Fix CPU Spikes When Using DisplayLink Dock

Task Manager CPU graph exhibits regularly occurring CPU spikes while a USB DisplayLink dock is attached.

Table Of Contents


  1. Introduction

  2. Symptoms

  3. Solution

  4. Steps

  5. About


Published: May 03, 2019

Above: Task Manager CPU graph exhibits regularly occurring CPU spikes while a USB DisplayLink dock is attached.

TL;DR: If you have a USB-based DisplayLink dock and are seeing CPU spikes like in the picture above, check your wallpaper slideshow interval setting. Increase the setting or turn off slideshows completely. Each spike is the wallpaper changing.

Symptoms

  • A DisplayLink USB Dock Is Attached To Affected PC
  • Task Manager CPU Graph Shows Spikes At Regular Intervals
  • Under the Processes Tab in Task Manager a process called "Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework..." will spike in CPU usage as well as use GPU engine for an instant.
  • Wallpaper slideshow is enabled
  • Affected system is running Windows 10

Solution

CPU spikes are likely caused by wallpaper slideshow change interval. Increase or disable wallpaper slideshow to reduce/remove CPU spikes.

Steps

Open Start Menu And Click Settings Icon

Search "wallpaper" in the search bar
Click "Choose background, slideshow, or solid..."

For this step you have two options:

A. Switch background to "Picture" or "Solid color" (best option)
B. Increase change picture time (higher is better, only decreases frequency of CPU spikes).

And that's it, thats all you should need to do to resolve this. If it doesn't work, then your issue is something else. These DisplayLink docks can be finicky, so good luck!

About

On Windows 10 wallpaper changes cause the DisplayLink device to spike in CPU usage, as well as intermittently use the PC's graphics processor. This spike occurs every time the wallpaper changes—regardless of whether the wallpaper is visible or covered by a program, or whether the wallpaper is changing on a Displaylink attached display or display directly connected to affected computer.

Increasing the time between wallpaper changes increases the interval between CPU spikes; it does not completely stop them. To completely resolve the CPU spiking, disable wallpaper slideshow by switching to a wallpaper picture or solid color background.

I discovered this issue after setting background change interval to 10 seconds (something Windows 10 doesn't even normally let you do anymore).

Hope this helps someone!

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