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Why Is Steam Using So Much Cpu? (Real Research)

    ✅ Fact Checked
    Updated on February 1, 2023
    John Chad, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
    Written by
    John Chad, Bachelor Degree in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
    Russel Collins
    Fact Checked by
    Russel Collins
    John is a certified IT & Computer Engineer with a Bachelors Degree. He has worked for a International Insurance Company in the IT department before deciding to become a full time blogger to help his readers. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.

    Fun Fact
    Did you know that CPUs were once the size of a room? That’s right, in the early days of computing, CPUs were enormous machines that filled entire rooms. They were incredibly expensive and only available to government and research institutions. Today, CPUs are smaller than your palm and accessible to everyone, making it possible to perform complex calculations and run sophisticated software from the comfort of your own home. Talk about progress!
    As a gamer, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of running a game only to find that your computer is running slow and lagging. One of the common culprits behind this issue is Steam. Steam, the popular digital distribution platform for video games, can consume a lot of your computer’s resources, especially CPU, leading to poor performance and slowdowns. If you’re wondering why Steam is using so much CPU, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the reasons behind this issue and provide practical solutions to help you reduce Steam’s CPU usage and improve your gaming experience. So, if you’re ready to optimize your computer’s performance and get the most out of your games, read on!

    1 Understanding Steam and its Functionality

    What is Steam?

    Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games, which was developed by Valve Corporation. It was first released in 2003 and has since become the largest platform for purchasing and playing video games on a personal computer. Steam provides a one-stop-shop for all your gaming needs, including the ability to purchase and download games, manage your game library, and connect with other gamers.

    How does Steam work?

    Steam works by utilizing a client-server architecture. The client, which is the software you install on your computer, communicates with the server, which is a powerful computer system run by Valve. When you purchase a game on Steam, the client downloads the game files from the server and stores them on your computer. The client also acts as a launcher for the games you have in your library, making it easy to launch and play games.

    The purpose of Steam

    The purpose of Steam is to provide a convenient platform for purchasing and playing video games. By centralizing the purchasing and distribution process, Steam makes it easy for gamers to purchase and play games from a wide range of developers and publishers. Steam also provides additional features, such as cloud saves, game modding, and social features like game sharing and chatting with friends.

    Steam has revolutionized the gaming industry by providing a platform for small and independent game developers to reach a larger audience. This has led to the creation of many popular games and a thriving indie game development community. In addition, Steam provides a secure and convenient platform for gamers to purchase and play games, helping to reduce the prevalence of pirated games and ensuring that developers receive the compensation they deserve for their work.

    2 Factors That Can Affect Steam’s CPU Usage

    Game updates and installations

    One factor that can affect Steam’s CPU usage is game updates and installations. When you download a game update, the process can use a significant amount of your CPU as the client downloads and installs the updated files. Similarly, when you install a new game, the process can use a significant amount of your CPU as the client downloads and installs the game files. To reduce the impact of game updates and installations on your CPU, it’s recommended to schedule these processes during periods of low usage or to use the Steam client’s built-in bandwidth limiter to limit the amount of bandwidth used during these processes.

    Background processes and services

    Another factor that can affect Steam’s CPU usage is background processes and services. The Steam client runs several background processes and services that are used for various purposes, such as updating the Steam store, tracking achievements, and synchronizing cloud saves. These background processes and services can use a significant amount of CPU, especially if the Steam client is left running for extended periods of time. To reduce the impact of background processes and services on your CPU, you can use the Steam client’s built-in options to limit the number of background processes and services that run, or you can close the Steam client when it’s not in use.

    Running multiple games at once

    Running multiple games at once can also affect Steam’s CPU usage. When you run multiple games at once, each game will use a portion of your CPU, and the total CPU usage of all the games can add up quickly. This can lead to high CPU usage and performance issues, especially if you’re running resource-intensive games. To reduce the impact of running multiple games on your CPU, you can close any games that you’re not actively playing, or you can upgrade your system’s hardware, such as the CPU or graphics card, to increase its performance.

    Inefficient code in the games

    Another factor that can affect Steam’s CPU usage is inefficient code in the games. Some games are poorly optimized and use more CPU than necessary, leading to high CPU usage and performance issues. To reduce the impact of inefficient code in games on your CPU, you can try to run the games at lower graphics settings, or you can reach out to the game’s developer for assistance or to report the issue.

    System specs and configuration

    Finally, your system’s specs and configuration can affect Steam’s CPU usage. A system with a slower CPU, insufficient RAM, or an outdated graphics card can struggle to run resource-intensive games, leading to high CPU usage and performance issues. To reduce the impact of your system’s specs and configuration on Steam’s CPU usage, you can upgrade your system’s hardware or you can optimize your system’s configuration to improve its performance.

    3 How to Reduce Steam’s CPU Usage

    If you’re finding that Steam is using up more of your CPU than you’d like, there are several things you can do to help reduce its usage. Here are some tips to help you get started:

    Update drivers and software

    Outdated drivers or software can cause all sorts of performance issues, and Steam is no exception. If you’re not sure if you have the latest drivers for your GPU and other system components, you can usually download them from the manufacturer’s website. Also, make sure that your operating system and Steam client are up-to-date as new releases often include performance improvements and bug fixes.

    Limit background processes

    Running too many applications and services in the background can put a strain on your system and cause Steam to use more CPU than it needs to. Take some time to review what’s running in the background and close any applications or services that you don’t need. You can use the Task Manager in Windows or the Activity Monitor in macOS to see what’s running and how much CPU each process is using.

