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Reducing WindowServer CPU Usage on Mac

Reducing WindowServer CPU Usage on Mac

Reducing WindowServer CPU Usage on Mac

The WindowServer process on a Mac is a critical component of the macOS operating system. It manages everything you see on your screen, from the movement of your mouse to the appearance of windows and apps. However, it can sometimes consume a significant amount of CPU resources, leading to slower performance and reduced battery life. In this guide, we'll explore how to reduce WindowServer CPU usage on your Mac, enhancing your machine's efficiency and longevity.

Understanding WindowServer

WindowServer is the macOS service responsible for drawing and managing your screen's content. It's a fundamental part of the operating system and cannot be disabled without severely affecting your Mac's functionality.

High CPU usage by WindowServer usually indicates that it's working hard to manage the visual elements on your screen. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as running graphics-intensive applications, having many windows open at once, or using multiple monitors. It's also worth noting that WindowServer can consume more CPU resources on older Mac models or systems with less powerful graphics hardware.

How to Reduce WindowServer CPU Usage

Now that we have a basic understanding of WindowServer, let's look at some practical steps you can take to reduce its CPU usage on your Mac. These methods range from simple tweaks to more advanced solutions.

Limit the Number of Open Windows and Apps: One of the easiest ways to reduce WindowServer CPU usage is to limit the number of open windows and apps. Each open window requires WindowServer to use more resources to manage its content. By closing unnecessary windows and quitting unused apps, you can significantly reduce the load on WindowServer.

Consider using virtual desktops to organize your workspace more efficiently. macOS's Mission Control feature allows you to create multiple desktops and allocate specific apps or windows to each one. This can help reduce clutter and make it easier for WindowServer to manage your screen's content.

Reduce Visual Effects: macOS is known for its sleek and visually appealing interface, but these aesthetics can sometimes come at the cost of performance. Reducing visual effects can help lighten the load on WindowServer.

Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and check the box for "Reduce motion" and "Reduce transparency". This will simplify the visual effects and make it easier for WindowServer to render your screen's content.

Update Your macOS: Keeping your macOS up-to-date is another effective way to reduce WindowServer CPU usage. Apple regularly releases software updates that include performance improvements and bug fixes. Updating your macOS can help optimize WindowServer's performance and reduce its CPU usage.

To check for updates, go to System Preferences > Software Update. If an update is available, click "Update Now" to install it.

Advanced Solutions

If the basic methods don't significantly reduce WindowServer CPU usage, you may need to try some more advanced solutions. These methods require a bit more technical knowledge, but they can be highly effective.

Monitor Your Apps: Some apps can cause WindowServer to use more CPU resources, especially if they're poorly optimized or have bugs. Use the Activity Monitor app to identify which apps are using the most resources. If you notice an app consistently causing high CPU usage, consider finding an alternative or contacting the developer for support.

To open Activity Monitor, go to Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Click the "CPU" tab to see a list of all running processes and their CPU usage.

Reset the SMC and PRAM: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) and Parameter RAM (PRAM) can help resolve issues with high CPU usage. The SMC and PRAM are responsible for controlling various hardware functions on your Mac, and resetting them can sometimes fix performance issues.

To reset the SMC, shut down your Mac and then press and hold the power button for 10 seconds. Release the button, wait a few seconds, and then turn on your Mac again. To reset the PRAM, restart your Mac and immediately hold down the Option, Command, P, and R keys until you hear the startup sound twice.


Reducing WindowServer CPU usage on your Mac can help improve performance and extend battery life. While it's normal for WindowServer to use some CPU resources, excessive usage can indicate a problem. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can optimize WindowServer's performance and keep your Mac running smoothly.

Remember, it's always important to keep your Mac up-to-date and monitor your apps for high CPU usage. If you're still experiencing issues after trying these solutions, consider seeking professional help or contacting Apple Support.

While you're optimizing your Mac's performance, don't forget to give your phone the same level of care and protection. Case Monkey offers a variety of phone cases designed to keep your device safe from everyday wear and tear. Check out our products and find the perfect case to shield your phone, ensuring it remains as efficient and damage-free as your well-maintained Mac.