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What is Modern Setup Host?

Windows is a relatively stable operating system that usually works well regardless of the user. However, it is built on hundreds of background processes running behind the scenes and keeping it together, and it isn’t uncommon to see some of those processes hog your resources from time to time. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at the Modern Setup Host service in Windows and giving you some fixes if the service uses far too many system resources on your computer. 


What is Modern Setup Host?

Modern Setup Host is a core component of Windows and is responsible for preparing your computer for installing any Windows updates that might be available. 

The process usually stays dormant until an update has finished downloading. Once the download is complete, the process wakes up and starts the installation process during inactive hours. If you have an update actively installing, the process can sometimes use up a significant memory and even CPU.

Do keep in mind that the process runs by a self-initiating executable file, meaning you cannot start it manually unless there’s an update ready to be installed.

Is Modern Setup Host a malware?

Threat actors often name their malware after Windows services to avoid detection on the target computer. However, Modern Setup Host is a legitimate process built by Microsoft and is entirely safe to run on your PC. 

The executable file for the process is located in the C:/$Windows.~BT/Sources folder. If you see the same executable anywhere else, chances are it’s malware, and you should immediately remove it and scan your PC for any risks.

Also read: Windows does not have enough information to verify this certificate: 6 Fixes


How to fix Modern Setup Host using too many resources?

It’s not uncommon for the process to use system resources when installing an update, but if you’re seeing it hogging your memory even when there are no updates available, chances are something is wrong. 

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

Windows offers a slew of inbuilt troubleshooters that can resolve just about any issue on your PC, including Windows Update.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open Windows settings and click on Update & Security.

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Step 2; Head over to the Troubleshooting tab.

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Step 3: Click on Additional troubleshooters.

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Step 4: Click the Windows Update troubleshooter to run it and let the troubleshooter do its thing. 

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Try running the update again to see if that solved the error.


Run an SFC scan

Corrupt files are the number one reason your PC might behave weirdly. Here’s how you can get rid of them and potentially resolve your issue. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + S to bring up the Cortana/Search box and search for Powershell. Open Windows Powershell from the search results.

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Step 2: Type sfc /scannow to scan your system for issues. 

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Step 3: If the SFC scan finds any problems, use the following command to resolve them. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
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Restart your PC, and the error will be resolved. 

Also read: Location not available error: 8 Fixes


Restore your PC using DISM

DISM, or the Deployment Image Servicing and Management, is a tool that can help restore corrupt Windows installations. We’ve already covered how to run this tool to fix any issues with your PC.

Check out our detailed article on restoring your PC using DISM here. 

Remove the SoftwareDistribution folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder contains Windows update files that are yet to be installed. If there’s a corrupt file in this folder, it can cause the process to get stuck and use up precious system resources. 

First up, we’re going to have to disable Windows updates temporarily. Follow these steps to do so.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Once open, type services.msc and hit enter. 

Step 2: Find the Windows Update service and disable it using the Start/Stop button. 

Step 3: Now head over to C:/Windows. Find the SoftwareDistribution folder and delete it to proceed. 

Restart your PC and check if your issue is resolved. 

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Restart the Windows Update service

Restarting the Windows Update service can also help freshen up the currently running update process. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Once open, type services.msc and hit enter. 

Step 2: Find the Windows Update service and disable it using the Stop button.

Step 3: Once the service has stopped, wait for about a minute and then restart it by clicking the Start button.


Repair your system

If nothing else works, the best way to get rid of the problem is simply reinstalling or repairing your OS. 

The Windows Media Creation tool is a great way to install and repair the OS. Using this, you can perform a clean installation or repair your OS without affecting your data.

You can download the Media Creation Tool here

Also read: How to fix the Windows Photo Viewer: Not enough memory issue?

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