dllhost.exe COM Surrogate High CPU/Memory Usage (Fix)

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

If you’ve ever poked around in Task Manager on a Windows computer, you might have seen something called dllhost.exe, also known as COM Surrogate. This isn’t just another background task; it’s actually quite important for many applications to work smoothly. Some folks have noticed that it can use a lot of the computer’s CPU or memory, especially on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Understanding what dllhost.exe is and its role can help you figure out why it might be using too much of your computer’s resources and what you can do about it. It’s also good to know how to spot the difference between the real deal and any sneaky copies that bad guys might try to use to trick you. We’re going to cover all that good stuff right here.

dllhost.exe COM Surrogate High CPU Memory Usage

What’s the Deal with dllhost.exe (COM Surrogate)?

COM Surrogate (dllhost.exe) is basically a helper that works quietly in the background. It’s usually nothing to worry about. Let’s break down what it’s all about:

  1. dllhost.exe stands for “Dynamic Link Library Host”. Think of DLLs as pieces of programs that Windows and other software can share to do certain things without having to go their separate ways. dllhost.exe helps these DLLs run outside of the main program.
  2. COM Surrogate is about COM, which stands for “Component Object Model”. It’s a bit of Microsoft tech magic that lets software developers make COM objects that other software can use. The Surrogate part means it runs these COM objects for other processes. Basically, it’s a stand-in process that helps run bits of software outside their home program.

What is dllhost.exe COM Surrogate

In simpler terms, COM Surrogate (dllhost.exe) is like a middleman, letting your computer work with DLL files or COM objects smoothly. It’s there to stop things like your File Explorer from crashing if it bumps into a bad file. Instead, if something goes wrong, COM Surrogate crashes, but your File Explorer stays up and running.

Also see: How to Limit CPU Usage of a Process in Windows 11

Why Is dllhost.exe COM Surrogate Eating Up CPU and Memory?

Normally, dllhost.exe COM Surrogate shouldn’t be a resource hog. But sometimes, it can end up using a lot of CPU or memory. Here are a few reasons why that might happen:

It’s Not Just COM Surrogate’s Fault

Whenever a program needs a COM object or DLL, dllhost.exe comes into play. If an app or a Windows feature is using these objects a lot, COM Surrogate might end up using more resources. It could be anything from multimedia programs to certain web browsers causing the extra load.

Useful guide: How to Know Which Process is Using a File in Windows 11

Bad Files Can Cause Trouble

If you’re looking through folders with lots of images or videos, dllhost.exe helps make those thumbnails. But if some files are corrupt, it might get stuck trying to deal with them, which can make it use a lot of CPU or memory.

See also: How to Stop Windows 11 from Showing Thumbnail Preview

Windows 11 Files and Folders Thumbnails Icons

Watch Out for Imposters

Even though the real dllhost.exe COM Surrogate is safe, bad guys might use similar names for their malware to trick you. If this process is always using too much power and there’s no clear reason, it might not be the good guy.

Pro tip: How to Scan an .exe File for Viruses to Check If It’s Safe

Finding the Troublemaker

If dllhost.exe COM Surrogate is acting up, it’s handy to figure out exactly why. You can use a tool like Process Explorer to do just that:

  1. Download Process Explorer from the official Microsoft website. Open it up once it’s installed.Process Explorer for Windows 11
  2. Look for dllhost.exe or COM Surrogate in the list. There might be a few of them, so find the one that’s using too much resources.
  3. Hover your mouse over the dllhost.exe you’re interested in. A little info box will pop up showing what’s keeping it busy. For example, if it says something about “Microsoft Thumbnail Cache”, then it’s likely those thumbnails causing the spike.COM Surrogate dllhost.exe high cpu memory usage in Windows 11 10
  4. For more details, right-click the process and pick “Properties”.dllhost.exe properties
  5. Go to the “Threads” tab in the Properties window. Here, you’ll see all the DLLs being used. The one eating up the most CPU is probably your troublemaker. Write down its name.dllhost.exe what is it
  6. Now that you know which DLL is causing the issue, you can look it up online to see what program it belongs to.

Related concern: Why is My Memory Usage So High When Nothing is Running?

What to Do Next

If a specific app or process is causing trouble, here’s how you can handle it:

  1. Sometimes, just getting the latest version or reinstalling can fix issues.
  2. If the problem sticks around, try disabling the app temporarily to see if that helps.
  3. If an app keeps causing trouble, maybe there’s another one out there that does the same thing but works better.

Check for Malware

Before you tweak your system or uninstall anything, make sure a virus isn’t pretending to be dllhost.exe COM Surrogate.

  1. Use a good antivirus program, or stick with Windows Defender in Windows 11 and 10.
  2. A thorough scan might take a while, but it’s worth it to catch any bad stuff.dllhost.exe COM Surrogate Virus
  3. If it finds anything, do what it says to get rid of the threat.
  4. Make sure it knows about the latest viruses by updating it regularly.

Related resource: How to remove a known virus using CMD in Windows 11 or 10

Turning Off Thumbnail Generation

If thumbnails are the issue, here’s how to turn them off:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking its icon or pressing Win + E.
  2. Click the three-dot menu in File Explorer, then select “Options“.File Explorer Folder Options
  3. Switch to the “View” tab.
  4. Check “Always show icons, never thumbnails“.dllhost.exe COM Surrogate System Error
  5. Hit “Apply“, then “OK“.
  6. Restart your computer and see if the problem’s fixed.

Running System File Check (SFC)

System File Check (SFC) is a tool in Windows that can fix corrupted or missing system files, possibly solving dllhost.exe issues.

  1. Open Command Prompt as admin: Hit the Windows key, type “cmd”, right-click “Command Prompt”, and select “Run as administrator“.
  2. Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  3. Wait it out and follow any instructions it gives you once it’s done.

SFC scannow successful repair Windows 11

Should You Mess with dllhost.exe COM Surrogate?

dllhost.exe COM Surrogate is a key part of Windows. But knowing when and how to step in when it’s acting up is key. Here’s a bit of advice:

Think Twice Before You Act

Don’t rush to end the dllhost.exe process. Stopping it suddenly could make things worse, like causing programs to crash or losing data.

Patience Can Pay Off

If dllhost.exe is using lots of resources but seems to be doing a big job, give it a minute. It might settle down on its own.

Make Sure It’s the Real Deal

Before you do anything drastic, check to make sure it’s the legit dllhost.exe COM Surrogate and not malware.

When in Doubt, Ask for Help

If you’re not sure what to do, it’s better to ask someone who knows or look for help online.

Don’t Forget to Update Windows

Keeping Windows up to date can prevent a lot of problems before they start.

  1. Hit the Windows key and open “Settings”.
  2. Click “Windows Update”.
  3. Click “Check for updates”.Check for Windows Update
  4. If there are updates, install them. Save your work first, since you might need to restart.

Wrapping Up

The dllhost.exe COM Surrogate process is important for Windows to work right. But sometimes, it can use too much CPU or memory. By following the tips here, you can figure out why and fix it. Just remember to be careful, keep Windows up to date, and ask for help if you need it.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of WindowsDigitals.com. With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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