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What Is the Service Host Process (svchost.exe) and Why Are So Many Running?


You might have puzzled why there are so many Service Host processes running if you’ve ever looked via Task Manager. You cannot end them, and you did not cause them either. What then are they?

This article is a part of a series that explains several Task Manager processes, including dwm.exe, ctfmon.exe, mDNSResponder.exe, conhost.exe, rundll32.exe, Adobe Updater.exe, and many more. Not familiar with those services? You’d better get reading!

What Is the Service Host Process?

Related: A host of Google services (Gmail, Drive, Docs & extra) are experiencing service disruption

What Is the Process of the Service Host?

But that doesn’t actually do much to assist us. Microsoft started switching a lot of the internal Windows services—which were launched by EXE files—that were used to power Windows functionality to DLL files a while back. Programmatically speaking, this makes code more reusable and conceivably simpler to keep current. The issue is that, unlike executable files, DLL files cannot be launched directly from Windows. These DLL services are instead hosted by a shell that is opened by an executable file. Svchost.exe, the Service Host process, was created as a result.

Why Are There So Many Service Host Processes Running?

Windows requires a lot of services, as you may have observed if you’ve ever looked at the Services section in Control Panel. A failure in one service might possibly bring down the entire instance of Windows if all services were run under a single Service Host process. They are instead divided up.

A single Service Host instance is established to host each of the logical groups of related services that have been created. For instance, one Service Host process manages the three firewall-related services. All services relating to the user interface, for example, could be run by a different Service Host process. For instance, you can see that one Service Host process manages a number of connected network services in the figure below. while another runs services related to remote procedure calls.

Is There Anything For Me To Do With All This Information?

Really not much at all. Stopping Windows from running unnecessary services was frequently advised back in the days of Windows XP (and earlier versions), when PCs had much fewer resources and operating systems weren’t quite as refined. Today, we no longer advocate disabling services. PCs today frequently have lots of memory and powerful processors. Eliminating services you believe you don’t need really doesn’t have much of an impact any longer, especially in light of the fact that modern versions of Windows handle services more efficiently (and what services run).

Having said that, you may look into the specific services in question if you discover that a specific instance of Service Host—or a related service—is producing issues, such as persistently using an excessive amount of CPU or RAM. That might at least provide you with a starting point for your troubleshooting. There are a various methods for finding out precisely which services a specific Service Host instance is hosting. Using Task Manager or the excellent Process Explorer third-party app, you can keep an eye on things.

Check Related Services in Task Manager

On the “Processes” tab of Task Manager in Windows 8 or 10, processes are displayed by their entire names. By just expanding the process, you can see the services that it hosts if there are many services. This makes it very simple to tell which services belong to each Service Host process instance.

Any particular service can be stopped by using the right mouse button, viewed in the “Services” Control Panel app, or even searched for online.

Things are a little different if you’re using Windows 7. The Windows 7 Task Manager only displayed all of the instances of “svchost.exe” that were currently running and did not display regular process names or group processes in the same manner. Finding the services connected to any specific instance of “svchost.exe” required some investigation.

Right-click on a specific “svchost.exe” process in Windows 7’s Task Manager’s “Processes” tab, and then select the “Go to Service” option.

With the “Services” tab now active, you may pick any of the services that are currently executing as part of the “svchost.exe” process.

The full name of each service is then visible in the “Description” column, allowing you to either decide whether you want to keep the service running or troubleshoot its causes if it’s causing you problems.

Check Related Services Using Process Explorer

As part of its Sysinternals range, Microsoft also offers a great sophisticated tool for working with processes. Process Explorer is a portable tool, so there is no need to install it; simply download it and run it. We highly recommend reading our guide to understanding Process Explorer to learn more about the variety of advanced features that Process Explorer offers.

Microsoft also provides a fantastic complex tool for working with processes as part of its Sysinternals line. There is no need to install Process Explorer because it is a portable tool; just download it and run it. To learn more about the many complex capabilities that Process Explorer offers, we highly recommend reading our guide to understanding Process Explorer.

Could this Process Be a Virus?

The actual process is a recognized Windows component. Although it’s improbable, it’s possible that a virus has installed its own executable in lieu of the genuine Service Host. You can confirm if necessary by looking at the process’s underlying file location. Right-click any Service Host process in Task Manager and select “Open File Location.”

You may be very sure you are not dealing with a virus if the file is located in your WindowsSystem32 folder.

Nevertheless, you can always use your preferred virus scanner to conduct a virus scan if you still want a little more peace of mind. safer to be safe than sorry!

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Hi, I'm John, a BS.marine engineering student. I am a Video Editor at Manila Shaker, where I shoot video clips and edit them for our YouTube content.

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