In the daily maintenance and management of servers, it is common to encounter situations where the CPU usage soars to 100%. This not only affects the normal operation of the server but can also lead to services being inaccessible, severely impacting the user experience. To help administrators quickly find the root cause and take effective measures, this article will explore the five common reasons for server CPU overload and solutions for a maxed-out CPU.

1. Hardware Issues

Reason: Server hardware issues are one of the common reasons for high CPU utilization. This may include insufficient cooling, overheating, or hardware driver failures.


  • Ensure that the temperature of the server room is appropriate and that there is a good ventilation and cooling system.
  • Regularly clean the dust inside the server and check the condition of the fans and heat sinks.
  • Update or replace faulty hardware, such as radiators, fans, or other damaged components.

2. Surge in Web Traffic

Reason: A sudden increase in website traffic can lead to insufficient server resources, especially CPU resources, causing the server’s CPU to run at full capacity for extended periods.


  • Upgrade server hardware configurations, such as adding more CPU cores or increasing CPU frequency.
  • Optimize website code and database queries to reduce the CPU computational pressure.
  • Introduce load balancing to distribute the traffic pressure.

3. Network Attacks

Reason: DDoS and CC attacks can cause CPU usage to spike by sending a large number of requests to the server, exhausting its resources.


  • Use firewalls or professional DDoS protection services to mitigate the impact of attacks.
  • Block the attacking source IPs to limit malicious traffic.
  • Temporarily shut down the website and reopen it once the attack has passed.

4. Code Issues

Reason: Errors in the website’s backend program or inefficient code can also lead to excessive consumption of CPU resources.


  • Use performance analysis tools to check which programs are occupying a lot of CPU resources.
  • Optimize the code, fix program errors, and improve code efficiency.
  • If necessary, delete and rewrite extremely inefficient modules.

5. Server Infected by Malicious Software

Reason: The server infected by viruses or trojans may have unknown processes occupying a lot of CPU resources.


  • Use professional security software to conduct a comprehensive scan and clean up viruses.
  • Regularly update security patches for the system and software.
  • Install and configure intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS).

Other Common Solutions:

  • Close unnecessary ports and services: Unnecessary ports and services on the server consume system resources; closing them can reduce CPU load.
  • Application pool recycling: Setting reasonable application pool recycling times can prevent memory leaks and avoid prolonged CPU resource occupation.
  • Improve server security: Enhance the security measures of the server, conduct regular security checks to prevent hacker attacks.