How to fix Modern Setup Host causes High CPU or Stops Working?

A large number of Windows 10 users have reported through forums that their computer suddenly comes to slow out of nowhere. The reason for this situation is very variable, but when open Task Manager to check for processes slow down their computer, many users found Modern Setup Host is causing high CPU usage.

This post is for you if you’re having this case. In this post, I provide every information you need to know about Modern Setup Host and methods to fix if it causes high CPU or stops working.

What is Modern Setup Host?

Modern Setup Host or SetupHost.exe is is a self-extracting archive and installer. Which is located in ‘C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\’ folder and runs as a scheduled task every time a user logs in to execute a process with the local user’s privileges within the context of its parent windowsstoresetupbox.exe (executed by Microsoft Windows Update).

It very likely appears on your PC if it’s running a beta version of Windows (Windows Technical Preview). If your computer’s system is detecting or installing updates or running the setup file of upgrading system to Windows 10, Modern Setup Host service will be started and run in the background with above-described privileges and context.

Solutions for Modern Setup Host cause high CPU or stop working

This is the two most popular problems that Modern Setup Host cause to Windows 10 users. Furthermore, we know SetupHost.exe process directly related to Windows Update. So Windows Update error may probably lead to SetupHost.exe problems.

All six methods mentioned in this post try to troubleshoot Windows Update errors, each method applies to whichever of the two problems you got.

Method 1: Run the Windows Update troubleshooter 

This utility is integrated into Windows 10 to help you troubleshoot Windows Update errors. So If your computer is powered by Windows 8 or 7, you need to download the troubleshooter from Microsoft.

To do this in Windows 10:

  1. Bring up the Start menu by hit Windows key on your keyboard, type ‘troubleshoot’ then select Troubleshoot from the result;

  1. Select ‘Windows Update’ to show running option, then select ‘Run the troubleshooter’;

  1. Wait for the troubleshooter detecting and fixing problems. Check if the problems are fixed or not.

To do this in Windows 8 or 7:

  1. Download the troubleshooter from Microsoft;
  2. Run the downloaded file;
  3. Choose ‘Windows Update’, then select Next;

  1. Wait for the process to complete then check if the problems are fixed or not.

Method 2: Run DISM tool to repair Windows images

After method 1 fails, now time for running the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command-line tool to repair Windows images. I have written how to use DISM tool to repair Windows images but I epitomize and apply for the situations here:

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator, if it missing from Power User Menu in Windows 10’s, you can easily put it back;
  2. Type in Command Prompt window the following commands and hit Enter after each line:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Checkhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

After complete, check for Windows Update or upgrade your PC to see if the Modern Setup Host problems persist.

Method 3: Do a clean boot

This is the process of starting a PC system with only the most essential unit required by the system. This process eliminates the background programs that may conflict with Windows Update. Step to do a clean boot:

  1. Hit the ‘Windows + R’ shortcut on your keyboard;
  2. Type in the Run box ‘msconfig’ then hit Enter key to open System Configuration window;

  1. On General tab, uncheck ‘Load startup items’ option;

  1. Go on to Services tab, check ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option, then select ‘Disable all’;

  1. Now go to Startup tab, select ‘Open Task Manager’;

  1. In Task Manager window, on Startup tab, right-click on every item with the Enabled status then choose Disable option;

  1. Go back to System Configuration window, on Startup tab, click OK;

  1. Now restart your computer.

After complete, remember to confirm the Modern Setup Host problems persist or not.

Method 4: Check for the default system language

If your system language and default system UI language differs from each other, Windows Update may probably encounter problems.

To check the default system UI language:

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator;
  2. Type in Command Prompt window ‘dism /online /get-intl’ command then hit Enter, remember to note the Default system UI language show on the result to compare later.

To check system language in Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings window by hitting the shortcut ‘Windows + I’ on your keyboard, then select ‘Time & Language’ setting;

  1. Select Language (or Region & Language) on the left sidebar. Check if the language is set to your default system UI language that you have checked in previous steps. If not, set it to your default system UI language then exit settings

Restart your machine then check for the Modern Setup Host issue.

To check system language in Windows 7:

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel, then select Region & Language setting;

  1. On Formats tab, check if the Format option is set to your default system UI language you have checked in the previous step. If it is not, set it to your default system UI language then exit.

Check for Windows Update or upgrade your PC to see if the Modern Setup Host problems persist.

Method 5: Delete all the items in SoftwareDistribution folder

If you’re using a computer powered by Windows 10, there is a folder called ‘SoftwareDistribution’. This folder contains temporary files necessary for installing Windows updates. The temporary files sometime could cause Windows Update problems, therefore, delete the temporary files may fix the problems:

  1. Open the File Explorer and go to ‘C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download’ path (you can simply do that by copy and paste the path into the File Explorer’s address bar then hit Enter key);
  2. Select all the items in the Download folder, right-click on them then select Delete;

  1. A window pops up to ask for permission, check ‘Do this for all current items’ option then select Continue;

Restart your PC then check for Windows Update or upgrade your PC to confirm the Modern Setup Host problems are gone or not.

Method 6: Disable your PC’s Windows Update

Final method in this post is to disable Windows Update, this method force Windows Update to stop running and get rid of the Modern Setup Host problems. To disable it:

  1. Hit the ‘Windows + R’ shortcut on your keyboard to open the Run box;
  2. Type in ‘services.msc’ then hit Enter key to bring up Services window;

  1. On Services window, right-click on ‘Windows Update’ service and choose Properties;

  1. Go to General tab on Properties window, change ‘Startup type’ option to Disabled then select Stop;

  1. Move to Recovery tab, confirm ‘First failure’ option is ‘Take No Action’. Select Apply then OK.

If you go to the final method, the Modern Setup Host problems should be gone by now. Hope this post is useful for you.

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