If you’ve installed NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software, you’ll see quite a few NVIDIA processes running in the background on your PC. We counted ten separate processes in our Windows Task Manager. But what do they all do?
We reached out to NVIDIA for an explanation of these processes, but they wouldn’t provide any additional information. We suppose that’s not surprising—not even Microsoft explains all the processes in Windows itself. But we learned a lot just by poking around.
(Warning: We talk about disabling services and ending tasks to puzzle out what does what here, but we don’t actually recommend you start manually disabling services or ending tasks. We don’t know exactly what each process does.)
You’ll see a lot of “NVIDIA Container” processes running on your PC. This program, named nvcontainer.exe, appears to be responsible for running and containing other NVIDIA processes. In other words, NVIDIA Container isn’t doing much itself. It’s just running other NVIDIA tasks.
The SysInternals Process Explorer software, now owned by Microsoft, has a process hierarchy that shows many of these NVIDIA processes launch other NVIDIA processes.
Quite a few of these NVIDIA Container processes are associated with background tasks implemented as system services. For example, if you open the Services application, you’ll see four NVIDIA services: NVIDIA Display Container LS, NVIDIA LocalSystem Container, NVIDIA NetworkService Container, and NVIDIA Telemetry Container.
By default, all these services are set to run automatically and always stay running in the background, except for the NVIDIA NetworkService Container. Unfortunately, NVIDIA did not give these services informative descriptions in the Services app.
NVIDIA Display Container LS (NVDisplay.ContainerLocalSystem) handles some display tasks. For example, if you open the NVIDIA Control Panel and click Desktop > Show Notification Tray Icon, this service is responsible for showing the icon in your notification area. If you end the service, the NVIDIA notification icon will vanish.
However, this service doesn’t seem to handle many other display tasks. Even if you disable this service, the GeForce Experience overlay still appears to function normally.
It’s tough to pin down everything the associated service does, and each likely performs a number of related tasks. For example, the NVIDIA LocalSystem Container (NvContainerLocalSystem) and NVIDIA NetworkService Container (NvContainerNetworkService) services are both required for using NVIDIA GameStream.
The NVIDIA Telemetry…
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