FIX: The Requested resource is in use [Error Solved]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • A wide variety of PC issues, primarily malware-related can cause error messages.
  • Such error messages include The Requested resource is in use that can prevent you from using programs.
  • To learn more about common Windows 10 error messages, visit our website's dedicated Errors Hub.
  • Need more help with your PC? You can find all the help you need in our Fix section.
Requested resource is in use
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This message looks harmless when it first pops up on your computer screen. But seeing a pop-up that reads The Requested Resource is in Use constantly appearing on your PC screen every time you try to open a program should worry you. The error message is usually a warning for something quite serious – a Trojan horse malware that is called SmartService.

The Trojan horse‘s name is, sadly, well earned. The malware behaves in a very smart way, from the multiple ways it can worm itself onto your PC and expose it to threats. Like other destructive malware, such as Win32 Gamarue, this malware strain can leave a trail of damage that includes:

  • Installing programs that steal your personal information,
  • Spying on your online activity and relaying the data to hackers,
  • Installing destructive files and apps and making unauthorized Registry changes that can seriously harm your computer.

This all sounds scary. But the Trojan‘s reign of terror does not end there. Without a doubt, its most destructive effect is the ability to block the antivirus software installed on your computer. By doing this, the malware opens the door for other viruses and malware to infect your computer.

The compound effect is your computer becomes an inlet through which cybercriminals can have free pass over your banking and other personal information. Because of this ability to infiltrate computers and, at the same time, disabling their malware defenses, SmartService is often the weapon of choice for ransomware attackers.

This Trojan horse is designed to be as destructive as possible. Beyond stealing your information, corrupting your files, and compromising your security, it also messes with your browser. Your browsing experience will be characterized by constant popups, annoying redirects, and dubious browser extensions.

The frightening thing about the Requested resource is in use malware-triggered error is that there is almost no way of telling if your computer has been infected or not. It hides so well.

From the point your PC gets infected, the virus can sit there for a long time before you even notice anything unusual. During that whole time, the Trojan will be busy at work, stealing your personal information, spying on you, and installing vicious software on your computer.

It is thus horrifying to imagine the malware may already be done with whatever malicious act it was charged with by the time you detect it.

In this article, we’ll discuss ways of removing the Trojan if you have unfortunately been hit already. First, let’s look at the ways the malware can infect your computer, so you can hopefully prevent future malware attacks.

How the SmartService malware infects your computer

Seeing how difficult it usually is to detect this Trojan infection and how destructive it is, prevention is indeed better than cure, in many ways than one. Unless you have a quality antivirus program installed on your computer, you cannot solely rely on antivirus software to detect this malware before it sets off on its destructive path.

The most effective way to avoid infection is to be vigilant in the way you use your own and interact with other computers. The SmartService Trojan horse can infiltrate your PC in any one of the following ways, as well as many others;

  • Malicious attachments to emails delivered to your inbox,
  • Ads you click on the websites you visit,
  • Infected files you install as part of the software you download from the internet,
  • The content you download, like, and share on social media, and
  • Cookies on torrents’ platforms and other freeware sites.

Quick tip:

Most often this error can be caused by malware, and we all know that the only effective way to deal with malware is via reliable antivirus software.

That being said, we recommend that you try out Bullguard Antivirus, as it will stop all manner of cyber-threats before they even enter your PC, so you never have to be caused by errors again.

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How do I remove The Requested Resource Is In Use error?

Let’s hope you have detected the malware before it could do significant damage to your computer. Now that you know your PC is no longer safe, you should want to remove the malware without delay. The challenge is removing the malware is easier said than done.

Because it will block some antivirus software from even installing, cleaning your computer becomes difficult. But there are ways. And we will look at those now. But make sure you have time as some of the fixes we will recommend below will take time. Not doing them correctly may even harm your computer.

1. Restart your computer in Safe Mode

It is important to note that you need to periodically scan your computer for malware and virus infection. If, as in the case with the SmartService malware infection, you get the The Requested Resource Is In Use error, the easiest workaround is to simply reboot and try again in Safe Mode.

In the case of SmartService, the error message itself is evidence of system contamination. Rebooting in Safe Mode is also a good way of running your virus removal software processes without the trojan horse blocking the antivirus.

Starting your PC in Safe Mode prevents the malware from running as Safe Mode only runs the PC’s basic services.

If you are running Windows 7, you can reboot in safe mode by simply restarting your computer and watching out for the option to switch to Safe Mode.

Or, you can keep hitting the F8 key as soon as the computer starts to reboot. Choose the Safe Mode With Networking option when the options’ screen finally shows.

For Windows 8 and 8.1 users, navigate to the System Configuration folder by clicking the Windows start icon and following the sequence below:

  1. Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> System Configuration.
    system configuration window Requested resource is in use malware
  2. Once the System Configuration window comes up, click on the Boot folder.
    • You should see the Boot options listed at the bottom.
  3. Choose the Safe Boot option. It should have the Minimal sub-option already checked.
    • After clicking OK, a popup screen will appear.
    • Just choose Restart and your computer should safely reboot in Safe Mode.

Restarting your computer in Safe Mode allows you to investigate ways of removing the malware without it continuing to corrupt your system and compromising your security. You can then proceed to try this second solution.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in September 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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