[Help] Windows media player constantly using 25% cpu

hello as the title suggests I'm having problems with windows media player on windows 7.
Ive now had 4 fresh installs of 7 since its release (4 too many?) and every time i get the same wmp problem its either wmplayer.exe or the sharing service using 25%.

Ive looked all over the net and no proper solution so I'm hoping one can be found here, before anyone jumps in please note I've disabled the media sharing service and disabled it in services window so it no longer runs, i only have one directory in wmp which is D:\music on a separate drive from the OS no image or video libraries. Windows search indexer is also gone due to the total i/o causing a real slow system

all the download media info and other settings are disabled too, windows media player should just literally play my music and no more however this does not seem the case, it is also seems to be permanently trying to update my media library which it has done on all 4 installs too i vaigly remember having this problem too on XP MCE ?

Im not sure if i have left any info out but basically i have tried everything i can so far and WMP will always uses 25% of my cpu even after its closed I usually have to kill the process manually

I hope that someone has a permanent solution for this as i have noticed it is not an isolated problem and is also not tackled by any microsoft support :mad:

System specs:
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64bit
CPU: Athlon II x4 640
RAM: 1x2GB DDR3 (667Mhz) (yea i know i need more)
HD: 2x500GB SATA II 7200RPM
Audio: SoundBlaster X-FI
Video: Radeon HD 4670
music folder size : 69.2GB

Look forward to your replies

EDIT: Forgot to mention that quite often upon ending the missbehaving wmplayer.exe in taskmanager the process usage quite often transfers to another process such as explorer or another service

Last edited:


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
RAM: 1x2GB DDR3 (667Mhz) (yea i know i need more)
Other than this, what format are your music files in? What bit rate were they encoded with?

Is wmplayer.exe using all the 25% of the CPU time?

Just for comparison, I am currently streaming mp3 files from a NAS to a Windows 7, 32 bit laptop with 4 G memory and 2 GHz processor.

Media Player takes up 2-3 %, the networking service shows no activity.

also on the RAM aspect because i have a shortage i use an initial size of 4GB in virtual memory capable of upto 8GB to compensate when needed and runs fine on pretty much everything else,

they are mostly mp3 or wma varying from 128 and up i presume.
in all fairness wmp should use 5% max under normal conditions and yes wmplayer.exe uses the 25% from what i can tell is all the time its on. whenever the networking service is on it uses the 25% aswell its either that or wmplayer however ending the networking service while wmp is running transferred that load over to wmplayer.exe hence why I have disabled the sharing service altogether

just to stress how stupid this is I have Mass Effect 3 and it barely annoys my CPU and would probably work fine on 1 out of 4 cores at the standard 3GHz clock.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
What on your system limits the Experience Index to 5.4, the RAM?

Have you checked disk activity during this time?

Does the same thing happen if you play a song from a CD or from a different library with songs you archived recently?

Do you have onboard audio in addition to the Sound Blaster? Are there any driver updates for the Sound Blaster?

Have you tried running a 32 bit version of Windows 7?

If you have clean installed the OS numerous times, it would not make sense that WMP is the actual cause of the problem.

who said anything about it being 5.4? ;) its actually 5.5 but its saying it needs refreshed not doing atm though.
and yes its the ram thats 5.5 HDs are 5.9 everything else 6+

yes disk activity varies but is probably more than it should be

I only have one library :/Music but i have played recently added and really old stuff no difference, i just converted a playlist of about 300 songs to mp3 cause it was crashing wmp when trying to play seems to work better now but still same other problems

my motherboard has VIA high def audio onboard I have used it instead and same things. there most recent drivers are installed for sound blaster, its no secret they have lots of issues but i have recently corrected all of my problems with it just the occasion code 10 when i need to re-seat it.

yes i 2 of previous installs were 32 but i decided 64 is better for now as it suits my mobo and cpu better

Ive reinstalled 3 of those times cause win7 is terrible for self destruction in my opinion especially when you have a few games installed, updates and drivers and other programs i find it needs wiped atleast 1ce a year which is a pain anyway.

I can imagine that there could be plenty other things causing it however it has been there every time and theres no reason for it still


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
In Windows Media Player, try hitting ALT, go to Tools -> Options -> Library

Disable "Retrieve additional information from the Internet"
Disable "Rename music files using rip music settings"
Disable "Rearrange music in rip folder, using rip music settings"



I use these as the optimal settings with a similar sized library without difficulty. Please tell me if this helps your situation with CPU utilization. Even so, automated changes to the library should not substantially eat into the processor, but instead disk I/O and network utilization. You claim:

EDIT: Forgot to mention that quite often upon ending the missbehaving wmplayer.exe in taskmanager the process usage quite often transfers to another process such as explorer or another service
If its not System Idle Process, some kind of changes are taking place using Explorer, perhaps in conjunction with Windows Media Player, even when the program is shut down. This makes me think the library settings are overbearing. Try my optimized settings. Use Windows Resource Monitor to determine how resources are being allocated on the system very thoroughly.

hi mike in one of my earlier posts i said that ive already done these changed you were talking about actually none of the options on the library options tab are selected at all. so no none of that works and ofcourse its not system idle process i know the difference. and there is absolutely no reason for wmp to be doing anything unless im telling it to play music everything else is disabled tbh.

probably just gonna have to go back to winamp or something more reliable, and uses less resources

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.