Why Is Bluestacks Causing High CPU Usage?

With Bluestacks you are virtualizing a second operating system (Android) using CPU virtualization. It takes a lot of CPU power and memory (RAM) utilization to run BlueStacks, which will result in high CPU usage. While a rise in resource usage is normal, there are things you can do to manage your processing and memory resources while using Bluestacks.

Why Your CPU Can Go Up to 100% Utilization With Bluestacks

Part of the reason why you’re seeing high CPU usage simply has to do with what Bluestacks is and how it works. An emulator like Bluestacks uses virtualization to simulate hardware functionality and create a virtual Android system. It also allocates some of your RAM and CPU usage as dedicated resources to do this.

The other part has to do with how your computer allocates CPU usage as a dedicated resource. Normally, when you open up Task Manager and see CPU usage, it’s showing you data based on set bounds (0%-100%).

When you run Bluestack, it only takes as much RAM and CPU power as it needs at that moment. Since it’s allocated as a dedicated resource, Task Manager sees this as 100% of the CPU resources you have, even if the program only took 30%. It’s fully using that 30%, however, so Task Manager translates this to 100%.

That aside, there are two possible reasons why Bluestacks is using a lot of processing power-maybe even more than it should.

Your Resource Allocations Aren’t Managed Properly

Most of the time, you don’t want to mess around with resource allocations for a program, but it’s pretty much necessary with Bluestack. You may need to allocate more CPU cores and memory to the emulator.

It could also be useful to limit some of these resources in order to improve your CPU usage. This depends entirely on your setup and what apps you want to run on Bluestacks.

Your Hardware Can’t Handle the Demand

No matter which way you look at it, running an emulator like Bluestacks can be CPU and RAM-intensive. If your hardware is older, your PC might not entirely be up to the challenge of providing the resources Bluestack needs.

Tips for Decreasing Your CPU Usage While Running Bluestacks

Be aware that these fixes are for Bluestack 5, which is the latest version of Bluestack at the time of writing. Some of these tips will also work with older versions.

Enable Hardware Virtualization in Your BIOS

Normally, Bluestacks is limited to using just one CPU core, which might not be enough for your needs. Before you can allocate any more CPU cores to Bluestacks, you have to enable virtualization first. Without it, your other cores are automatically locked and you won’t even have the option of accessing them.

Make sure VT/VT-d/VT-x (Intel) or AMD-V (AMD) is enabled in your BIOS – the version you have and where to find it in your BIOS depends on your motherboard. You can look in your motherboard’s manual or find a guide online to see how to access your BIOS and where to find the VT setting. BlueStacks also has a guide on how to enable virtualization on its support page.

Change How Many CPU Cores Bluestacks Uses

You don’t want BlueStacks to run on just one CPU core but you don’t want to give it access to all of your cores either. Luckily, you can manage CPU and RAM resources right from within the BlueStacks home screen by going to the settings menu. The developer provides an excellent guide on its support page on how to do this.

Bluestacks recommends using either 2 or 4 cores, depending on how graphically demanding your games or apps are. You can also try to just reduce the CPU Cores given to BlueStacks to half of your core count.

This is mainly applicable if you only have 4 cores to start with as you never want to allocate all of your cores to BlueStack. It won’t leave your PC with enough resources to function properly.

Increase the RAM Allocation for Bluestacks

You can follow the same BlueStacks guide as above to manage your RAM allocation. I’d recommend that you increase RAM usage for BlueStacks to at least 3 GB, especially if you’re running multiple apps at the same time. It can also help reduce gaming lag if you’re running more resource-intensive games.

Set the Process Priority for Bluestacks in Windows Task Manager

It’s possible to manually force Bluestacks to use less CPU processing power. Open up Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Click on the Details tab, find BlueStacks, and right-click on it. Select “Set priority” and choose either “Below Normal” or “Low” depending on your needs.

Task Manager

Using this method, you’ll have to repeat these steps every time you start up your PC. You can also set the process priority for Bluestacks permanently using Powershell.

Disable Hyper-V

Third-party virtual machines and emulators like BlueStack don’t work well with Hyper-V enabled. You need to make sure it’s disabled first and if it isn’t then you need to disable it. Windows provides a handy guide on how to do this. 

While you’re busy, you’ll also have to disable Windows Defender Device Guard and Credential Guard to keep these features from interfering with your emulator. Follow this guide from Windows to disable them.

Try Eco Mode 

Bluestacks 5 has a feature called Eco Mode. It limits the app to a certain percentage of CPU usage and limits your max FPS to 30. The company promises about an 87% drop in CPU usage with Eco Mode, although your actual numbers may be quite different. 

This is also a great solution if you’re looking to run multiple instances of BlueStacks at the same time but want to allocate different resources to them. The Multi-instance Manager in Eco Mode gives you the ability to carefully fine-tune how much CPU usage and FPS each instance can get.

Delete and Reinstall Bluestacks

Sometimes, the only way to get something to work properly is through a fresh start. Make sure to backup any important save files before you completely uninstall BlueStacks. Keep in mind that if you reinstall the app, you’ll likely also lose all of your resource allocation settings.

Contact the Support Team

If all else fails, you can report the issue to the support team – use these steps on the Bluestacks support page to file a report. It could be that there’s an issue with your system or hardware or there’s something wrong with the app version you’re using. They may be able to help you pinpoint the exact problem.

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