What is dllhost.exe? How do I remove it from Windows 10/11?

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Dllhost.exe is responsible for launching applications and operating services in Windows.
  • Any other similar file not located in the System32 folder is a dllhost.exe malware.
  • Hacked websites can infect your computer, launching the error with dllhost.exe in Windows 10.
  • Remove the malicious software named dllhost.exe in Windows 10 with a good antivirus.

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Many Windows 10 users have encountered several issues with dllhost.exe. These problems may be serious because they may mean that the computer is infected with a virus.

Also, executable files, like this one, may harm your computer.

What is dllhost.exe?

  1. To find it, right-click on the COM Surrogate, then click on Open file location.
    com surrogate task manager
  2. Normally, it will go to the authentic dllhost.exe on the System32 folder.
    dllhost system 32

The authentic dllhost.exe is a crucial software component of Microsoft Windows. Dllhost stands for Dynamic Link Library Host and it is a process for launching applications and operating services.

So, dllhost.exe is not a virus. However, malware programs, such as Trojans, other viruses and worms could be given the same file name. This way they can escape detection.

The real dllhost.exe is stored in System32 folder inside Windows directory. It is a safe and essential process for the Windows operating system, called COM Surrogate.

Any other file with a similar name in another folder is a malware. COM stands for Component Object Model.

It is launched automatically at startup and you can find it in the Windows Task Manager on the Process bar, Background processes section.

So, cyber-criminals disguise malware under a fake copy of a COM surrogate as this is a crucial feature of the COM surrogate Trojan.

If you find such a case in the Task Manager, remove it from your computer. Still, manually removing such a file from your PC might not be enough.

Usually, such a fake COM Surrogate would appear with the same name in Task Manager, but it would use an excessive amount of RAM and CPU, slowing down your computer.

In the next section we’ll explain more about dllhost.exe error on Windows 10.

How did this infection get on my PC?

infection dll dllhost.exe

This virus can be distributed through many methods. Generally, websites that have been hacked or malicious websites can install a Trojan without your knowledge or permission.

Another way is the spam email that contains infected links or attachments. This is one of the main methods used by cybercriminals.

They send spam emails with a fake header information saying that they represent a well-known company.

This can make you curious about a certain offer, for example, and you open the attached file or go to a specified website mentioned in the mail. With this, your computer becomes infected.

Also, the user might be tricked into installing what they consider to be useful software.

How do I remove dllhost.exe?

As we said above, the malicious software could be removed manually, if you found it in folders other than System32.

But this is not a very safe and efficient method, so we recommend a specialized program in removing the infection on your computer.

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This is everything you need to know about dllhost.exe. If you have any additional questions, let us know in the comments below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • The COM Surrogate is a different name for the Sacrificial process of a COM object that runs outside the process requesting it. For instance, File Explorer uses the COM Surrogate when extracting thumbnails.

  • Normally there should only be 2 dllhosts running in the background and they should close after a few seconds. But in Windows 10 these 2 dllhosts might often trigger additional instances when you go to system settings.

  • While it might be possible to delete this file as a system administrator, deleting it will lead to system instability and other issues.

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