Windows makes it more convenient for its user to log in using biometrics, such as fingerprint, iris scanner, etc. However, the use of biometrics results in issues from time to time, and Windows Biometric Service high CPU usage is a prime example. Learn when to take advantage of this feature or to disable it, so it won’t be a headache to you. This article will detail everything you need to do.
What Might Have Gone Wrong
Windows Biometric Service is available on all computers that run on the Windows operating system. By taking advantage of Windows Biometric Service, people could capture, manipulate and save biometric data through sensors, scanners, etc. It doesn’t have direct access to any biometric hardware but is hosted in a privileged svchost.exe process. When it’s enabled, it’ll run the SVCHOST process and other services may also be running in the background. Thus, users notice sluggish performance on their devices due to high CPU usage.
How To Reduce CPU Usage
Disable Windows Biometric Service
This is the top recommendation by many Windows users who have experienced the high usage of Windows Biometric Service.
- Step 1: Open Start menu, search for services and launch the Services app.
- Step 2: Look for Windows Biometric Service, right-click it and choose Properties.
- Step 3. In the General tab, navigate to the Startup Type and change it to Disabled
- Step 4. Go to Service Status then click the Stop button.
- Step 5. Click Apply and select OK.
Restart your computer, log in as the screen comes back on, go to Task Manager and see the CPU usage of your computer.
Note: Some users ran into an even more frustrating error after they disabled the service: They weren’t able to log back in. To prevent this occurrence, remove all the recorded/saved login credentials such as fingerprint, iris, voice, facial, etc. After you do, then, get a clean reboot. In the case that things don’t go as expected, re-enable Windows Biometric Service.
Update Biometric Device Drivers
If you have updated your operating system a short while ago, your biometric devices may still use old drivers. Hence, you should consider updating the drivers of biometric devices.
Now, instead of going to Device Manager to update the drivers, you should visit the manufacturer’s site, e.g., HP, Dell, etc., for the latest driver. Afterward, look for the latest drivers available for your computer and download them. Of course, you should uninstall the existing drivers on your computer prior to installing the downloaded drivers. Assuming that the obsolescence of drivers is responsible for high CPU usage, Windows Biometric Service would use less resources once you bring the drivers up-to-date.
Noteworthily, quite a few users nowadays take advantage of the free version of IObit Driver Booster to keep drivers updated. When the app is running, it’ll scan your device for drivers and available updates then initiate the installation of drivers. You can then uninstall the driver booster if you don’t need it. At least, you have eliminated your problem, which is Windows Biometric Service high CPU usage.
Update/Uninstall SimplePass (For HP Users)
This is a very common concern for HP users. They have done everything that was mentioned above, except they didn’t realize that the issue is with HP’s Smart feature. SimplePass is an app used to read fingerprints but it doesn’t do well with Windows 10 and high CPU usage is a potential consequence. If your version of SimplePass is old, update it. However, if you can’t locate updates for SimplePass, you might as well uninstall SimplePass to cut the source of the problem.
If you can’t locate an updated version but you don’t want to uninstall SimplePass, there’s a workaround to try.
- Step 1. Right-click the Start menu and click Device Manager.
- Step 2. Navigate to the Biometric Devices section.
- Step 3. Expand this section and look for Validity Sensors.
- Step 4. Right-click on the item, then, select Uninstall Device.
- Step 5. Restart your device.
After it has successfully restarted, check the Device Manager. You can see that a new driver has been installed. This is a trick that only several people know and it works wonders against issues that involve drivers.
Is Windows Biometric Service only available in Windows 10?
No. This service has been available since Windows 7.
Can anyone with devices running on Windows 7 or later use this feature?
No. There are only certain devices that support such service. To check, go to Settings>Accounts>Sign-in Options.
Do I really need to disable Windows Biometric Service?
If you don’t have any problem with this feature, you don’t need to do anything. Take this measure only if you encounter high CPU usage or other issues related to the service.
Tips & Tricks
- If disabling Windows Biometric Service worsens the problem, try to access the Safe Mode and from there, enable the said feature.
- To avoid problems related to Windows Biometric Service, stick to the old-fashioned passphrase/passcode authentication, unless you’re sure that the feature works well in your Windows device.