Windows Modules Installer Worker (WMIW) or TiWorker.exe is a system service that checks and installs updates for Windows and other Microsoft products. It is a core component of the system.
Typically, WMIW is more active just before and after an update to ensure proper installation of files on the computer. However, lately, many users have been facing an issue where WMIW is hogging up more than 50% of their disk usage; at times the usage even jumps up to 100%. This results in other processes hanging or freezing.
The reason behind WMIW’s High Disk Usage
As mentioned above, WMIW first checks the Windows server to make sure you have appropriate downloads available or not. Once they have been downloaded, it then makes sure they are properly installed and all other system files have been upgraded as well.
Thus, the most likely cause is an improper installation of the updates and corrupt or damaged system files that could be causing a deadlock of processes which in turn is occupying more than the required resources of your system.
Fortunately, we have some well-documented fixes that will resolve the problem. However, there can be multiple reasons for high disk usage, and hence, you might have to try multiple fixes listed in this article.
Confirm There’s a Problem
Before we go on to the possible fixes for this issue, make sure that there is actually a problem. As mentioned before, Windows Modules Installer Worker is an actual system service and not any rogue process that just shows up in the Task Manager. And at times when Windows is performing the task associated with it, its usage in the Task Manager will be high.
First, make sure that Windows is not installing any updates currently. Even after it has installed the updates, give it some time, a maximum of a couple of hours, as it still works in the background to ensure updates have been properly installed.
Also, make sure that Windows is not running the scheduled automatic maintenance. To check, open the Control Panel. Then, go to ‘Security & Maintenance’.
Expand the ‘Maintenance’ option and check that automatic maintenance is not running. If it is, wait till it’s completed and see if the disk usage by the
TiWorker.exe process is still high. If it isn’t, well, there you go. Otherwise, proceed with the fixes listed below.
1. Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Before you head and try to resolve the issue, you can run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to ensure the problem is not hardware-based. The tool helps you diagnose and find issues with the RAM module installed on your computer.
Head to the Start Menu and type
Memory Diagnostic to perform a search. After that, click on the ‘Windows Memory Diagnostic’ tile to proceed.
Then, either click on the ‘Restart now and check for problems’ option to restart the PC immediately or click on the ‘Check for problems the next time I start my computer’ option, based on when you are comfortable with performing these checks.
If the tool finds an error, you will need to replace the memory to fix the issue.
2. Run Update Troubleshooter
Typically Windows update troubleshooter is used when you are not able to download and install the updates on your PC. However, in this particular scenario, running the troubleshooter might light some shine on the system processes if they are going haywire.
Open the Settings app and make sure you’re on the ‘System’ tab from the sidebar on the left.
Then, click on the ‘Troubleshoot’ tile from the right section of the window.
Now, click on the ‘other Troubleshooters’ tile to continue.
Finally, click on the option for ‘Run’ on the right of the ‘Windows Update’ tile.
Let the troubleshooter run and if it finds an issue, it will guide you through the steps to fix it. After performing those steps, see if the problem with Windows Modules Installer Worker hogging high disk usage was solved. If the troubleshooter couldn’t find anything, move on to the other fixes in this list.
3. Set Internet Connection as Metered
Since WMIW is tightly linked to the Windows Update service, marking the incoming connection as metered will help stop all system update services which in turn will reduce the high disk usage.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile icon.
After that, click on the ‘Network & internet’ tab from the left sidebar.
Next, click on the ‘Wi-Fi/Ethernet’ tile depending on your mode of connection to the Internet.
Next, click on the network name tile you are connected with.
Finally, click on the toggle switch following the ‘Metered connection’ field to bring it to the ‘On’ position.
4. Change the Maintainance Schedule
If you have been experiencing high disk usage by WMIW only at a particular time of the day, it is highly likely that all of the maintenance tasks have been scheduled at that time. You can simply change the schedule to a more convenient time when you are not using your computer and it will resolve the issue for you.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Control to perform a search. Then, click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘Security and Maintainance’ icon to proceed.
Next, click on the ‘Change Maintainance settings’ option.
On the next screen, choose a suitable time using the drop-down menu and click on the ‘OK’ button to save the changes.
5. Run CHKDSK Using Terminal
CHKDSK scan will check your hard disk for the physical bad sector and logical errors as well. This will help you to pinpoint problems with your secondary storage device.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal to perform a search for it. After that, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.
Then, if not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for it. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
After that, click on the chevron (downward arrow) and then choose the ‘Command Prompt’ option to continue. This will open the Command Prompt in a separate tab.
Next, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.
After that, press the Y key to schedule the scan to be initiated when you boot up your PC next time.
6. Run SFC and DISM
System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management scans will check and repair the existing operating system files installed on your device along with other system files.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal to search for it. Then, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.
Next, if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will restore the currently installed operating system image on your device.
DISM/ Online/Cleanup-Image/ RestoreHealth
Once completed, type or copy+paste the following command to check and repair the system files on your PC.
If after the scan, you get the message that the scan was successful, see if you are still facing the issue. If it finds corrupted files in the scan, remove those files and then see if it helps with the issue.
