What does the Shell Infrastructure Host process do on Windows? How to solve the high resource consumption?

Does the Shell Infrastructure Host process in the Task Manager consume a lot of your computer’s resources, making it slower and sluggish? Does the resource consumption increase when you open a particular app, or does it always stay the same?


In general, this process is resource-intensive when apps leak memory due to incorrect memory allocation or if your personalization settings make it difficult to process images.

In this article, we explain what the Shell Infrastructure Host process does and how to solve the high memory or other resource consumption.


What is the role of the Shell Infrastructure Host process on Windows?

The Shell Infrastructure Host process, also known as sihost.exe, on Windows creates and maintains the graphical user interface for various Windows elements. It covers the appearance of desktop backgrounds, pop-up notifications, and taskbar, among other things. In that sense, it serves as a process that helps you navigate Windows and display Windows elements.

In general, the Shell Infrastructure Host process consumes a small amount of CPU and RAM resources and does not load your system – just like any other Windows process. Occasionally, problems with certain apps or enabling certain Windows features can make it need a lot of money. That’s where the problem starts.

Has it also consumed a lot of resources on your computer? Let’s fix it.

How to reduce resource consumption by Shell Infrastructure Host process?

While there may be some minor issues, the Shell Infrastructure Host process consumes too many resources, mainly for two reasons; memory leaks in individual apps and incorrect personalization settings. Here’s how to reduce the strain this process puts on your resources.

Carry out preliminary checks first

Before proceeding with major repairs, apply the following preliminary checks:

  1. Close all graphics-intensive apps and open them one at a time if you are using several at the same time.
  2. Temporarily disable widgets and other desktop customizations.
  3. Go to Task Manager, find the Shell Infrastructure Host process, right click on it and press End task. Then restart your computer. Doing so will give the process a fresh start, which may help resolve the issue.
  4. Make sure your Windows operating system is up to date.
  5. Verify that the Shell Infrastructure Host process is genuine and that no virus crook is named after it.
  6. Run an SFC and DISM scan to repair corrupt system files that can overload your system. Our guide to the differences between CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM explains how to run each.
  7. To ensure that outdated graphics drivers are not interfering with your display causing the problem, make sure your graphics drivers are up to date.
  8. Run an offline malware scan of Microsoft Defender to prevent viruses from interfering with the Shell Infrastructure Host process.
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If the above checks do not resolve the issue, you can reduce the resource consumption of the Shell Infrastructure Host process by checking for memory leaks in individual applications and adjusting the personalization settings. Below we have explained how you can exclude these two possibilities.

Rule out memory leak issues

A memory leak in graphics intensive apps like the default Photos app, Paint 3D, and others is the first major reason why the Shell Infrastructure Host process consumes too much memory. But what exactly is this memory leak?

A memory leak is nothing more than the misallocation of memory resources. This means that some parts of your system memory will become unusable despite it being free and not in use.

So when these apps take full control of memory resources, less resources are available for other graphics processing, which puts a load on the Shell Infrastructure Host process, causing it to consume excessive amounts of memory. Therefore, it is essential to rule out the possibility of memory leaks first.

To do this, check that high resource consumption by the Shell Infrastructure Host process only occurs when you open a specific app, such as the one mentioned above. And when you close the app, does the resource consumption by the process go back to normal? If so, there is a memory leak issue.

To fix the memory leak issue with a specific app, just fix it. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Right click on the Windows Get started button and select Apps and Features.
  2. Find the troublesome app in the list.
  3. Click on the three vertical dots next to the app and select Advanced options.
  4. Then scroll down and click Repair.
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You can also reset the app by clicking the Reset button located at the bottom right Repair; if repairing doesn’t solve the problem. If resetting the app doesn’t fix the problem, reinstall it.

If a fresh install doesn’t resolve the memory leak issue that continues to burden the Shell Infrastructure Host process, it’s best to switch apps. Therefore, try a different app than the one you are having the problem with and you won’t have to worry about memory loss anymore.

What if the memory leak is not the problem and the Shell Infrastructure Host process is consuming all your resources, even if no apps or programs are running? The following solution will help in such a situation.

Customize your personalization settings

The Shell Infrastructure Host process handles most of the graphical elements in Windows personalization settings, such as themes, colors, transparency effects, etc. By disabling or tuning a few of these unnecessary features, you can reduce the workload. of the Shell Infrastructure Host process.

Follow the steps below to adjust the personalization settings:

  1. If you are using the background slideshow or the Windows spotlight feature, you must first switch to a static background. To do that, right click on the Windows Get started button and select Settings. Then click Personalization in the left sidebar. After that, click the drop-down list next to Personalize your background and select Image. Finally, choose the background image you want to use.
  2. If you have enabled the contrast themes feature for easier accessibility, press left Alt + left Shift and Print Screen to turn it off.
  3. Then navigate to Personalization > Colors and toggle the switch next to . from Transparency Effects. Likewise, if you use manual Accent colorput it on automatically.
  4. Switch to a standard Windows theme if you are using a third-party graphic-intensive theme.
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Similarly, you can disable or tune other features in the Personalization settings that you don’t think make any difference to the look. Check back after making these changes to see if it helped reduce the memory consumption by the Shell Infrastructure Host process. If not, then move on to the next solution.

The last way out…

If none of the solutions helped you solve the problem, you should disable the background processes and services. In some cases, these processes continue to run in the background, taxing system resources without our knowledge. Make sure that’s not the case here.

Don’t let the Shell Infrastructure Host process eat your resources

Hopefully our article helped you better understand the Shell Infrastructure Host process. In addition, you can reduce the resource consumption of the process if it consumes too much. If they fail, don’t disable this feature completely as it will do more harm than good.

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