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How to fix Windows wireless LAN 802.11 extensibility framework’s high CPU usage?

Windows is powered by hundreds if not thousands of small processes and frameworks running in the background to give us the easy-to-use and functional OS most of us use. However, these background processes don’t always run as expected. 

In this article, we’re looking at why the Windows Wireless LAN 82.11 Extensibility Framework uses too many system resources and what you can do to fix the problem.


What is this framework?

The Windows Wireless LAN 82.11 Extensibility Framework is an interface that different WiFi adaptor drivers use to talk to Windows wireless security and connectivity features. 

Occasional spikes in CPU usage by this framework are normal; however, if it’s running on high resources for a sustained period, it could indicate an issue with your PC. Here are some of the most popular reasons.

  • Outdated or corrupt network drivers.
  • Corrupt system files.
  • Outdated Windows version
  • A malware could be operating disguised as the framework.

The genuine file is located at C:\Windows\System32\ and is completely safe to use. The file size is about 101KB, and the name of the file is wlanext.exe. If you have a file with any other names or larger size, it could indicate a malware infection as well. 

Also read: Windows 10 stuck on restarting: 5 Fixes


How to fix this?

Here are a few fixes you can try. 

Restart the router

As always, the first step of troubleshooting anything is to reboot the device that may be causing the issue.

It almost seems like a joke now, but rebooting your device does have some pretty surprising results, and you might be able to resolve many seemingly random issues.


Run the Network adaptor troubleshooter

A lot of times, using the Windows troubleshooter can fix your issue. Right-click on the network icon in the taskbar, click on Troubleshoot problems and let the troubleshooter do its thing. 

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Once the troubleshooter has run, restart your PC and try again. 


Update the OS

In such situations, another thing to do is make sure your OS is up to date. Developers usually diagnose these issues based on insider reports or feedback from customers and issue fixes or patches in the form of updates. Check to ensure you’ve got the latest update installed on your system.

You can check out our detailed guide on how to update Windows here

Check your drivers

Your network adaptor’s (WiFi or ethernet) drivers could also be causing connectivity issues. Try connecting to the internet using either an ethernet connection or any other alternatives and follow these steps to get your drivers in place.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Double click Network adaptors to expand it and right click your WiFi card or ethernet adaptor, depending upon what you need to fix. Click on Update driver.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 3: Select Search automatically for drivers, and Windows will find and install any available updates. 

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Once the drivers are updated, restart, and the process should take up fewer resources. 

Also read: What is APC index mismatch in Windows 10? 5 Fixes


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 problem, use the following command to resolve them. 

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


Disable the network adaptor

At times, toggling your network adaptor can also fix the problem. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open the Windows settings.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Click on Network & Internet.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 3: Click on Change adaptor options.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 4: Right-click on your WiFi network and click Disable.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Once the adaptor has turned off, enable it again and restart your PC. The framework’s CPU usage should be lower. 


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: Windows was unable to complete the format: 2 Fixes

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  • Better a simpler solution
    Open the task manager, click on this process and find the file location
    rename this .exe file
    Kill the process in task manager and it won’t start again 🙂


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