Fix high CPU Windows Modules Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe)

Occasionally I am asked why Windows Modules Installer Worker takes high CPU usage, and how to fix this. The CPU usage of Windows Modules Installer Worker is particularly a problem on Windows 10 and Windows 2016 server with RDS.
In this article, I provide several step-by-step solutions.

What is Windows Modules Installer Worker?

Windows Modules Installer Worker is a legitimate Windows process. It runs as Tiworker.exe in Task Manager. TiWorker.exe is an abbreviation for Trusted Installer Worker and is related to Windows Update. If updates are checked, or if updates are installed, TiWorker.exe starts. This is normal behavior and helps keep your PC safe.

How to fix high CPU usage Windows Modules Installer Worker?

It can be particularly annoying if your computer suddenly becomes slow due to a background process. Sometimes this is caused by TiWorker.exe. Back in 2014, it was advised to turn off Windows Update and run it manually every week. Well, that’s not really the best advice in 2019.
Below I describe solutions to keep your PC fast.

How to stop Windows Modules Installer Worker immediately

  1. Start Task Manager as an administrator
  2. Go to the Details tab
  3. Scroll down to TiWorker.exe
  4. Right-click and click End Process Tree
  5. The TiWorker.exe process and all related processes are now forcibly closed.
stop process tiworker.exe

The above solution is not intended as a final solution but can help if you desperately need all the processor power. TiWorker will restart automatically in a few hours.

How to prevent long-term CPU usage by Windows Modules Installer Worker

  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator
  2. In the command prompt, type (or copy-paste):
    Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
    and press Enter
    This can take some time. Expect 5-15 minutes. The longer the better. That means that a lot of files had to be cleaned up.
  3. In the command prompt, type (or copy-paste):
    Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth
    and press Enter.
    This process can also take a few minutes, depending on your PC speed
  4. In the command prompt, type (or copy-paste):
    net stop wuauserv
  5. Open Windows Explorer, go to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and delete all content in this folder.
    No worries: all content in the SoftwareDistribution folder is temporary and will be recreated automatically.
  6. Go back to the command prompt and type (or copy-paste):
    net start wuauserv

If you have completed the above steps, the Windows Modules Installer Worker process should be faster. This solution is probably the best and most constructive way to reduce CPU time. With this solution, you don’t interfere with the designated Windows Update schedules. Instead, you make Windows more efficient by deleting outdated unnecessary files.

How to lower CPU usage TiWorker.exe

  1. Start Task Manager as an administrator
  2. Go to the Details tab
  3. Scroll down to TiWorker.exe
  4. Right-click, click Set Priority and click Low
set Windows Modules Installer Worker priority to low

The Trusted Installer Worker process continues to run, but will always have to wait if other applications require CPU power. You will experience little discomfort due to tiworker.exe.

How to start TiWorker.exe

This is how you start TiWorker.exe manually:

  1.  Open the Run box.
    1. Right-click the start button and click Run
    2. Or: open a command prompt
  2. Type (or copy-paste) mschedexe.exe Start and press Enter
tiworker and trustedinstaller after mschedexe.exe Start

The TiWorker.exe process has been started. TrustedInstaller.exe is also started. The processes are visible in the Task Manager. Tiworker checks whether there are tasks to perform. If not, Tiworker will close itself after a few minutes.


Is TiWorker.exe a virus?

Normally, TiWorker.exe is not a virus. No outbreaks are known at this time of writing. Nevertheless, you can check whether TiWorker is in the right folder on your PC.

  1. Start Task Manager as an administrator
  2. Go to the Details tab
  3. Scroll down to TiWorker.exe
  4. Right-click TiWorker.exe, click Open File Location
    tiworker.exe open file location
  5. Windows Explorer opens. Verify that it is located in the C:\Windows\WinSXS folder. Then it is most likely a legitimate process.
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Turtle

instructions not really written by a pro, I’d say. here’s my “three” cents, lol: “Dism.exe” / online / Cleanup-Image / StartComponentCleanup“ should be: dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup “Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth“ should be: dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth (you can safely ignore all quotes. quotes are needed to ‘encapsulate’ file pointers that contain spaces in either their path or file name. they must end before any parameters, though. a common “trap,” I’m thinking/assuming .. oh, since I mention parameters, their pre-leading slash isn’t followed by a space, of course.) you can also open the run dialog via [WIN]+[R] key combination. it’s… Read more »

Twitch

Thank you! I think I’ve been looking for this for years. (High disk usage probs. I’ve looked before and tried other suggestions. nothing has worked.) This sounds right & fits the observed symptoms. I can’t wait to try it! (Will report back if I can remember to find this page again.)

mike hawk

when i copy the commands into the command prompt i get an error message and nothing happens 2/10

Craig Moore

Dism.exe” / online / Cleanup-Image / StartComponentCleanup
should be
Dism.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup

Confused

I had to type the whole thing in myself , without the quotes. Remember to run cmd.exe as Administrator

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