How to Fix: Disable Presentationfontcache.exe (High CPU)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Teresa P. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

My computer has been acting terribly slow! I pressed CTRL + ALT + DEL to bring up Task Manager to see what was going on, and I have a task called presentationfontcache.exe that is eating 25% of my CPU. This is an older computer, and these days I need all the CPU processing power I can get - and this definitely isn't helping! Can you please tell me how I can disable presentationfontcache.exe in Windows 7? "

My response:

I have not had this problem before so I asked Teresa if she would like me to look at the issue more closely using my remote desktop service. She agreed and allowed me to connect, and sure enough - the task 'presentationfontcache.exe' was eating 25% of her CPU.

From what I've read online, the presentationfontcache.exe file is a service used for caching fonts, related to Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications. I have never seen a WPF application (that I am aware of) in the last 30 years of my computing life - however, a from a bit more research, this service seems to be related to a lot of programming-related activities, including Microsoft Visual Studio. By default any application using WPF framework will enable the Windows Presentation Font Cache service, though it's my understanding this service can safely be disabled.

After a bit more digging online, I came across some instructions that will help fix the presentationfontcache.exe from eating all the CPU, plus other instructions that explained how to disable it entirely. Unfortunately neither of the sites I visited explained how to do this clearly (for the average Joe user); as such, I've decided to completely rewrite the instructions and streamline the process to minimize the amount of steps needed - plus I'll explain how to do it in simple English.

How to Fix: Disable Presentationfontcache.exe (High CPU)

  1. First, you will need to open up an administrative command prompt. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
     
  2. The commands below will clear out the Font Cache folder, set the Windows Presentation Foundation service to manual, then restart the service. To do so: highlight the text below using your mouse:

    c:
    cd C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\
    mkdir temp
    move font*.dat temp
    REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\FontCache3.0.0.0" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 3 /f
    net stop FontCache3.0.0.0
    net start FontCache3.0.0.0
    echo this is a dummy line
     
  3. Right click over top of the highlighted text above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Next, go to the administrative command prompt you opened up in Step #1 and then right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #2 should now be output to the command line.
     
  4. Now, check Task Manager to make sure presentationfontcache.exe isn't eating 25, 50, or 100% of your CPU. To do so, press CTRL + ALT + DEL on the keyboard; Task Manager will appear automatically in Windows 7 and earlier - however, for Windows 8 and 10 users, you will need to click the "Task Manager" link in order to run Task Manager after pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL on the keyboard. Once Task Manager is running, go to the "Processes" tab in Windows 7 and earlier (the "Details" tab in Windows 8 and later), and look to see if you can find the presentationfontcache.exe program and see if the CPU usage is still running rampant. If it is, then proceed to Step #5.
     
  5. ONLY do the following steps if presentationfontcache.exe is still eating your CPU. The following steps will stop the Windows Presentation Foundation service and disable it permanently (though, this can easily be reversed). To do so, use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    net stop FontCache3.0.0.0
    REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\FontCache3.0.0.0" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f
    echo this is a dummy line
     
  6. Right click over top of the highlighted text above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Next, go to the administrative command prompt you opened up in Step #1 and then right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #5 should now be output to the command line.

At this point, you should not see presentationfontcache.exe running in task manager, and your CPU should be running a lot more smoothly. If for some reason the presentationfontcache.exe is still running, do a reboot and that should definitely prevent it from running again.

Note that any program which relies on the Windows Presentation Foundation service may run slower, because the fonts are being cached. If you don't know which program that may be, I would not worry about it too much as the majority of programs I came across were for programming purposes.

I hope that helps!

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you need help disabling the presentationfontcache.exe - or any program for that matter which may be out of control and eating your CPU, I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me briefly describing your problem and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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Comments

jerry1kara_6566's picture

Dennis:

I have experienced similar problems with my HP laptop running Win10. I did not have these problems until the 1607 upgrade.

It all started in August with 100% disk usage caused by HPSupportSolutionsFrameworkService.exe. Shutting down the laptop or rebooting did not clear the problem. The service needed to be terminated using Process Explorer.

Later in September, WmUpdate caused svchost to run continuously at 12% CPU useage, As before, Process Explored fixed the problem.

Later in October, MSMPEng.exe ran continuously at 12% CPU useage. Again Process explored did the trick.

Now about every two weeks HPSupportSolutionsFrameworkService.exe acts-up with 25% CPU usage. This time I can double-click / run HP Support Assistant, immediately shut down the program and the problem clears.

I hope the new Win10 upgrade in March will fix this and other nuisance bugs with the USB and Wi-Fi. My other choice is to try a clean install with the latest “save data” option. Do you have any comments about this latest download?