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If you’ve ever scrolled through the list of processes running in the Task Manager, you might have come across an entry named WSAPPX. It’s notable for two reasons: its strange name can raise suspicion, and it often uses a lot of CPU and disk resources.
We’re here to explain what the WSAPPX process is, what it’s for, and how you can deal with its high disk and CPU usage.
What Is WSAPPX?
WSAPPX is a process that handles the new Universal apps and the Microsoft Store (formerly Windows Store) in Windows 8 and 10. Since these Modern/Universal apps didn’t exist on Windows 7 and earlier, you won’t see this process on those Windows versions.
You can find it by opening the Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc). Select the Processes tab, and scroll all the way to the bottom.
The process includes two sub-processes which you can see by expanding it in the Task Manager. On Windows 8, there’s a sub-process named WSService, or Windows Store Service. You’ll find an essentially identical process on Windows 10 as ClipSVC, short for Client License Service.
Both Windows 10 and Windows 8 also include AppXSVC, the AppX Deployment Service.
What Do These Processes Do?
This all sounds complicated, but it’s really not. According to their entries 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 processes handle licensing. They’re designed to protect against piracy for Windows Store apps (if such a thing exists).
The other process, AppXSVC, works to deploy apps. This means that it runs anytime you install, remove, or update a Store app. Its name comes from the file extension for Store apps, AppX. Conversely, traditional desktop software usually runs from an executable file ending in EXE.
Because these sub-processes all run under the main WSAPPX process, you’ll see its usage increase when any one of them is active.
Why Is WSAPPX Using So Many Resources?
In most cases, you’ll only see WSAPPX active when you’re using the Microsoft Store. Simply opening it and browsing around will cause the process to start. When downloading an app or installing an update, it will naturally use more resources since it needs them for the install process.
When you install traditional desktop software, their installation processes take up resources, too. However, instead of running under the WSAPPX process, you’ll see the new program’s entry hitting your CPU and disk.
If you never use the Microsoft Store or Modern apps, yet still see WSAPPX active, it’s almost certainly due to apps updating in the background. Thankfully, you can prevent this.
How to Stop Store Apps From Automatically Updating
Type store into the Start Menu and open the Microsoft Store entry. Here, click the three-dot Menu icon in the top-right, then select Settings. In the Settings menu, toggle the Update apps automatically slider to Off.
This will prevent app updates unless you manually trigger them. To check for updates, click the Menu button again and choose Downloads and updates. Hit the Get updates button to check for any, and install them as you see fit.
While you’re in the Settings menu, you may also want to disable annoying auto-playing videos.
But Do I Use Any Modern Apps?
Even if you haven’t downloaded any new apps, many of Windows 10’s built-in apps are solid. The Xbox app is great for gamers, the Calculator is now a Modern app, and the Photos and Mail apps are decent defaults if you haven’t swapped them out. Thus, if you use any of these (or others like Weather, Calendar, and People), you’ll see some extra usage from WSAPPX.
Since apps are a major part of Windows 10, we don’t recommend disabling automatic updates unless they’re grinding your system to a halt. For most people, remembering to check for updates manually is tough.
Removing Bloatware and Stopping Background Apps
While you shouldn’t disable automatic updates, you can 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 system. As you’ve likely seen, Windows 10 comes with some pre-installed junk like Candy Crush Saga. If you never play this, you don’t want it updating in the background and wasting resources.
You can visit Settings > Apps > Apps & features to browse everything installed on your PC. Click an app and choose Uninstall to purge it. If you have a lot of trash apps to remove, check our guide to removing bloatware en masse.
Once you prune the list, you’ll only have apps you actually care about remaining. Another step you should take is preventing apps from running in the background. Visit Settings > Privacy > Background apps to toggle this on a per-app basis.
If you disable an app from running in the background, it can’t check for new notifications or do anything else when you’re not using it. Feel free to disable ones you never use, but take care not to disable Mail if you use it as your primary email app, for instance. You can also toggle the slider at the top of the screen to completely disable background apps.
Can’t I Kill This Process?
Windows considers WSAPPX a vital system process. Thus, if you try to end it via the Task Manager, it warns you that ending the process can cause Windows to become unstable.
However, when we went ahead and ended the process anyway, Windows threw an error but didn’t show any signs of instability.
You don’t have any control over when WSAPPX starts and stops. It will pop up when needed (if you’re browsing the Store or interacting with apps) and close when it’s done. Like other system processes, you don’t need to micromanage this. Windows does a fine job on its own of handling processes, and the above steps should take care of any high resource usage you see from WSAPPX.
If you still have problems, after trying these solutions out, you may need to perform some troubleshooting because Store apps alone probably aren’t the issue. Start with our tips for fixing the Microsoft Store.
Have You Experienced Issues With WSAPPX?
That’s all there is to know about WSAPPX and what causes it to use resources. Since it’s tied to Microsoft Store apps, removing any you don’t use, preventing apps from running in the background, and turning off automatic updates (if you want to go that far) should suppress it.
Remember that a system process running is a normal part of Windows operation, and you shouldn’t freak out unless WSAPPX is constantly using large amounts of resources.
Have you seen WSAPPX use more resources than it should? Do you use any Store apps, or have you banished them from your PC? Tell us down in the comments!