This seems to have started about a month ago.

My Environment:
WinXP SP3 (fully updated)
IE 8 (fully updated)
Processor: 1.73 GHz on a Dell Laptop
Memory: 1.25 GB

I am using Windows Task Manager's Performance tab to monitor CPU Usage History.

For some reason certain websites peg the graph all the way to the top -- or 100% CPU usage.

This happens even when I run IE with no add-ons and my AV & ad blocker software disabled. I've scanned for viruses and malware. I've even set all my IE settings (Security & Advanced tabs) to their defaults.

Here's a sample website where I see the problem.


But strangely enough, this site with far more graphics than the 'tvnewser' site (shown above) does not require 100% CPU usage..

Finally and perhaps most significantly, this does not happen with Firefox.

I have 20+ years with Microsoft software, including development tools, and can usually solve most problems. But frankly, this one has me scratching my head.

Edited by Michael T

5 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by tigerbright

Based on a suggestion found with a Google search I also temporarily uninstalled Adobe Flash Player. Still no joy.


Whenever I run into an IE issue that cannot be easily resolved or explained, the first thing I try is to reset IE back to its default settings. Go to the Internet Options, Advanced Tab, click on the reset button.


Jorge, I tried your suggesting of resetting IE back to its defaults. No change.

I also created a second User Account and tried IE8 there. No change.

I tried this on a second computer. No change.

However, both my laptop and my desktop are older computers. Both have CPUs rated at less than 1.8 GHz (i.e., 1.79 and 1.73). My laptop has 1.25 GB of RAM and my desktop has only 512 MB.

My working theory is that one of two things has possibly happened that caused some websites to use 100% of CPU Resources.

1) There was a monthly Windows Security Update in March or April that created a problem with older under powered CPUS. (I would be curious if anyone else with a CPU less than 1.8 GHz is seeing the same problem.
Try either of these sites:

2) A Java upgrade has done the same thing causing some websites to become resource hogs. I am up to Version 7 Update 4.**

Edited by Michael T


I tried the sites using several browsers (IE8-9, Chrome), different machines, but did not experience a 100% CPU spike. I do see a typical spike at first when accessing the sites, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Both systems I tried from are up to date on MS patches.


" I am up to Version 7 Update 4." I have 6.32/5. Latest.
Next point. You, in America, need better news feeds. Those are simply awful.
The first site runs ActiveXs and (Macromedia) Flash continuously under IE, uses mshtml.dll continuously. Contacts host periodically. IE process uses a lot of javascript (jscript.dll). The sites are hogs. Even Opera runs on, but only 5% CPU. My IE6 uses 35% CPU time.
IE6??!! It's what I use when I must use IE... :)
HuffnPuff is the same. "What these five pregnant celebs have in common". Oh, i am so gunna click that link. Good christ.

Edited by gerbil: more info.


First of all, I want to thank poster 'JorgeM' for testing the two links on his computer.

And I want to express equal gratitude to poster 'gerbil' for pointing out the problems with the two websites I referenced with my links.

Although I have now discovered that the resources used by http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (or HuffPuff as 'gerbil' humorously referred to it) seems to vary throughout the day. Currently CPU Usage is running at only around 50%.

The other link ( http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ ) is a site I rarely visit. So I will simply use a different browser if I ever have an occasion to go there again.

I did notice that in March a much larger version of mshtml.dll (almost 6MB) was updated to C:\Windows\system32. This could help explain why my issue has seemed more egregious in recent months. But thanks to 'gerbel' I now know a lot more about the underlying causes.

Edited by Michael T


Hi , your real time anti-virus scanner maybe contributing to your high cpu usage when accessing these sites - i suggest as an experiment to disable any real-time scanning and evaluate cpu usage - however comparing my computer specs (3.0GHz workstation) and usage while accessing/streaming these sites (30-70%) to yours i would suggest is mainly a computer spec low resource issue


I installed firefox - with both sites open and video streaming , the same high cpu usage was initially observed but reduced in short time to about 20% - so maybe not a system resource issue but browser resource related
I shall run anti-spyware scans to ascertain any "marketingware" installed and evaluate after removal

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