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How To Fix WindowsServer CPU Usage On MacOS

Using a Mac and frequently checking the Activity Monitor you will notice that the WindowsServer process consumes a lot of CPU power. You can fix WindowsServer CPU usage on your Mac easily, however, this single process should not be using that much CPU power. So let us check out why it uses so much CPU power.

In this article, we will explain in 6 points how to lower this CPU usage on your Mac.

Fix WindowServer Usage On Mac

What is WindowServer Process on Mac? Is it Safe?

WindowServer Process is the macOS process responsible for dealing with all the visual side of the desktop, such as the Dock bar, Menu bar, and others.

It is the process that controls the interaction between the UI and the macOS hardware, and it is also pretty essential.

Since the WindowServer Process is an integral part of macOS, it is safe, and there are reasons why you are seeing higher CPU usage of the WindowServer Process on your Mac.

If you have too many folders or files placed on your desktop or activated effects such as transparency or drop shadows, then the WindowServer Process can be overloaded and take up too much CPU power.

In the worst-case scenario, if the WindowServer Process takes up too much CPU power, it can cause the programs to lag, making accessing Finder difficult.

How to Lower WindowServer CPU Usage on your Mac?

1. Reduce the number of files/folders on your desktop

Lower WindowServer CPU Usage

For example, if you have 20 files on your desktop and 10 folders along with them, it means you have 30 visual elements on your desktop.

And since we mentioned earlier that the WindowServer process handles all the visual elements on your desktop, it will need to run 30 times to produce these results.

Instead, if you can reduce the files to zero by including them all inside a single folder, then your elements can be reduced to 10-11 folders, and if you can, shrink the folders to just a single one, then it would be ideal.

2. Close Unnecessary Windows

By this time, you must have known that more the elements you have on your Mac, the WindowServer Process will find it much more challenging to run and will take up CPU power.

Therefore, if you have opened too many windows on your Mac, we recommend you close the windows that are not required.

This includes all the browser tabs you have opened in the background but are of no use anymore and programs that might be open in the background.

3. Deactivate Transparent Effects

We have already mentioned earlier that if you have activated transparency effects on your PC, they are responsible for WindowServer Process taking too much CPU power as these processes are resource-heavy.

However, if you deactivate these transparency effects on your Mac, then the CPU usage can be lowered to a great extent.

To deactivate the transparency effects on your Mac, follow these steps:

  • Go to System Preferences > Accessibility and go to the Display option.
  • Check the box next to Reduce Transparency.

Lower WindowServer CPU Usage

This will reduce the transparency effects on your desktop, but it will help you lower the WindowServer CPU Usage on your Mac.

4. Reduce Additional Desktops

We have heard from several users who were facing the WindowServer High CPU usage problem that they could lower the CPU usage by reducing the additional desktops they had running on their Mac.

So we tried it on our Mac and found this method to work, which is why we added this to our list.

Fix WindowsServer CPU Usage On MacOS

To reduce additional desktops, you have to follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to Mission Control on your Mac by pressing the F5 button.
  • Hover the mouse pointer on the desktop you are not using right now.
  • Click the X button to close it.

5. Switch off Spaces for Multiple Displays

If you are using multiple displays set up with your Mac, you must have a separate space for each display you have connected.

However, this also causes the WindowServer Process to take high CPU power, so we recommend you switch off spaces for each display to reduce the CPU usage.

  • To do this, go to System Preferences and Mission Control.
  • Click on the setting that says Displays have separate spaces and toggle it off.
  • Now, reboot your Mac for changes to take effect, and then you will notice the WindowServer CPU usage will be reduced.

6. Remove Apps from your Mac

Some apps installed on your Mac can also be responsible for your WindowServer process taking high CPU power.

This is why we recommend you manually check which app is taking too much CPU power and then remove it from your Mac so that the CPU usage can be reduced.

Go through the list of your installed apps and remove the ones you are no longer using.

Fix WindowsServer CPU Usage On MacOS

Also, remove the apps that you don’t remember installing because they might have been bundled with some other apps you installed.

To delete an application on your Mac, follow these steps:

  • Locate the app inside the Finder and then drag the file to the Trash folder.
  • You will be asked to enter your Username and Password, which you need input.
  • After that, the app will be removed from your Mac.

Once the app is removed from your Mac, see if your WindowServer Process High CPU Usage problem is fixed or not.

It is more than likely that your problem will be fixed now after trying all the methods mentioned above.


This article mentions all the working methods to lower WindowServer CPU usage on your Mac.

Also, we told you earlier that since WindowServer Process is an internal process of the macOS, it is safe, and the high CPU usage is a known issue we need to manage.

This issue usually occurs on older Mac devices running the latest version of macOS, which requires more RAM and CPU and is not available due to outdated hardware.

If you are constantly facing the WindowServer High CPU usage issue on your Mac, then we recommend upgrading your Mac because your usage is much more than what your system is capable of.


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