If you’ve checked the Task Manager to understand what’s using up a lot of your PC’s resources, you might have come across an entry named WSAPPX. This is notable for two reasons: its unfamiliar name can raise suspicion, and it often uses a lot of CPU and disk resources.
We’ll explain the WSAPPX method, what it’s for, and how you can deal with its high disk and CPU usage.
What Is WSAPPX?
WSAPPX is a method that handles installing, removing and managing Universal apps through the Microsoft Store in Windows 8 and 10. Since these Universal/Modern applications didn’t exist on Windows 7 and earlier, you won’t see this process on those Windows versions.
You can see it by opening the Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc). Click more details if needed to expand to its full view, select the Processes tab, and scroll to the bottom to find it.
The method includes two sub-processes, which you can see by expanding it in the Task Manager. On Windows 8, there’s a sub-process denoted WSService or Windows Store Service. You’ll find an approximately identical process on Windows 10 as ClipSVC, short for Client License Service.
What Do WSAPPX and Related Processes Do?
The technical names might make this doesn’t sound very easy, but it’s not. According to their records in the Services panel, ClipSVC and WSService both provide infrastructure support for the Microsoft Store. If you disable them, Store apps won’t work because these methods handle licensing. They’re designed to preserve against piracy for Microsoft Store apps—if that even exists.
The other process, AppXSVC, works to deploy apps. This indicates that it runs whenever you install, remove, or update a Store app. Its name arises from the file extension for Store apps: AppX. Conversely, traditional desktop software normally runs from an executable file ending in EXE.
Like Android apps (with the APK file extension), you can grab AppX files from everywhere to sideload apps onto your PC. However, doing this could open you up to malware if you’re not concerned.
Because these sub-processes all run under the primary WSAPPX process, you’ll see its usage increase when any one of them is active.
Why Is WSAPPX Using System Resources?
In most situations, you’ll only see WSAPPX active when you’re using the Microsoft Store. Just opening it and browsing around will cause the process to start. When downloading an app or installing an update, it will naturally utilize more resources since it needs them for the install process.
This isn’t unique to Store apps. When you install the traditional desktop software, its installation method takes up resources, too. However, rather than running under the WSAPPX process, you’ll see the new program’s entry using your CPU and disk.
If you never use the Microsoft Store or its apps yet still see WSAPPX active, it’s almost certainly due to automatically updating apps in the background. Thankfully, you can prevent this.
How to Stop Store Applications from Automatically Updating
Disabling automatic updates for Store apps is easy. Enter store into the Start Menu and open the Microsoft Store entry. Here, click the three-dot icon in the top-right, then choose Settings. In the Settings menu, toggle the Update application automatically slider to Off.
This will prevent app updates from occurring in the future unless you manually trigger them. To check for updates, click the Menu button again and select Downloads and updates. Hit the Get updates key to check for any, and install them as you see fit.
Do I Need Any Store Apps?
You can get by just fine in Windows 10 without ever utilizing the Microsoft Store. But even if you don’t download anything from the Store, several built-in Windows 10 apps update through it.
The Xbox app has tons of features for gamers, the Calculator is now a Store app, and the images and Mail apps are decent defaults if you haven’t swapped them out for something else. Apps like Your Phone, which let you access your phone’s data right from your system, also come from the Store.
Thus, if you use any of these, you’ll notice some extra usage from WSAPPX. Since installing updates is crucial to preserving yourself on any platform, we don’t recommend disabling automatic updates unless they’re grinding your system to a halt.
For the most public, remembering to check for updates manually is tough. Store apps have fewer permissions than desktop applications, so they don’t pose as much of a security risk. But for the small number of resources these updates take each once in a while, it’s worth being up-to-date.
Remove Bloatware and Stop Background Apps
While we advise versus disabling automatic updates, you can still take a few steps to prevent Store apps from running when you don’t want them to. The first is removing bloatware apps from your PC. As you’ve likely noticed, Windows 10 comes with some pre-installed junk like Candy Crush Saga. If you never use these applications, having them update in the background is just a waste of resources.
Visit Settings > Apps > Apps & features to browse everything installed on your system. Hit an app and choose Uninstall to remove it. Once you cut out the apps you don’t accept anyway, only a handful of apps you care about will remain. With fewer apps from the Store installed, WSAPPX won’t require resources as often.
Another action you should take is preventing apps from running in the background. Visit Settings > Privacy > Background apps (under App permissions in the sidebar) toggle this on a per-app basis. If you disable an application from running in the background, it can’t check for new notifications or do anything else when you’re not using it. Think free to disable ones you never use, but take care not to disable anything you rely on.
You can also toggle the Let apps run in the background slider at the top of the screen to disable background apps altogether, though this is a nuclear option.
Can I Kill the WSAPPX Process?
Windows considers WSAPPX a vital system process. Thus, if you try to send it via the Task Manager, it reminds you that ending the process can cause Windows to become unstable and shut down.
You don’t have any handle over when WSAPPX starts and stops. It will pop up when required (if you’re browsing the Microsoft Store or interacting with apps) and stop when it’s done. Like other system processes, you don’t require micromanaging this. Windows do a fine job on its handling methods, and the above steps should take care of any high resource usage you see from WSAPPX.
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