What is dllhost.exe? Should I remove it?


The original Dllhost.exe is an executable file that serves as a .DLL file host

Dllhost.exe is a process that is mostly known as COM Surrogate and runs in the background. It is not unusual to see several instances of the file running in the Task Manager, and they should not consume a lot of computer resources (such as CPU power or Memory). The legitimate process is created by Microsoft and is responsible for managing DLL based applications. Mostly, the size of this file is about 5,120 bytes, and it is located in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\winsxs folder. However, if Dllhost.exe is found anywhere else, there is a high chance of malware infection.

Name Dllhost.exe
Type System file
Task Manager process COM Surrogate
Responsible for  Executing DLL files, controlling Internet Information Services (IIS) operations
Location C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\winsxs
Elimination Only needed if malicious – use anti-malware software like FortectIntego

Dllhost.exe also works as a controller for the operations in Internet Information Services (IIS), loads the .NET runtime and does other activities. Mostly, the size of this file is about 5,120 bytes, and it is located in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\winsxs folder.

The dllhost.exe file launches automatically as soon as Windows starts. We don’t recommend terminating this program because it’s important for the stable and secure computer‘s work. Alternative names for this process are dllhost.exe *32 or dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate.

Generally, Dllhost itself cannot be malicious. The problem is the .dll file it hosts. If malicious application managed to take over it, the process becomes malicious. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the file is located in C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\winsxs folder. 

Malware can sometimes replace, duplicate or copy any executable, including dllhost.exe. Therefore, if the process is eating up too much computer power, or you noticed other symptoms like software crashes or malfunction, scan your device with anti-virus software. We suggest you use FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, but any other reputable program will do the job.

However, in most cases, there is no need to remove Dllhost processes because they are essential for the operating system to function smoothly.

Dllhost.exe can also be related to malware

Often parasites use files with legitimate names to hide themselves on the system. Dllhost.exe may also be used for launching certain parasites’ components or running a destructive payload. Even if the file does nothing suspicious, its presence may indicate that your computer is infected with a particular threat. In such case, an immediate Dllhost.exe removal is required.

If you noticed that your computer runs extremely slow despite the fact that no important programs are running, you should check the origins of DllHost file running on your system. To do this, you need to use an anti-spyware software which will test the reliability of the described executive file. According to reports, these malware variants are known to be using a bogus version of this Windows process to deceive inexperienced computer users:

Remove malware hiding as dllhost.exe file

If you notice signs of suspicious dllhost.exe behavior such as high CPU usage, system slowdowns, and other suspicious behavior, scan your computer to identify the threat. In case your anti-malware program detects this file as a virus, you must eliminate it immediately. Your security software should identify and show you the path to the file – if it is not in System32 ow WinsXS folder, it is most likely COM Surrogate virus.

In case you discovered a malicious version on your system, remove dllhost.exe virus ASAP. To do this, you should employ a trustworthy malware removal application such as FortectIntego.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.
About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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