What Is svchost.exe And Why Is It Running

Sometimes, you might wonder what is svchost.exe and why it is running on Windows Task Manager. There are not only one process with name “svchost.exe”, there are a few and you cannot kill them. So what is it?

As Microsoft said, it’s a generic host process name for services, which run from dynamic-link libraries. In the past, Microsoft has moved all functions of Windows services into dynamic-link library files (.dll). However, you can’t directly run a .dll file from Windows, and it must be loaded from an executable (.exe) application. That’s the reason why svchost.exe was born.

More Than One svchost.exe Running?

If you have ever taken a look at Windows services, you might know Windows has a lot of services and most of them are required when booting the Windows.

But, if only one svchost.exe instance load all services, a failure might bring down all, and your Windows OS will error. In this case, Microsoft organized services into logical groups, and each svchost.exe will be created for each group.

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If you see a lot of svchost.exe running under Processes tab, on Windows Task Manager, then a lot of services are loaded with Windows. You can disable unnecessary services to avoid it’s loaded. If any svchost.exe instance is using a lot of CPU resources, restart the service that running under that instance, the problem will be solved.


To find which services running under a specific instance, open Windows Task Manager, select the instance that using high CPU resources, right click and select Go to Services.

Go To Services

Now, you will see which services that running under the svchost.exe instance you have selected.

Windows Services

Could svchost.exe Process Be A Virus?

If the location of the svchost.exe file is in C:\Windows\system32 directory, there is nothing to worry.

Open File Location

Any file with name “svchost.exe” that’s located in other folder can be considered as a virus or malware. If you want to be sure about the svchost.exe file, visit VirusTotal.com, submit the file you want and let them scan it for you.


But if you have doubts about your computer, you should use your preferred antivirus to do full scan. If you don’t have any installed antivirus scanner on your computer, take a look at two recommended list from us: top free antivirus & top premium antivirus.