If you’re on Windows and have an Xbox, you might consider using Windows Media Player to stream pictures, videos, and music to your TV. This is a pretty nice setup, especially for a home network.
The only problem is that sometimes if you have a really large collection or a problem with some of your media files, you might have a problem where the wmpnetwk.exe process is taking up 100% of your CPU! Not fun!
If you open Windows Media Player, you may notice that the entire computer slows down before scanning, or the program just crashes. This can happen for several reasons.
First, if you have a very large collection of videos and images, let Windows Media Player run overnight if it is indexing all files for the first time. The first library update can take a long time.
If you have such a high CPU usage even after a couple of days, then you have a different problem. The main reason for the high CPU utilization of wmpnetwk.exe is related to media file corruption.
This is usually caused by a damaged AVI file, but it is not necessary. Also, I’m obviously assuming that you want to use the WMP sharing feature. If not, turn off media streaming (method 3) and that should fix your problem. Here are some ways to fix this problem.
Method 1 – move the media outside the library
If you want to keep all of your media in Windows Media Player, try moving everything from the monitored folders first, then move small chunks of media back and see when the problem occurs.
Your best bet is to delete all monitored folders from Windows Media Player and then move all media to a different location on your hard drive. Finally, go back and add the watched folders again (they should be empty). Make sure the CPU usage is high.
Otherwise, you know that your problem is with one of the media files in your library. You will have to slowly upload them back to the monitored folders and hope you can figure out which one.
Method 2 – turn off media streaming
On Windows 7 and 10, you can turn off media streaming by going to the Network and Sharing Center and clicking “Change advanced sharing settings” on the left.
You will see a Media Streaming section that you can turn off. If your computer is part of a homegroup, you won’t see media streaming options here. Instead, you will need to click Start, type Streaming Media, and click Streaming Media Options.
Here you will see all the devices on your local network, whether they are sharing or not. At the top, you will see the media sharing settings for your computer. You can clear the Allowed check box to turn off media sharing for your computer in the homegroup.
Method 3 – Set WMP Network Sharing Service to Manual
The second way to fix this if it doesn’t work is to set the service to Manual instead of Automatic. You can do this by clicking Start, then Control Panel, System and Security, Administrative Tools, and then Services.
Scroll down to Windows Media Player Sharing Service and double-click it.
Change the startup type from automatic to manual. Then click OK to save the settings.
Restart your computer and see if the problem goes away. Otherwise, you can follow the same steps as above, but select Disabled instead of Manual. However, use manual mode only if you do not want to stream media files from PC to TV using Windows Media Player. Enjoy!