Service Host Network Service: What It Is, Why It Has High Network Usage, and How to Fix It


If you’ve recently noticed your computer slowing down, one of the first things to check is the Windows Task Manager. This is to see if the Service Host Network Service is hogging up all of your computer’s resources. 

For those unfamiliar with the Task Manager, it is a utility tool that allows you to see the status of all running processes, and the amount of CPU, Memory, Disk, and Network Usage they are taking up. 

Open up the Task Manager with CTRL + ALT + DEL, and scroll through until you see Service Host Network Service (svchost.exe). Take note of how much CPU and Network Bandwidth it’s using. If it’s a lot, then this is likely why your computer is performing slowly and having network connectivity issues.

What is the Service Host: Network Service? 

The Service Host Network Service, also known as svchost.exe, is a valid Windows process that runs in the background of your system. It is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, is constantly running, and is responsible for connecting all of the Service Host processes.  

svchost.exe found in System32 folder

When scrolling through your Task Manager, you’ll see a ton of Service Hostnames, this is because each one is responsible for hosting a different group of services from things like the Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs), the DHCP Client, the DNC Client, and even the Windows Event Log. 

The Windows operating system needs all the Service Host processes to run correctly, and communicate with one another. This is where the Service Host Network Service comes in. It acts as a “host” for all of these other services and facilitates communication between them.  

While the Service Host Network Service is an essential part of Windows, it can sometimes consume a lot of resources, resulting in slow performance and network issues. In most cases, the high resource usage is caused by a misconfigured service or a problem with a Windows update. We will cover the most common reasons for resource hogging in one of the sections below. 

However, there are other culprits when it comes to talking up too much of your computer’s resources than the Service Host Network Service. Other common suspects include Service Host Sysmain, otherwise known as Superfetch, and Service Host: Local System, which can also be a notorious CPU or disk hog. We have written dedicated articles for these two, which you can access from the links provided.  

SVCHOST Resource Hogging: How High is Too High?

Now that we know a bit more about the Service Host Network Service, let’s talk about what counts as high resource usage. In general, if the Service Host Network Service is taking up more than 50% of your CPU usage, this is considered high, while 80% or greater is considered very high.  

As for Service Host Network Service’s high network usage, anything above 0.1 Mbps is considered high, and anything above 0.5 Mbps is considered very high. If you’re seeing the Service Host Network Service using up a lot of your bandwidth, then this is likely the cause of your slow internet. 

With these numbers, you can expect your computer to have slow performance, decreased internet speed, connectivity problems, freezing, lagging, and even crashing.  In some cases, you may not even be able to open up the Task Manager to check on the Service Host Network Service. 

4 Reasons Why The SVCHOST Has High Network Usage

Now that we know what svchost.exe high network usage looks like, let’s talk about some of the common reasons why the Service Host Network Service might be using up a huge chunk of your computer’s resources. 

  1. You’re Infected With a Virus or Malware. 

One of the most common reasons for high resource usage is that your computer is infected with a virus or malware. These malicious programs can cause your computer to slow down, and in some cases, can even disable your antivirus software. If you think you might be infected with a virus or malware, then you should run a full scan of your computer with an antivirus program.

  1. Your Network Adapters Are Out of Date.

If your network adapter is out of date or is old, then it might not be able to handle the amount of traffic it is receiving. This can cause high resource usage, and in some cases, even result in a complete loss of internet connectivity.

  1. There’s An Issue With System Configuration.

Another common reason for svchost high network usage is because you have a misconfigured service. The services you see running in the Task Manager are often configured to either start automatically on computer bootup or start manually as needed.  If a service is configured to start automatically but doesn’t need to be running all the time, it may result in high resource usage. 

  1. Windows Update is Causing High Network Usage.

In some cases, high network resource usage can be caused by a problem with a Windows update. If you think this might be the case, then you can try uninstalling the latest update you made to your computer to see if that fixes the issue. If it does, either wait until another patch comes out for the update, reinstall via the Windows Update screen, or try reinstalling the update manually (downloading and running the update). 

The 4 reasons stated above are usually behind the resource hogging of the Service Host Network Service.  If you think that one of these is causing the problem, then move on to our solutions below to troubleshoot the high usage. 

8  Methods for Fixing Service Host Network Service High Network Usage on Windows

Now that we’ve gone over what the Service Host Network Service is, and what are the most common causes of draining your computer’s resources, let’s dive into 8 troubleshooting methods. These solutions can help restore your computer to its peak performance level.

1. End Service Host Network Service & Restart

The first solution to try is simply to end the Service Host Network Service and reboot your computer.  To end the process, do the following:

  1. Hit CTRL + ALT + DEL on your keyboard.
  2. In the screen that pops up, choose Task Manager.
  3. Find Service Host: Network Service in the Task Manager.
Service Host: Network Service in Task Manager
  1. Select it and hit the end task button at the bottom of the window.
Service Host: Network Service - Task Manager - End Task
  1. Reboot your system. 

This will temporarily fix the issue. If the Service Host Network Service continues to repeat its high usage, then move on to the next solutions below. 

