all.

After performing all of these steps, you should see a difference in the consumption of resources. If not, try to use other methods presented below.

2. Check integrity of the system files

If there are any updates struggling to get successfully installed, it can cause Modern Setup Host to run into problems as well. The reason for that may also be due to missing or damaged files. Such files are usually inherently linked between many Windows services that ensure sustainable update performance. If some of these files are out of their native environment, more likely it will be the reason for update problems. Below, we are going to use both SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), which will detect and restore absent components. Here is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC and install the update again.

After performing both of these scans, attempt to install a problematic update again. Modern Host Setup should no longer be crashing your system. If this does not work, move on to the other steps mentioned below.

3. Reset Windows Update components

One more reason for being unable to succeed in updating your system is corrupted or overloaded update components. It is also possible that some configuration settings have been damaged, which led to the instability of some Windows components. Thus, a good method to try is resetting Windows Update settings. It is very helpful and proven to be effective in many cases. The whole procedure involves restarting BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer, and Windows Update services as well as renaming some update folders (SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2). These folders contain special signatures for Windows Updates. Based on this, we will force Windows to delete corrupted elements and create update components from scratch. We are going to use the console to run the necessary commands. This is more advanced, yet will not take too much time and knowledge to do it. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Copy-paste this list of commands one by one clicking Enter after each. (This action will disable services responsible for Windows Updates)
  4. net stop wuauserv
    net stop cryptSvc
    net stop bits
    net stop msiserver

  5. Then, we have to rename the above-mentioned folders. Simply paste these commands by clicking Enter after each.
  6. ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
    ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

  7. Finally, all left to do is to turn the disabled services back. So apply these commands likewise we did previously.
  8. net start wuauserv
    net start cryptSvc
    net start bits
    net start msiserver

  9. Now we are all done with it. Go to the Windows Update center and check if you are able to install the update again.

4. Turn off/delete third-party software

Third-party software like antivirus can be potentially tied in causing compatibility issues. Usually, it happens due to firewall settings that make some processes fault and eat big amounts of resources. Thus, we recommend you turn off your antivirus and try to install the update again. Once you end up successfully installing the update, enable the previously closed antivirus. If this did not help, there is a chance that Modern Setup Host (SetupHost.exe) is actually malicious. Malware developers tend to disguise their malware as legitimate Windows processes. Therefore, try to scan your PC for malicious or unwanted software. We recommend using anti-malware software developed by Malwarebytes as it has been exceptionally good at detecting and removing potentially harmful programs. Before closing this paragraph, it is also important to know that any third-party software installed from the web has a chance of raising a conflict within Update settings. If you remember downloading anything from the web recently, try to delete it and check if anything changed.

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We hope you were able to capitalize on the above-mentioned solutions. Modern Setup Host launches only during Windows updates. Too high CPU or Disk usage can trigger your system to crash, which might make updating your system impossible. Sometimes system freezes and unexpected crashes can be tied to low hard drive capacity, which struggles to render many processes at a time. If this is your case, make sure to close all unnecessary tasks to alleviate Windows and let it upgrade your system more easily. If you ever end up facing other Windows problems in the future, search for the issue topic on our website. There are countless old and new articles added up there on a daily basis.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here