    Closing unnecessary tabs and applications

    Having too many tabs or applications open can also put a strain on your system, causing Steam to use more CPU than it should. Take some time to close any tabs or applications that you’re not actively using. This will free up system resources for Steam to use and help reduce its CPU usage.

    Configuring graphics settings in games

    The graphics settings in your games can have a big impact on how much CPU they use, and therefore how much CPU Steam uses. Lowering the graphics settings in your games can help reduce their CPU usage and free up resources for Steam to use. You can usually find the graphics settings in the options or settings menu of each game.

    Monitoring system resource usage with task manager

    The Task Manager in Windows or the Activity Monitor in macOS can be a great way to see what’s using your CPU and how much each process is using. This can help you identify what’s causing Steam to use more CPU than you’d like, and allow you to take steps to address the issue. By regularly monitoring your system resource usage, you can stay on top of any performance issues and make sure Steam is running smoothly.

    By following these tips, you can help reduce Steam’s CPU usage and make sure your gaming experience is smooth and enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to free up system resources for other applications, or simply want to ensure that Steam is running as efficiently as possible, these tips can help.

    4 Troubleshooting Steam-related Issues

    When dealing with Steam-related issues, it’s important to consider various factors that could be causing the problem. From conflicting processes or applications to outdated hardware components, there are a number of possible culprits that need to be ruled out before a resolution can be found. Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot these issues effectively.

    Conflicting processes or applications
    If you are experiencing a conflict with another process or application, you may need to close that program to resolve the issue. Check the Task Manager and end any processes that might be causing the conflict. If this doesn’t work, try disabling any firewalls or security software temporarily to see if they might be the cause.

    Corrupted game files
    In some cases, corrupted game files can cause problems with Steam. You can try verifying the integrity of your game files through the Steam client to see if any of them have become damaged or corrupted. This process will automatically download and replace any missing or corrupt files.

    Outdated hardware components
    If your hardware components are outdated, they may not be compatible with Steam or the games you’re playing. Updating your graphics card drivers, for example, can help resolve issues related to graphics performance. Additionally, make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for the games you’re playing.

    System instability and crashes
    System instability and crashes can also be a factor when dealing with Steam-related issues. If your computer is frequently crashing or freezing, try optimizing your system to ensure that it’s running as smoothly as possible. This may involve clearing out old files, freeing up hard drive space, or updating your operating system.

    Reinstalling Steam or clearing its cache
    In some cases, reinstalling Steam or clearing its cache can help resolve issues. Clearing the cache can resolve problems with the client or games, while reinstalling Steam can help to restore any missing files or fix any other problems.

    Keep in mind that not all issues can be resolved by simply following these steps. If you’re still experiencing problems with Steam, consider reaching out to their support team for additional help and guidance.

    5 FAQ

    How do I fix 90% CPU usage?

    To reduce CPU usage from 90%, there are several steps you can take:

    1. Identify the process causing high CPU usage: Use the Windows Task Manager to determine which process is consuming the most CPU resources.

    2. Close or limit resource-hungry processes: Close any unnecessary applications or processes that are running in the background, or limit their usage by adjusting their settings.

    3. Update drivers and software: Outdated drivers and software can cause performance issues. Make sure your drivers and software are up-to-date.

    4. Check for malware: Malware can cause high CPU usage. Use anti-virus software to scan your system for malware and remove any infections.

    5. Adjust power settings: Adjusting your computer’s power settings to “High performance” can help reduce CPU usage.

    If these steps do not resolve the issue, further troubleshooting may be necessary, such as uninstalling and reinstalling problematic applications or checking for hardware issues.

    Why is my CPU usage at 100%?

    CPU usage at 100% indicates that your system is under heavy load and can result in slower performance, system instability, and crashes. It can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:

    Running too many applications or processes at once
    A malfunctioning software or application
    Outdated or malfunctioning hardware
    Malware or virus infection

    To resolve the issue, you can:

    End any non-critical processes or applications
    Check for and resolve software conflicts
    Scan for malware and viruses
    Update your hardware drivers
    Consider upgrading your hardware if it’s outdated

    It’s important to monitor your CPU usage and troubleshoot any issues promptly to prevent system damage and maintain optimal performance.

    Why does Steam use CPU?

    Steam uses CPU to run various processes and applications related to the platform and its games. This includes downloading and updating games, running the user interface, handling voice chat, and more. To ensure optimal performance, it’s important for Steam to have access to sufficient CPU resources.

    Why does Steam WebHelper use so much CPU?

    The Steam WebHelper process can consume high CPU usage due to several reasons, including but not limited to: downloading and updating game files, background data transfer, and syncing with the Steam cloud. However, a prolonged and excessive usage of CPU resources could indicate a problem with the Steam client, such as a stuck process or a compatibility issue with the system. To resolve the issue, you can try clearing the Steam WebHelper cache, uninstalling and reinstalling Steam, or updating your graphics drivers.

    6 Conclusion

    In short, when it comes to Steam using a lot of CPU, it can be a frustrating experience for many gamers. However, by understanding the reasons behind this issue, you can take proactive steps to resolve it. From game updates, background processes and services, to system specs and configuration, there are many factors that can contribute to high CPU usage by Steam. However, with a few simple tweaks and optimizations, you can ensure that Steam runs smoothly on your system without affecting other processes. So, whether you’re a casual or a hardcore gamer, take the time to optimize your system and keep Steam running at peak performance. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite games without any hiccups or lag.