What is System Idle Process and why is it using 99% CPU

You must have come across, some time or later about this process running in your system called System Idle Process. Anyone who had used Windows XP must be knowing about it but recently I was asked by one of our readers who wanted to know about this process and why it is consuming so much CPU memory when other applications are hardly able to run.

So in case you also wish to find more about it, here are the details:

What is System Idle Process?

Geek definition: Every computer have a scheduler whose job is to schedule the jobs given to the system but here is one rule that it should follow, which is that it can’t schedule any thread in idle state to the job. The thread should be in the Ready state for it to be able to execute the job. Now this is managed by System Idle Process which denotes that the computer is “waiting” for something to do.

Simple definition: Think of this process as someone who is “waiting” for some task to perform and is idle at the moment. Thus it is running this process so that the system can take up any task that comes and don’t have to wait for the threads to be in Ready state.

Why System Idle Process consumes most of the CPU Usage?

The number below the CPU field in the Task Manager for System Idle Process, on the contrary, denotes how much idle the system is. If you find this number to be 99 then that does not mean the system is struggling to run but simply, that the system is really doing nothing and waiting for something.

Thus this number works in a reverse manner and a high number means that system is idle (little strange, I know).

If you still need some information, drop a comment below.

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