What is vmware-authd?

vmware-authd.exe is a component of VMware Workstation, a virtualization solution for Windows (like Hyper-V or VirtualBox). VMware Workstation starts a number of background services that are required for it to run and manage its inner workings. vmware-authd is the service process for the VMware Authorization Service, which doles out (or denies) permissions to launch/stop/manage virtual machines.

The VMware Authorization Service can be seen in the Services control panel ( + R then services.msc followed by Enter):

High CPU usage by vmware-authd.exe

A common problem reported by users of VMware Workstation on all versions of Windows, up to and including Windows Server 2019 and all editions of Windows 10 is that vmware-authd.exe is seen taking up a considerable amount or 100% of CPU every few seconds in the task manager, under the Details page.

For unknown reasons, vmware-authd constantly checks the Windows performance metrics, where profiling information about system performance and resource consumption is reported (perhaps to arbitrate resources available to running virtual machines, although that should only be done if resource consumption limits have been enabled, which is not normally the case in VMware Workstation as compared to the server offerings like VMware ESXi and vSphere). On a clean install of Windows, this is very fast and the VMware Authorization Service does not consume much CPU while this is happening. However, on a typical developer or sysadmin workstation, the Windows performance metrics counters can include a rather large number of sources with different performance characteristics and can generate a significant amount of performance events.

Fix high 100% CPU usage by vmware-authd.exe

The Windows performance metrics can be reset by means of the lodctr utility, which can be invoked (in an elevated command prompt) via lodctr.exe. This utility, lodctr, is a tool for updating registry values pertaining to performance counters, and includes a feature to rebuild the related registry values which can optimize accessing their contents.

C:\Users\NeoSmart> lodctr

        Updates registry values related to performance counters.

To rebuild the registry keys related to performance counters, issue the following command by first starting an elevated command prompt (right-click on the start menu and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” or use + R and type in cmd.exe followed by ctrl + shift + Enter) and then executing the following command:

lodctr /R

Which should look something like this:

If you get an error like the following:


Error: Unable to rebuild performance counter setting from system backup store, error code is 5

Then you may need to wait a few seconds and try it again.

You will need to restart your PC for all the changes to fully take effect, including for the VMware Authorization Service to be restarted.

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