Explain about Runtime Broker and Why It Is Running on Your Computer

Microsoft introduced a core process called Runtime Broker in Windows 8 and kept it in Windows 10. It is used to monitor requested permissions by universal apps (what you’ve installed from the Windows Store) like access your camera, location or microphone.

When you launch a universal app, its activity will rise though it always runs in the background. It like a middleman assigning configured trust and privacy settings to your universal apps.

Runtime Broker on Task Manager monitor window.
Runtime Broker on Task Manager monitor window.

Why does Runtime Broker use memory and spike your CPU usage?

When Runtime Broker is inative, its memory and CPU usage is at a very low level (around 20-40 MB and 0% respectively). But when a universal app is launched, the memory and CPU usage will rise to around 500-700 MB and 25-30% respectively. This level should not rise if you launch additional universal apps. And if you close all open universal apps, memory and CPU usage level consume by the process should drop back down to 20-40 MB and 0% respectively. It’s normal behavior.

Runtime Broker memory consuming level.
Runtime Broker memory consuming level.

What should you do if Runtime Broker is constantly consuming high CPU and memory usage?

In case there is no universal app is running, and if Runtime Broker is steadily consuming higher than 30% of your CPU and memory higher than expected level. There are several solutions to this situation.

Solution 1: Turn off tips

Normally, tips show via notifications after you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 recently. This activity behaves like a universal app and the Runtime Broker’s memory and CPU rise as normal. You can fix this by turn tips off.

  1. Press the ‘Windows + I’ shortcut on your keyboard to open Settings window, then choose System;

  1. Select ‘Notifications & actions’ on the left sidebar, then untick (or turn off) ‘Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows’ option.

Solution 2: Fix misbehaving apps

There’s a chance that Runtime Broker is using more resources than expected level caused by a misbehaving app. In this situation, you need to narrow down the app that’s likely causing the problem. Make sure the app is the latest version. If it doesn’t help, try to uninstall then reinstall the app. If that does not fix the problem too, and if you do not need it, uninstall it.

Could this process is a virus?

As mentioned above, Runtime Broker is an official Windows core process. Though there’s a chance that a virus has deleted the official file and replaced it with its executable file, but it’s very unlikely. There’s no case has reported that viruses that hijack this process. If you want to confirm it’s not a virus, you can check it yoursef by following below steps:

  1. Right-click Start icon (or you can simply hit the ‘Windows + X’ shortcut) then choose Task Manager;

  1. Move to Processes if you’re in the other tab, right-click Runtime Broker and select ‘Open File Location’;

  1. If the location of the file is in C:\Windows\System32 folder, then fairly certain you are not facing a virus.

If you want a more certain confirmation, you should scan for viruses using your preferred virus scanner.

Should you disable Runtime Broker?

Anyway, you shouldn’t disable the process. It’s important for protecting your privacy and security when you are running universal apps. Besides, it also consumes minimun memory and CPU usage if it’s running the right way.

Kill Runtime Broker process on Task Manager.
Kill Runtime Broker process in Task Manager.

You can kill the Runtime Broker process by right-clicking it in Task Manager monitor window then choose ‘End task’ if you think it’s misbehaving. The process will relaunch automatically after a few seconds. Remember, for that few seconds until it launches again, the open universal apps may not run at all.