What is “System and compressed memory” high CPU or memory usage

Some users reported they have too high CPU, Disk, or Memory usage due to the System and compressed memory process. In such a case, it is easy to see this process hanging around the top of resource monitors in Task Manager and consuming the biggest percent. Initially, the process you are having problems with is related to RAM function and compression of existing files and folders. While its function is important indeed, it should not be taking too many resources to run successfully. Usually, no background process takes so much memory and CPU to process the function. However, there are still some cases when process behavior goes off the road and starts acting up crazy. As a result, users hear their cooling system spin at its fastest to prevent excessive temperatures and save their PC from overheating. In addition to this, high CPU or memory usage means you are guaranteed to experience problems with system performance like lags or even forced termination of PC. Such a stability fault may be related to various factors like wrong configuration settings, compatibility conflicts, malicious presence, or even physical memory issues. Whether you have them or not, it is important to check and not go into solving the problem blindfolded. Manual attempts to fix the problem may give no fruits or even deteriorate the existing issue. This is why it is better to designate this task to guides with already established solutions that will get rid of the issue. If you are the victim of high CPU and memory usage coming from the “System and compressed memory” process, follow our tutorial below.

Download Windows Repair Tool

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 to fix the “System and compressed memory high CPU or memory usage” problem in Windows 10.

1. Use System Maintenance Troubleshooter

The first and probably faster solution to try on our list is System Maintenance Troubleshooter. It is an in-built utility helping users get rid of unused data like files or shortcuts causing some instability problems. Believe it or not, this may actually be the case why you have your resources go wild with the “System and compressed memory” process. Perform these easy steps below:

  1. Type System Maintenance into the search box next to Start Menu and open it up.
  2. On the first page of the opened window, click Advanced and choose Run as administrator. This is important to do to allow Windows to scan deeper and rarer locations to find unnoticed issues.
  3. Then click Next and follow on-screen instructions.

If there is something missing or damaged, Windows will apply the necessary measures to address it and revert your PC back to a flawless experience. After this, check whether you have the same problems with high resource usage.

2. Check integrity of system files

The whole Windows system is correlated with various files that are responsible for proper communication and function between many activities. If some important files are missing, they can become the cause for potential errors in different segments. This is why it is worth checking if all files are present and not missing. Some users reported it was the case, which therefore fixed abnormally high level of resource usage. 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, if any. If SFC does not pull off a successful solution, make sure to use the DISM scan as well.

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.

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.

We hope the issue is no longer the source of worry for you.

3. Make sure Paging file size for all drives is managed in Automatic mode

Usually, this option related to proper memory compression is set to run automatically in Virtual Memory Settings. However, if you have it changed to custom values for some reason, this may result in problems with malfunctioned behavior of the “System and compressed memory” process. Thus, we encourage you to check whether it is the case or not and only then move on to the next solutions below.

  1. Open This PC and right-click on empty space under your disks.
  2. Choose Properties and navigate to Advanced system settings.
  3. Under Performance, click Settings.
  4. Go to Advanced tab and click on Change under Virtual Memory.
  5. In the pop-up window, make sure the box next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drives is selected.
  6. If you had this option enabled already, this means you do not have problems with it. In case of the opposite, go check whether you still have your system resources overloaded by the process. We hope they no longer are.

    4. Adjust Visaul Effects settings

    This method is another easy-to-use solution that may be able to fix the problem. It is executed using similar steps to the above so let’s try it as our next solution.

    1. Perform the first three steps from the above solution.
    2. After entering Settings, select an option called Adjust for best performance.
    3. Then click Apply and OK buttons to save the changes.
    4. Finally, reboot your system and check if no resource problems appear.

    5. Turn off Full Memory Diagnostic Task

    Another potential action that could sort this out with unbearably high resource consumption is to disable the “Full Memory Diagnostic” task. For this, we will have to enter Task Scheduler and find the necessary task to disable. It is easy and does not take too much time, so follow the steps below:

    1. Type taskschd.msc in the searching box next to the Start Menu button and press Enter (If prompted by UAC, click on Yes).
    2. On the left pane, double-click on Task Scheduler Library and navigate to Microsoft > Windows.
    3. After expanding Windows folder, find and click on MemoryDiagnostic.
    4. On the right pane, right-click on the RunFullmemoryDiagnostic task and choose Disable.
    5. After this, restart your PC and check if the same problem persists.

