Why Is Discord Using So Much CPU?

Discord is one of the most famous communications platforms. People use it mainly for gaming, but many companies also use it to stay connected with their employees as well. The best part about this tool is that it is free. While there is a premium version, you won’t need it unless you have a thing for stickers and want to stream in 1080p quality. Typically, you won’t face any issues with this tool, but in some instances, you might face problems related to audio or CPU usage. If you have a high-end CPU, it might not be a problem for you, but people using budgeted devices can have performance issues with discord high CPU usage.

Reasons for Discord’s High CPU Usage

There can be multiple potential reasons for this issue. Some are easy to find, while others require a clean installation. On the other hand, some reasons are related to an update, so the only fix is to wait for the next big update.


Outdated Drivers

Many people might not know, but outdated audio drivers can cause updated apps to lose stability. For example, if you use high-end headphones but do not use their latest driver package, Discord won’t be able to read the drivers correctly. So, processing the audio for clear communication will take a bit more CPU power. 

Hardware Acceleration

This feature is available by default in Discord, allowing it to work smoothly, so you face any problems. Usually, it allows Discord to use GPU instead of CPU for smoother performance. However, it takes a lot of extra CPU power to ensure smoothness if you don’t have a dedicated GPU. If you have communication issues on Discord, many solutions lead to enabling hardware acceleration, which in return starts using your CPU excessively.

Limited CPU Cores

Sometimes Windows limits your CPU cores to increase their life but not allowing you to utilize them fully. When that happens, only one or two cores of your CPU are running, causing Discord to use more CPU for stability.

Discord Update

Every time there is an update of Discord available, a little arrow icon on the top gets visible. You might ignore the update notification if you don’t keep Discord’s window open for a long time. Not updating discords after several versions can also cause high CPU usage.

How to Fix Discord High CPU Usage

Here are some fixes you can apply to resolve this issue.

1. Restart Your PC

The first fix to any problem regarding your PC is to restart it. Sometimes while booting on startup, many core apps won’t run properly. If you are experiencing high CPU usage for the first time, restart your PC, and it will probably go away. It would be better to turn off your PC and start it after four to five minutes.

2. Disable Hardware Acceleration

If you have restarted your PC and the problem is still there, you must disable “Hardware Acceleration” on Discord.

  1. Open the Discord app and click on the gear icon at the bottom.
  2. This opens up the settings menu, where you’ll find the “Advance” option.
  3. In that advanced menu, tick “Hardware Acceleration” to turn the slider gray and disable it.
  4. After that, restart Discord or your PC and check whether the problem is resolved.
Keyboard and Headphones

3. Enable Multiple CPU Cores

The high CPU usage issue is mainly solved after disabling hardware acceleration, but if the issue persists, try the following method.

  1. Tap the Windows key and type “System Configuration.”
  2. Click on the first result, and it will open a small window.
  3. In that window, click the second tab named “Boot.”
  4. In that boot tab, click on “Advance options.”
  5. This opens another window with the first option, “Number of processors.”
  6. Untick that option to allow your CPU to utilize all its cores.
  7. Once again, restart your PC, open Discord, and see if everything is normal.

Remember that disabling this option on a laptop might make it warmer than usual, and its fans will spin louder than before.

4. Close Unnecessary Background Apps

Some background apps can stop Discord from using your microphone or sharing your screen. This forces Discord to use more CPU to prioritize itself among other apps. While you can’t find the exact app, it would be better to start closing all unnecessary apps using the Task Manager. Close each app and check Discord usage; once the CPU usage goes down, locate the last app you closed and delete it. If that is a valuable app, disable it from the Start-Up Menu. That way, the app won’t automatically start when you turn on your PC, keeping everything in balance.

5. Adjust Graphics Preferences

Your Windows decide to choose which app should run on power mode and which on saving mode. An app that is set to run on saving mode, if being used constantly, will take more than what a normal CPU does to operate without issues. This happens because of graphics preferences. You can set the graphics preferences to your GPU to fix this issue.

  1. Press the Windows key and click on the gear icon; this will open up Windows settings. Alternatively, you can press Windows + I to open the settings.
  2. The first option on the settings page is “System,” click on it.
  3. Find “Display,” and locate “Graphics Settings.”
  4. Click “Browse,” choose Discord, and click “Add.”
  5. Click on “Options,” choose “High Performance,” and click “Save.”

This will dictate Discord to rely entirely on GPU instead of CPU to work. However, disable this option if you face any FPS drop during gaming.

Windows Security Notification

6. Search for Malware

While Windows Defender excellently finds malware and deletes it quickly as soon as you download a corrupted file, some viruses make their way to your PC and can only be found by running a detailed scan.

  • Open Windows Defender and click on Virus and Threat Protection.
  • Click on “Scan options,” choose “Full Scan,” and click on Scan now.
  • It might take a lot of time to scan your entire PC, but it will find hidden malware, and you can delete them.

After that, restart your PC to clean it properly and run Discord to see the results.

7. Reinstall Discord

If the problem continues, it is better to uninstall Discord using a third-party tool and reinstall it cleanly. Sometimes multiple updates stacking on each other can cause this issue.

8. The Final Option – Reinstall Windows

While we won’t recommend it, if your entire work lies on Discord, it is better to create a backup of everything and install your Windows fresh. Ensure to completely format the Windows drive while installing to ensure that nothing remains to cause this issue again.


Discord is an excellent tool for communication, especially for gaming. However, if that tool starts using a lot of CPU, it can affect your gaming performance. This article covers multiple fixes to resolve Discord’s high-CPU usage, but if the issue remains and you don’t want to reinstall Windows, you can use Discord’s web version or use another app.