WMI or Windows management interface (WmiPrvSE.exe) is a set of APIs that lets a developer interact with a Windows machine. Usually, you can use it with scripts to gather data from your Windows or change some of the Windows settings. WMI is the platform for all Windows operating systems to manage the data and operations locally and remotely.
In the task manager of Windows 10/11 or 8.1, you can locate the WMI provider host running as a process with the name WmiPrvSE.exe. It stands for Windows Management Instrumentation Provider service. When you switch to the Process Explorer in the task manager, it is displayed as a component of the Web-Based Enterprise System and the Common Information Model (CIM) of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) of Windows. MOM was earlier known as SCOM (System Center Operations Manager).
If you are unaware of these terms, let us first explore the meaning and relevance of these terms before proceeding to details.
Among many functions of an OS, process scheduling is very important. MOM or SCOM is a component of Windows OS that works as an event and analytics organizer and a dispatcher. An event and analytics organizer checks the events occurring in a computer system. As an Analytics Organizer, it manages the resources, and as a dispatcher, it hands over(dispatches) the process to be executed in a multiprogramming environment by performing a context switch.
It has many other responsibilities associated with the processes like Security permissions, analysing the network’s security and other regular activities like system diagnostics and reporting, data reliability and performance monitoring.
IT infrastructure may vary at various levels like vendors, configuration, standards of manufacturing, etc. CIM plays a crucial role in managing compliance between elements managed under IT infrastructure. It does so by strictly adhering to the standards predefined for compliance.
WBEM is an internet standards-based protocol that helps to implement the system management technology and bind it to the interface to manage an application within an Operating System. Microsoft has implemented WMI in all its OSs with the help of WBEM.
It also works as a common interface provider and an object model, which can be used to access management information characterizing the Operating System, Devices, Services, and User Applications.
Stopping this service (WmiPrvSE.exe) is not desirable for the Windows-based software since it may result in unexpected behavior of such dependent applications. A lot of other services also depend on the WMI Service. If it is disabled, it may end up terminating these dependent services, or these services may not start altogether.
Whether to Stop WMI Provider Host or Not?
Winmgmt.exe is available in the c:\windows\system32\Wbem folder. If you find a copy of winmgmt.exe at some other location in the computer file system, it can be a virus or a Trojan. In such a case, you can clean it with Windows Repair Tool.
The WMIPrvSE service should not be stopped to make your Windows run properly. Although Windows OS won’t shut down or crash on stopping it, many other services depend on this WMI host service.
Some users have experienced high CPU usage by the WMI host service, which leads to system lag, increased CPU temperature and slowing down of the system.
This unusual behavior might be caused due to some application associated with the WMI or some unknown reasons, but the problem can be solved by following these workarounds.
Restart WMI service
Press the Windows key and R on the keyboard to open a RUN dialogue box. Now type “ services.msc”
Now from the Services window, open the Windows management instrumentation service. The easiest way to find it is by selecting any service from the list and pressing W on the keyboard. Now right, click on the WMI service and restart it.
Restart related services
After you complete the previous step, it’s time to restart Some of the services associated with WMI. To do this, you must right-click the start button and select the command prompt(admin).
Run the following commands one by one:
net stop iphlpsvc
net start iphlpsvc
net stop wscsvc
net start wscsvc
net stop Winmgmt
net start Winmgmt
After successfully typing the above commands in the command prompt window, you need to restart the computer to see the changes.
If the WMI service is still consuming excessive CPU resources, move to the next step.
Uninstall the Process under Event Viewer
It is vital to track down the program creating this problem associated with a particular WMI process (WMI Provider Host) and stop or uninstall the culprit application.
If the WMI process is still eating up the CPU resources, you need to narrow it down to the specific application forcing the WMI process to function abnormally. The following steps will find the main reason behind this unwanted situation.
Press the Windows logo key and X together on the keyboard. Now open Event Viewer. From the top menu, select View and turn on “Show Analytics and Debug Logs”.
In the left pane, navigate to Applications and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > WMI-Activity.
Under the WMI_activity, select operational from the list.
In the right window pane, you will see a list of errors. Click on the error.
Once you click on the error, in the below window, you will find the specifications of the error. Move down to “Client ProcessID= “.
Now go to Task Manager and click services. Match the PID (Client ProcessID) with the service in the list and disable it.
Finally, go to the control panel and uninstall the associated program under the Program and Features.
Sometimes the problem of the WMI process taking up the CPU resources is just because of some virus or malware. If all of the above steps fail, scanning your system with some anti-malware or windows repair tool is imperative.
WMI process is the core component of managing clients in Windows OS. WMI Provider Host, WmiPrvSE.exe, is safe and is used by developers and administrators to monitor computer systems.