What is wsappx and why is causing high cpu load?

When I launched the most recent version of Windows 10 today I noticed high cpu load almost immediately.

I opened the Windows Task Manager with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc, clicked on the more details link and found the Windows process wsappx to be the cause (Note: the process may display as wsappx (2) or wsappx (3) as well).

Cpu use would go as high as 30% and while it went down at times, it did go up almost immediately again in the same moment.

If you expand the selection, one, two or even three Windows services are listed: Windows Store Service (WSService), Client License Service (ClipSVC) and AppX Deployment Service (AppXSVC).

AppX Deployment Service (AppXSVC)

Provides infrastructure support for deploying Store applications. This service is started on demand and if disabled Store applications will not be deployed to the system, and may not function properly.

Client License Service (ClipSVC)

Provides infrastructure support for the Microsoft Store. This service is started on demand and if disabled applications bought using Windows Store will not behave correctly.

Windows Store Service (WSService)

Provides infrastructure support for Windows Store. This service is started on demand and if disabled applications bought using Windows Store will not behave correctly.

wsappx

Attempts to stop one of the services, for instance by right-clicking on it in the Task Manager or the stop button in the Services manager may throw an error message that the service can not be stopped.

Windows could not stop the [...] service on Local Computer. The service did not return an error. This could be an internal Windows error or an internal service error. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.

This is however not always the case and if you wait some time and try again, you may be able to stop all of the services from running eventually. This worked on our test system once the cpu load reached 0.

The main issue with this approach is however that they may start up at any time again, and the core reason for that is the following.

wsappx (3)

All three services provide no option to change the startup type when accessed on a local computer system. The only startup type that is available is manual while automatic and disabled are grayed out.

What happens if you disable Windows Store in the Local Group Policy?

One would assume that disabling Windows Store would have an effect on the wsappx process but that is not the case.

To disable Windows Store in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc and hit enter.
  2. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store.
  3. Double-click on Turn off the Store application and switch the policy to enabled.
  4. Restart the computer.

You will notice that the process is still up and running after you have disabled the Store on the system.

What happens if you end the wsappx task instead?

The wsappx task can be terminated in Windows Task Manager. If you select it and then end task it is killed.

Since this does not affect startup types it may appear again at any time though which means that it is more of a temporary solution than something that works permanently.

Closing Words

Wsappx is a process that Microsoft introduced in Windows 8.1. While it is clear that it is Store related, it is unclear why the process was not stopped after the Store was disabled on the system.

For now, it appears as if there is no solution to resolve high cpu usage of the wsappx process in Windows.

As far as high cpu usage goes, it is unclear why it is driving cpu up by that much at times.

This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News

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