2. Turn Off Delivery Optimization

Windows Delivery Optimization is a feature that helps in updating both your operating system and the Windows Store applications. It can also share these updates with other computers on your network, which is handy but can cause high network usage. Try turning off Delivery Optimization by doing the following:

On Windows 10

  1. In your computer’s search menu, type in Settings.
  2. Head to Settings – Updates & Security. 
windows 10 - settings - update & security
  1. Then go into Delivery Optimization.
  2. Toggle off the Allow Downloads from other computers.

On Windows 11

  1. In your computer’s search menu, type in Settings.
  2. Then click on Windows Updates on the left sidebar.
  3. Go into Advanced OptionsDelivery Optimization.
windows update - advanced options - delivery optimization
  1. Toggle off the Allow Downloads from other computers.
toggle off allow downloads from other PCs in Delivery optimization.

3. Enable a Metered Connection

Another method you can try is enabling a metered connection. A metered connection is a type of network connection where you pay for the amount of data that you use. 

Enabling a metered connection will limit the amount of data that Windows can download, which helps in reducing the Service Host High Network usage. To enable a metered connection, follow these steps:

  1. In your computer’s search menu, type in Settings.
  2. Head into Network & Internet Settings (left sidebar on Win 11).
  3. Choose your WiFi or Ethernet Connection.
  4. If using WiFi, select Manage Known Networks.
  5. If using Ethernet, select your network from the list. 
  6. Now toggle on the metered connection. 
turn on metered connection

Restart your computer and see if the problem persists. 

4. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

The Service Host Network Service can often have problems when something goes awry with Windows Updates. So, an easy way to determine if this is the problem is to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter to identify and correct any miscommunication problems between the two. 

On Windows 10

  1. As in previous steps, open up your Settings window.
  2. Click into Update & Security – Troubleshoot – Other Troubleshooters.
additional troubleshooters
  1. Then Find Windows Update Troubleshooter in the list.
  2. Run it and let it resolve any errors. 
run the troubleshooter in the windows update troubleshooter

On Windows 11

  1. As in previous steps, open up your Settings window.
  2. Head to System and then Troubleshoot.
windows 11 - systems - troubleshoot
  1. Choose Other Troubleshooters from the list. 
windows 11 - other troubleshooters from system settings
  1. Find Windows Update Troubleshooter and click run. 
  2. Allow it to run and resolve any found errors.

5. Check For Windows Updates and Run Them

The svchost.exe high network usage is related to Windows Updates, so checking to make sure that you’ve updated to the newest version of Windows is critical here.  

  1. On Windows 10, head into Settings – Update & Security – Windows Update and hit the Check for Updates Button.
check for windows updates
  1. On Windows 11, head into Settings – Windows Update (left sidebar) – Check for Updates Button. 
windows 11 - windows update in system settings

Suppose you have updates, download and install them. After a successful install, re-test to see if you’re still getting high resource usage from the Service Host Network Service process. 

windows 11 - updates available to install

6. Run The Network Troubleshooter

If you’re still having issues with high resource usage from the Service Host Network Service at this point, then try running the network troubleshooter. 

A network troubleshooter is a built-in tool that can help to diagnose and fix network-specific problems. Repeat the steps found in solution 4, but choose the Internet Connections troubleshooter instead of the Windows Update troubleshooter.

7. Disable Background Intelligent Transfer (BITS)

Consider disabling the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), which is a Windows service that remains active as a background process and helps transfer data. Unfortunately, this can also cause severe high resource usage with the svchost.exe process.  

Try disabling BITS to see if you can combat the service host network service high network usage problem by doing the following:

  1. In your computer’s search menu, type in Run.
  2. Open up the Run Dialogue box and type in services.msc
run dialogue box - services.msc
  1. Hit enter and in the Services Window, find BITS in the list.
  2. Right-click on Background Intelligent Transfer and choose Properties.
BITS properties window
  1. In the Properties Window, drop down the Startup Type box.
  2. In here, choose to disable BITS, and hit apply and okay.
BITS properties startup disabled
  1. Repeat this process for the Wuauserv – which is the Window Update Service. 
wuauserv - disabled

8. Reset Your Network

After you’ve tried all the aforementioned solutions and you’re still getting high network usage from the Service Host Network Service, you might consider resetting your network completely. Here’s how:  

  1. On Windows 10: Head into Settings – Network & Internet – Status.
find network reset in status settings
  1. On Windows 11: Head into Settings – Network & Internet – Advanced Network Settings.
network reset in windows 11
  1. Scroll until you see the Network Reset option and click on it.
  1. Hit the Reset Now button beside Network Reset. 

Doing this will reset all network adapters and networking components back to their default settings and values. 

Service Host: Network Service High Network Usage Issue, Fixed!

If you’re still getting high resource usage from the Task Manager Service Host Network Service, then a few other methods you can try include renaming the Software Distribution Folder, clearing your Event Viewer Logs, and scanning your computer for malware and viruses. 

We hope this article helped you troubleshoot the Service Host Network Service high network usage error. Let us know in the comments section below, which solution worked for you. If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to ask us and we’ll do our best to answer you. Happy reading!

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