7. Check Windows Update Services are Running
There are a few services related to Windows Update that need to be enabled and running for it to work like clockwork. They could be the reason behind all your woes; fortunately, they are easy to verify.
First, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command utility, type
services.msc, and press Enter to continue.
The services window will appear on your screen. Scroll down and locate the ‘Windows Update’ service and double-click on it.
A properties dialog box will open. Choose ‘Automatic’ from the drop-down menu next to ‘Startup Type’ and hit the ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ buttons.
8. Empty the Software Distribution Folder
Many times, a damaged or corrupted Windows update copy can cause a problem on your device. Thus, wiping clean the update folder might do the trick for you.
First, head to the File Explorer by either double-clicking on the ‘This PC’ icon or by pressing the Windows+E keys together on your keyboard.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address in the address bar of the window and press Enter to navigate to the directory.
After that, press Ctrl+A to select all files and then press the Shift+Delete keys to delete all files from the directory permanently. You will need admin privileges to delete the contents of this folder.
Once deleted, restart your PC and see if it rectified the issue.
9. Restart Windows Update Services
In case just clearing the Windows update folder does not clear out the issue for you, simply restart Windows Update services along with clearing out the logs.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal in the menu to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and click on the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.
A UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen; if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
Next, click on the ‘chevron’ icon (downward arrow) and then select the ‘Command Prompt’ icon to proceed. This will open the Command Prompt in a separate tab.
Now, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned commands to stop the ongoing update services. Make sure you press Enter after each command to execute them individually.
net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptsvc
After that, press Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command utility. Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address path utility.
Then, press the Ctrl+A keys to select all the files and folders, and then press the Shift+Delete keys to delete all files permanently.
Finally, head back to the elevated Command Prompt window, type or copy+paste the following commands one by one, and hit Enter after each to start the services you disabled earlier.
net start bits
net start wuaserv
net start cryptsvc
Once the process is completed, restart your Windows PC and check if the issue persists.
10. Change the Task Priority of TiWorker.exe
As mentioned earlier,
TiWorker.exe is the process responsible for the WMIW tool. Using the Task Manager, you can lower its priority to reduce disk usage on your computer.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Task Manager to perform a search. Then, click on the ‘Task Manager’ tile to continue.
Next, click on the ‘Hamburger’ icon and click on the ‘Details’ tab.
Then, search for the
TiWorker.exe process and right-click on it. Next, hover over the ‘Set priority’ option and select the ‘Low’ option.
In case the disk usage by the process has still not been reduced, you can also stop the process.
To kill the process, right-click on the TiWorker.exe process and click on the ‘End process’ option.
11. Perform a Clean Boot
Many a time a third-party software or service can also interfere with the system settings and generate an error on your system.
First, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to bring up the Run command utility. After that, type msconfig and hit Enter to proceed.
Then, click on the ‘General’ button. From the General settings. Click on the radio button preceding the ‘Selective startup’ option and click on the ‘Load system services’ option.
Next, click on the ‘Services’ tab ad click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option. Then, click on the ‘Disable all’ option.
Finally, click on the ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ buttons to proceed.
At last, restart your PC from the Start Menu and the system will start in a clean boot environment. Check if the issue persists. Once the issue has been resolved, enable all third-party services to load all your programs again the next time you boot.
12. Reset your PC
In case no method has been able to fix the issue on your PC, the last resort is to reset your PC. Thankfully, you will not lose your personal files and folders.
To reset your PC, head to the Start Menu, and click on the ‘Settings’ icon.
After that, from the Settings window, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar.
After that from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Recovery’ tile to proceed.
Then, on the ‘Recover’ settings screen, locate the ‘Reset the PC’ tile and click on the ‘Reset PC’ button present on the far right edge of the tile. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, from the separately opened window, click on the ‘Keep my files’ tile to proceed. If you wish to remove all your personal files when resetting, click on the ‘Remove everything’ option.
On the next screen, you will need to choose a method for reinstalling the operating system on your machine. Since there could be an issue with the copy already present on your system, it is recommended that you click on the ‘Cloud download’ option.
Note: ‘Cloud download’ will require an active internet connection and will consume upwards of 4 GB of data.
After that, Windows will list the settings that you have chosen. If you wish to change any of it, click on the ‘Change settings’ option to continue.
If you chose to change the settings, on the next screen, can choose to not restore the apps and settings, by clicking on the toggle switch present under the ‘Restore preinstalled apps?’ option to bring it to the ‘No’ position. You can even switch from the Cloud download to locate the install by clicking on the toggle switch present under the ‘Download Windows?’ option to change the install method. Once adjusted according to your preference, click on the ‘Confirm’ button to proceed.
After that, from the main window, click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.
In case your PC was updated recently, you will receive a message on the screen stating that you will not be able to roll back once you reset the PC. To continue, click on the ‘Next’ button.
After that, Windows will list out all the impacts resetting your PC will have on your system. Read them carefully and click on the ‘Reset’ button to commence the resetting process.
WMIW high disk usage just before or after an update for a couple of minutes is normal and should not raise a concern. However, if it is high for an extended period of time on your computer, the above-mentioned methods should resolve the problem for you.