What is dllhost.exe error on a Windows PC and how to remove it?

By Alexandra Bagratian | January 25, 2019 |

greater than 7 minutes

Seeing an error message on your PC screen is never fun, especially if you don’t know what it is all about. The mysterious dllhost.exe application error is a case in point: the average Windows 10 user has no idea what dllhost.exe is, and when the issue occurs, panic is usually the first reaction. If that’s your case, you are lucky to have found this page. In this article, you will find detailed instructions how to fix the dllhost.exe application error on Windows 10. So, there is no need to worry – you can make things right in literally no time!

What Is Dllhost.exe?

Obviously, you’ve come here to ask, “Why do I get the dllhost.exe application error on Windows 10?” There is bit of detective work required to answer this question (since there are several suspects in the case), but first, let’s figure out what dllhost.exe is.

The dllhost.exe file is an important component of the Windows operating system. Also known as COM Surrogate, dllhost.exe runs in the background and processes images, videos, and other files on your PC to create thumbnail images – you see them while navigating your files and folders. When COM Surrogate crashes, you see pop-ups stating, “COM Surrogate has stopped working”.

Why Does the Dllhost.exe Application Error Occur?

You might be wondering, “How do I fix the dllhost.exe application error manually?” The good news is, you don’t have to be a PC expert to do this. To begin with, let’s see what may be behind the problem you are experiencing.

Here is a list of possible reasons why your dllhost.exe is malfunctioning:

  • Uninstalled updates
  • Corrupt or missing system files
  • Windows Registry issues
  • Malware
  • Bad drivers
  • Incorrect system settings
  • Hard drive problems
  • Out-of-date codecs

Below you will find proven and easy-to-follow tips on how to address each of the issues mentioned above. Start with the first fix and work your way down until you stumble upon the best solution in your scenario.

Create a Backup

Before you commence your troubleshooting epic, make sure to back up your data. This is important because persistent errors often cause files and folders to go missing, especially if there are system issues involved. Although the solutions we have outlined below are safe and effective, events may take an unexpected turn. With this in mind, we recommend that you secure your important things against permanent loss. Here are some of the methods you can use to protect your data:

  • Cloud storage

Cloud drives offer a convenient way to consolidate your files in the cloud and sync them across your devices. In 2019, you get precious gigabytes of free storage with the most popular solutions like Google Drive, OneDrive, and etc.

  • Storage devices

External hard drives, flash sticks, and memory cards are what you can use to achieve peace of mind. Migrate your important files to your portable device and keep it safe.

Now that you have backed up your things, it’s time to resolve the dllhost.exe problem.

How to Fix the Dllhost.exe Application Error on Windows 10?

  • Update your operating system

The dllhost.exe application error is often a result of critical system updates waiting to be installed. Thus, the first thing you should do when the issue in question shows up is check the Windows Update center:

  1. Launch your Start menu.
  2. Locate and click the gear-shaped icon to run the Settings app.
  3. Click Update and security.
  4. See if there are any updates available. Agree to install them if prompted.
  5. If you see no updates lined up, click Check for updates.
  6. Install the updates your OS has found.

Restart your PC and see if the error has been fixed.

  • Repair your system files

System file corruption is one of the most common causes of the dllhost.exe issue. To rectify things, you should run System File Checker, which is a handy built-in Windows utility designed to replace faulty or missing system files at boot:

  1. Navigate to your Taskbar and right-click the Windows logo icon.
  2. From the Power User menu, select Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. Into the elevated Command Prompt window, input sfc /scannow.
  4. Press Enter to run the command.
  5. Wait until the scan is complete and then exit Command Prompt.

Remember to restart your PC so that System File Checker can fix your system files at startup. This should get your dllhost.exe up and running.

  • Repair your Windows Registry

As your system registry is an extremely sensitive component, it is vital that you be as careful as possible. When editing the thing, there is no room for error: a tiny mistake can damage your system beyond repair. In light of this, we advise against tweaking your registry manually – you are better off using a reliable tool to automate the process. For instance, Auslogics Registry Cleaner is a free utility capable of eliminating registry corruption, removing invalid or orphaned entries and boosting the overall performance of your computer.

  • Scan your device for malware

Being a perfectly legitimate component of Windows 10, dllhost.exe can easily become a threat: the thing is quite vulnerable, and it is therefore often exploited by viruses to wreak havoc on your computer. Persistent dllhost.exe pop-ups may be a sign of a malware infection violating your system, so do not hesitate to run a thorough check-up.

RECOMMENDED

Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother

DOWNLOAD NOW
If you cannot resolve the
problem yourself, you can
ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.