    6. Terminate SysMain service

    Also known as Superfetch, SysMain is a native Windows process designed to optimize faster and smoother boot-up of applications. Sometimes it may cause conflicts raising performance issues with other enabled processes. Although SysMain is an integral part of the Windows service family, you are free to disable it without consequences. It also does not mean you will experience a significant change in the speed of app opening. Below, we have presented a couple of different ways you can disable the SysMain (Superfetch) service on your PC. Choose whichever you want.

    Disable SysMain using Windows Services

    1. Press Windows key + R together and type services.msc into the window.
    2. Open it up and search for SysMain or Superfetch service (the name depends on which Windows version you use).
    3. Once found, right-click on it and choose Properties.
    4. In General tab, click on Stop and then OK to save the changes.

    Disable SysMain using Command Prompt

    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 has opened, insert this command and click Enter.

    4. sc stop "SysMain"
      sc config "SysMain" start=disabled

    5. At the end of the process, you should see ChangeServiceConfig Success at the bottom of console.

    Disable SysMain using Registry Editor

    1. Press Windows key + R together as we did above and type regedit in the box.
    2. Click Yes if prompted by the User Account Control window.
    3. On the left side of Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SysMain.
    4. After clicking on SysMain, you will see a list of entries on the right pane.
    5. Find and right-click on Start, choose Modify, and type 4 in Value data.
    6. Click OK and close the window.

    Now go to Task Manager and check if your CPU, Disk, and Memory usage has changed. If not, continue following our guide to perform other solutions.

    7. Close Speech Runtime Executable

    A number of users found this solution to work. Specifically, they figured out a process named Speech Runtime Executable was exactly the culprit leading to the overloaded resource monitor. On the initial basis, this process does some business related to using audio recording devices like microphones. This is indeed unfortunate to see this conflict happen, but you may need to stop it from running to resolve the high usage problem. Here is how:

    1. Right-click on Start Menu and choose Task Mananger. You can also use a combination of Ctrl + Shift + Esc buttons to access it faster.
    2. In the Processes tab, find a process named Speech Runtime Executable and terminate by clicking End task.
      1. This is all done. Go to the neighboring tab in the same Task Manager and check if resource consumption has changed.

        8. Launch your PC in Clean Bootup

        It is quite common to see many third-party applications downloaded from the web cause conflict problems. Such software may interlace with native Windows processes and run into unusual behavior with certain services. If you remember installing a recent application from the internet, after which, you started having the issue, find and delete it from your computer. Malicious presence may also be part of this list as there are some viruses coping the names of official Windows services to avoid anti-malware detection. Thus, make sure to run a complete scan of your system. Before doing that, let’s see if this is actually needed by launching your PC in Clean bootup mode. It allows users to boot their system only with in-built apps and services to find out whether some secondary app prompts the issue. To do it, follow the steps below:

        1. Press Windows key + R combination and paste msconfig.
        2. Then in the opened window go to the Services tab located on top.
        3. Check the box next to Hide All Microsoft Services and click on the Disable all button.
        4. Now choose the General tab and select the Selective startup option. Make sure that the box is checked only next to the Load System Services.
        5. Click Apply and OK. Then reboot your PC.

        Now you can check resource usage while being in the Clean Bootup mode. After doing that, it is important to turn your PC back to its normal settings. Simply redo all the steps you implemented above by enabling the disabled services and changing your startup option from Selective to Normal. If there is no sign of pressure as it was before, then there is a chance that some third-party software is causing the issue. To find it out, you can delete the recently installed program or let specialized software do this on its own. One of the best anti-malware programs that manifest good performance in detecting and combating malware/potentially unwanted programs is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. You can download it via the button below.

        Download Malwarebytes

        Summary

        We already know that “System and compressed memory” is directly related to RAM (Random Access Memory) management. If none of the above solutions contributed to rectifying the problem, we may assume the issue lurks in RAM as a hardware component. If you are a PC owner, try to detach your RAM from the slot and connect it back again. It is possible there is dust or other elements denying the proper connection. Remove it and monitor the level of resources again. Keep in mind that you should perform these manipulations only when your PC is off. Never remove hardware components when the PC is working – this may lead to permanent damage. If you still struggle to get over this issue, try to reinstall your operating system to make sure everything works from scratch. Let us know how it went in the comments below.

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