How to Fix High CPU & Disk Usage by CompatTelRunner.exe

What Is CompatTelRunner.exe?

Windows does regular updates of any OS and any Service Pack. In order to do this, it requires a process called CompatTelRunner.exe. However, this isn’t everything that the process does. Your computer uses CompatTelRunner.exe to do full diagnostics and locate possible problems with compatibility. In addition, it collects telemetry info of programs (if it’s opted-in, that is) to what is called Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program. In short, CompatTelRunner.exe makes sure Microsoft is compatible when you decide on updating the OS.

CompatTelRunner.exe is part of the KB2977759 Windows Compatibility Update, specifically for Windows 7 RtM, or Release to Manufacturer. Naturally, it’s not the only update that’s used to upgrade your Windows OS to its latest version.

Do I Need It and Can I Remove It?

Well, you will only have to keep CompatTelRunner.exe if you need Microsoft to check your system and do the necessary compatibility checks. However, if you want to keep your computer private from Microsoft, you should go on ahead and delete this process. In fact, it might be better for you if you do so since it already takes up a good amount of storage bandwidth and it slows your PC down significantly.

Where Is CompatTelRunner.exe Located?

The file with the process is within the System32 folder, and TrustedInstaller owns it. You cannot change or delete a single thing in it. At best, you will get an “Access Denied” message if you try. Because it falls under TrustedInstaller, CompatTelRunner.exe is mainly read-only, and you won’t be able to modify it in any way.

Still, there is a way for you to get around this issue. You need to claim ownership of CompatTelRunner.exe and then merely delete it, not removing the whole Windows Update while doing so. Alternatively, try keeping the program, but only disable the required Scheduled Tasks which launch it.

Down below you have a few methods on how to deal with CompatTelRunner.exe.

Method #1: Find CompatTelRunner.exe, Take Ownership of It and Delete It Later

Before you move on to this method, do not forget to log in as an administrator. In addition, do not skip any of the steps, as they are all important.

  1. Use your keyboard or your desktop to find the Windows icon and click it. That will get you to the start menu.
  2. In the search box, type CompatTelRunner.exe. However, do not, I repeat, DO NOT open the file you get as a result. Instead, right-click on it (it should have the name compattelrunner) and select Open File Location. That will give you a dropdown menu.
    Alternatively, you can press the Windows key and the R key at the same time. In the search bar, type C:\Windows\System32, then follow it up by typing
  3. Now that you’re in the folder itself, right-click on the .exe file with the program’s name. Select Properties from the menu.CompatTelRunner-exe
  4. Find the Security tab and click it. Then go with the Advanced option.
  5. Within the Owner tab, you will see the option Change owner. Click on this next. You will notice a list of all the user accounts. Find the one you’re currently using and pick it by clicking Apply.
  6. Once you’ve done all this, a prompt will pop up asking you to close the Properties window so that the owner change can go through. Agree to this and close it.

However, changing the owner is not where it ends. You also need to change up the permissions. Here is how you can do that.

Steps For Changing Permissions of CompatTelRunner.exe

  1. Do another right-click on the CompatTelRunner.exe program and choose Properties. Then go back to Security and pick Advanced again.CompatTelRunner.exe properties
  2. Now you need to go to the Permissions tab. Here you will also see a list of accounts. You’ve guessed it – pick the one you’re utilizing right now.
  3. A new window should pop up, with permission options. Right under the Allow column, you will spot Full Control. Select it and click on Apply.

Congratulations. You are now the owner of CompatTelRunner.exe, having taken control from TrustedInstaller. Now you’re ready to delete it without seeing the dreaded “Access Denied” prompt. We should note that there are solutions on the web that tell users to simply delete the whole Compatibility Update. We strongly advise against doing this, as it might mess up tons of upcoming Windows upgrade schedules. Merely follow the steps in the method above, and you’ll be fine.

Method #2: Go to Task Scheduler and Disable CompatTelRunner.exe From There

This method is rather easy, and it requires you to go through three simple steps.

  1. Press and hold down both the Windows key and the R key. Type within the search bar taskschd.msc. Then click OK.
  2. Enter the Task Scheduler. Expand the following string: Library > Microsoft > Windows > Application Experience.
  3. Find all tasks that are marked as Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser. Disable each and every one of compatibility appraiser


In short, CompatTelRunner.exe is not that essential, so feel free to remove it for a faster PC performance. However, do follow the instructions above and be careful doing so, since you don’t want to mess up your Windows update programs indefinitely.


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