You can rely on Windows itself to perform an anti-virus scan. Your system comes with a security suite called Windows Defender, and it’s quite decent when it comes to spotting malicious threats. Here is how you can make use of the thing:

  1. Open your Settings menu (you can access it by pressing the Windows logo + I shortcut).
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Select Windows Defender from the menu.
  4. Locate and click Open Windows Defender.
  5. Navigate to the left-pane menu.
  6. Click on the Shield icon.
  7. Opt for Advanced scan.
  8. Select the Full scan option.

The truth is, running a Windows Defender scan might not be enough. Chances are only a powerful, cutting-edge tool that is capable of working alongside Windows Defender (or your third-party anti-virus solution) can help you. Auslogics Anti-Malware meets the stated requirements. Furthermore, its database is constantly updated so that the tool can recognize and eliminate even the freshest threats from the world of malware.

  • Fix your display adapter driver

An outdated driver is a disaster waiting to happen. If you haven’t updated your drivers for a long time, there is a high chance your display adapter driver is long past its sell-by date, thus triggering the dllhost.exe nuisance. In such a scenario, there might be more issues in the pipeline, so your best bet is to update the driver without further delay.

To do this, you can use a dedicated third-party tool. For instance, Auslogics Driver Updater will install the latest manufacturer-recommended drivers for all your devices in just one click.

RECOMMENDED

Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother

DOWNLOAD NOW

Alternatively, you can update your display adapter driver manually. Visit the website of the company that produced your display adapter. There search for the exact driver your system needs to function the way it should. Bear in mind that you should be really careful: downloading and installing the wrong software can complicate matters even further.

You can also try out the Device Manager solution. This method implies running the built-in Device Manager utility to search for the necessary driver online:

  1. From the Power User menu (Windows logo + X), select Device Manager.
  2. Locate your display adapter in the list.
  3. Right-click on it. Select Update driver.
  4. Make sure to select the option that suggests searching for your driver online.
  5. Restart your computer so that the new driver can settle down and start functioning.

On the other hand, you might be using the newest version of your display adapter driver. If it had been updated right before the dllhost.exe issue came up, the new software might be incompatible with your system. In a case like this, what you should do is roll back to the previous driver version:

  1. Use the instructions above to access Device Manager.
  2. Right-click the display adapter and select the Properties option.
  3. Move to the Driver tab and click the Roll Back Driver button.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to initiate the process.

Finally, remember to restart your computer. Your dllhost.exe issue should be no more.

  • Tweak your performance settings

There is a simple trick you can do to fix your dllhost.exe. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Open your Start menu, then click the Control Panel tile.
  2. Click System and Security. Select System.
  3. From the left-pane menu, select Advanced System Settings.
  4. Once in the System Properties window, move to Advanced.
  5. Under Performance, click on the Settings button.
  6. Open the Data Execution Prevention tab.
  7. Check the second option, which is “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select:”
  8. Click Add.
  9. If your computer is running a 32-bit version of the Windows operating system, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe. If your OS is 64-bit (x64) Windows 10, go to C:\Windows\SysWOW64\dllhost.exe.
  10. Select dllhost.exe and add it to the exception list.
  11. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

We hope this method proved helpful. If you want to go a step further and skyrocket the performance of your system, try Auslogics BoostSpeed.

  • Check your hard drive for errors

If the dllhost.exe error appears when you try to open files and folders on a particular drive, you should scan that drive for issues:

  1. Click This PC, locate your drive and right-click it.
  2. Select Properties from the menu.
  3. Proceed to the Tools tab. Select Check now under Error-checking.

Follow the prompts to initiate a scan and wait until it is over.

  • Update Windows codecs

Another way to repair your dllhost.exe is by updating your codecs. That is quite simple: go to Microsoft’s Download center, download the latest codec installation package and run it on your PC.

We hope this article has proved helpful.

Are you aware of any other methods how to fix the dllhost.exe application error?

Please share them in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
Share it:
Do you like this post?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

GET LIVE HELP WITH PC ISSUES

Call us toll-free

US & Canada 1-888-257-4137

UK 1-800-041-8199

Australia 1-800-370-543

Chat with us online

Prefer us to call you back? Give us your phone number via chat

Fix your PC in THREE easy steps

Step 1

Call us or chat with us. Our agents are online around the clock

Step 2

We will remotely access your device, provide you with free diagnostics, and discuss repair options

Step 3

Sit back and watch. Most problems will be fixed immediately within less than an hour

Watch how it works or learn more about our service here