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What is taskhost.exe And Should It Be Running? [groovyTips]

Groovy Computer How-To, Tips, Tricks, Repair, Solutions, Problems, Answers, Tutorials, News, Downloads, Updates, and Help Have you ever opened up Task Manager and saw the process Taskhost.exe running and wonder what it was?  Good news, Taskhost.exe isn’t a virus or malware, it’s actually just a process that runs silently in the background. Now granted, it can look suspicious being that it will at times run multiple instances of itself.  Despite this, taskhost.exe is one of the good guys and it was put there by Microsoft as a core part of Windows.

What does taskhost.exe do?

Windows uses taskhost.exe as the host for all DLL based services that are run.  The process is very similar to svchost.exe (which we talked about earlier) in that it’s a generic process used to load other entities.  Because of this, taskhost.exe may open multiple instances of itself in order to handle DLL’s that may be unrelated to one another.

viewing taskhost.exe and svchost.exe in the task manager

Does taskhost.exe have any risks?

The ability to load external DLL’s gives taskhost.exe the risk of becoming corrupted or infected by bad DLL’s.  Infection of this file is very rare, but more commonly a bad DLL will be loaded and cause excessive Memory and CPU usage.

You can view all of the DLL’s currently loaded by taskhost.exe using the Process Explorer app noted in the svchost.exe article.

Using Process explorer to view taskhost.exe and svchost.exe

Alternatively you can use the command prompt command tasklist /m and then scroll up and view all of the loaded .dll files.

how to view processes in command prompt from windows 7

How do I fix taskhost.exe errors?

Most errors experienced with taskhost.exe are caused by corrupted DLL files or a fake malware masquerading around your system under the taskhost.exe name.  In either case you’ll need to track down the bad DLL or malware and replace or remove it.  If you are experiencing taskhost.exe issues while running certain programs (video editing software, games, etc..) then it is likely that the corrupted DLL is related to one of your hardware drivers for either your Video or Sound device.

In early versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 taskhost.exe caused a delay during shutdown.  Microsoft has since then patched the issue and it shouldn’t be affecting anyone unless they have declined to install Windows Updates.  Just in case, the hotfix can be found herekb975777.

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One Response to What is taskhost.exe And Should It Be Running? [groovyTips]

  1. utalice October 10, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I have 2 instances of taskhost running, so I went to the command prompt like you said and did the taskhost /m and found that taskhost was in the list, but only once (and the PID matched one of the taskhosts in Task Manager) and there were no .dll’s listed, it said: N/A.

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