How can I limit Handbrake’s CPU usage?

Rohit Makkar December 15, 2011

I use Windows XP SP2 and I’m using HandBrake 0.9.5. When converting video, Handbrake uses CPU at 99%-100%. If video size is big, the PC shuts down during video conversion. I used Processor Tamer and set it to low priority, but CPU is still used fully. What’s a good alternative that will limited Handbrake’s CPU usage?

  1. Michael Langfur
    July 24, 2012 at 2:50 am

    I came across your question looking for the answer. There are times my fans start to race and I'd like to throttle back the memory. If you find an answer, please let me know.


  2. Anonymous
    December 16, 2011 at 9:18 am

    it also depends on your pc configuration, available RAM, CPU, Graphic card...

    also if you have corrupted drivers like graphic card, or codecs...

    HandBrake will take what needs for working, if not then will be really very slow

    In HAndbrake if you go to video there is RF with a slider check that to see if it helps in reducing cpu usage.


    any video converter

    • JustJoe
      January 27, 2012 at 1:50 am

      ok guys, I have a quad core, 16GB RAM, Win 7 Prem, with pretty much nothing else running and I have the 99% cpu issue as well

      • Anonymous
        January 27, 2012 at 3:47 am

        Well, I would start a new question so more people can see your question and help.

        But if you are getting 100% on a quad core cpu it sounds like problem with the version of handbrake. Handbrake takes a good chunk out of my computer, but doesn't top it out.

        • Rohitmakkar19
          January 28, 2012 at 6:50 am

          Thanks Carpenter__RichardCarpenter for your are still aware of this question.
           I have a dual core processor and my problem is solved as per suggestion given by "FIDELIS".

        • Anonymous
          January 28, 2012 at 7:10 am

          Oh, Ok. Hopefully that will help JustJoe :) 

      • Ramanmakkar
        January 28, 2012 at 10:24 am

        Hi JustJoe,
        Read FIDELIS's reply above. It solves this issue by reducing cpu usage by handbrake but it takes more than it may take otherwise. I hope it will work in your case also!

      • RomanWing
        June 30, 2012 at 1:52 am


        Almost the same system you have and was having the same issue as others and you on this thread with Handbrake version 0.9.6. Fidelis resolution helped tremendously. It still uses all 4 threads, but it dropped the total usage by 75%. Hope it helps with you as well.

    December 16, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Hello, also you might want to check the cooling factor in your computer.  Regardless of how much processor usage there is, a computer wouldn't usually turn off when it is under heavy processor load.  It would slow down drastically but not shut down.  Make sure your cooler for CUP is not covered with dust and dust bunnies and if possible, remove cooler and replace the thermal paste in between processor and cooler.  Also, how much RAM is there in the system?

    Now with regards to the use of CPUs, you could try setting the program to encode with only one core by doing the following:

    -- open handbrake
    -- add the source file
    -- select your overall settings
    -- click on Advanced tab
    -- add the following text to the end of entry in box at bottom of advance settings without leaving a space


    -- click on start

    Also, make sure that when encoding, only use your computer for the encoding and nothing else. Do not run any other application or use the computer for anything else.

  4. Mjevolve
    December 16, 2011 at 7:25 am

    hello .

    try this .

    >Perform a new clean install of Handbrake . 
    >Add Handbrake to your Security softwares exception list .
    >Minimize the number of apps running alongside Handbrake .
    >Does your system have sufficient RAM .?
    >Use Process Lasso  . its one of the best CPU optimizers in real time . automatically upgrades and downgrades Processes and Applications priority , so as to keep the PC responsive at all times .
    >and you might want to check your CPU thermals and the cooling fan for any faulty behavior . CPU shutting down while encoding might be because of over heating . 
    Run CPU temp  and see what temps do you get .
    See you can hear the fans running .
    Open up the CPU case and see for any dust around the fan and the CPU . Blow it out with a blower or a can of compressed air .

  5. Susendeep Dutta
    December 16, 2011 at 7:24 am
  6. Richard Carpenter
    December 16, 2011 at 5:47 am

    What at the specs of your PC? I am using handbrake on a older Intel mac and don't have much trouble out of it.

  7. Jay
    December 16, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Use format factory as an alternative. I have never seen it slowing down my pc.

    free and one of the best:

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