This background process may consume up to 20% CPU usage

The Phone Link app being used on a phone and laptop screen.

A bug that was first spotted almost two weeks ago in a recent Windows 11 build is still there, and while Microsoft has acknowledged it, there have been no updates as to when a fix might be released. The issue stems from a feature that should otherwise run in the background and suddenly results in up to 20% CPU usage when idle. We’re talking about the Windows Cross Device Service.

The service in question helps your Windows PC connect and share files across other devices. For most of us, that means features such as Phone Link, which is Microsoft’s attempt at replicating Apple’s seamless ecosystem. It can be used to send texts, download photos, and use apps from your computer without having to pick up the phone. However, with the new bug, you might be better off disabling the Cross Device Service entirely.

Reports of issues with CPU usage first appeared on June 4 on the Windows 11 forum, and then again the next day on the Microsoft forum. One user said that they noticed that their CPU fan was running at full speed, but the PC was still producing high idle temperatures. Checking the Task Manager revealed that the processor was running at a constant 7% to 10%, all because of the Microsoft Cross Device Service. At the time of writing, 49 other users reacted to say that they had the same issue, and a couple of them claimed to experience even worse CPU usage, reaching as high as 20%.

This bug even made it to the Windows Feedback Hub, where a Microsoft engineer addressed it: “Appreciate your patience, we’ve identified the cause and are working on a fix.” However, a week later, there’s still no fix in sight.

Man using Windows Copilot PC to work

The bug appears in the most recent Windows Insider build, and users who are not Insiders are most probably safe for now — I’m not experiencing any issues on my Windows 11 computer. Phone Link can often be clunky, but it remains a background process without affecting the rest of my PC.

If you’re running the latest Windows Insider build and experiencing high CPU usage, disabling Cross Device Service can help, although the process often comes back after a reboot. Users on the Microsoft Forum came up with a few suggestions as to how to disable the service while we wait for an official fix.