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100% CPU spikes on Vista Premium

Hello Everyone,

I have a three year old Vista laptop that has 3 GB of RAM installed. I have recently noticed that if I open task manager and keep an eye on the CPU usage, when I tend to open a web browser and especially view a youtube video the CPU usage starts to spike much higher and varies between 70-100% at times. Is there anything I can do to stop this happening?

I checked my startup applications and disabled all unnecessary programs such as Quicktime but it hasn't really made much of a difference. If I open a video through VLC Media Player the CPU is around 40% but watching one through youtube seems to max it out.

I use Chrome as my browser and only have the Adblock extension installed. I've tried Firefox but it has the same effect with "plugin-container.exe" being the process that uses the most CPU.

When this happens although the video continues to play fine i notice its not as smooth. It's really puzzling me as I cant remember my laptop doing this before. My Small Form Factor desktop PC which runs Windows 7 manages the same applications and even when watching a youtube video on there the CPU never approaches 100%.

Any suggestions guys?

Yard Dog

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Hello, I just watched a Dire Straits Youtube and i did not go over 25% usage. I have only 2 gig of RAM , and with you having 3 gig of RAM and spiking indicates alot of stuff is running . Do you have Ccleaner installed ? Run the cleaner and get rid of the temp files , restart computer to clear out the RAM and see if this helps out. If not , install Process Explorer, a free program , and in View, check the Lower Pane box, and lets see what kind of processes are using the most of resources. Process Explorer


Vista Guru
Gold Member
Need more info about your system.

75% can be alot or a vry tiny amount depending on your cpu.

So, what cpu do you have?

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
How much free hard drive space do you have? Have you run the Windows Disk Cleanup utility from Accessories lately and rebooted to clean out temporary files and empty the recycle bin?