Is Conhost.exe safe?.
When a Windows PC is running, there are millions of calculations going on telling the computer how to do everything from loading a web page to opening a piece of software. This process requires any number of system services to take you from point A to point B, with processes like ntoskrnl.exe designed to play a role in the overall user experience.
This includes conhost.exe, a system process that appears every time you open a command prompt window. But what is conhost.exe? And is it safe to leave this process running on your PC? This guide will explain everything you need to know about conhost.exe, including how to detect a fake system process.
What is Conhost.exe?
The conhost.exe process, also known as the Console Window Host process, originated in Windows XP as a way of communicating the command line (cmd.exe) with other elements of Windows, including Windows Explorer as part of the client / server runtime system. Service (csrss.exe).
Unfortunately, as a basic systemic process, this poses huge security risks. Allowing the command line (with full control over your computer) such access to the file system can render your computer unusable. This security threat forced Microsoft to make changes to the system.
Windows Vista offered more security, but with limited functionality, making it impossible to drag and drop files to the command prompt window. For Windows 10, Microsoft introduced the conhost.exe process, which (along with the much smaller csrss.exe process) allows the command line to work safely with other processes without the same level of security risks that csrss.exe posed in Windows XP. …
This allows Microsoft to more tightly integrate processes such as the Command Prompt in Windows 10 with modern themes and drag-and-drop features like those found in the XP version of csrss.exe. If you use modern Windows Powershell you will see even more security as csrss.exe and conhost.exe are completely ignored.
Can Conhost.exe Cause High CPU, RAM or Other High System Resource Usage?
Although unlikely, conhost.exe has been reported to cause high CPU or RAM usage (or overall high system resource usage) on Windows 10 PCs. If this happens to you, it could indicate a more serious problem with your computer.
Under normal conditions, conhost.exe should not cause excessive use of system resources. It should only appear if you (or a background application) are using the command line. Since Windows PowerShell is now the default terminal tool on Windows, you don’t need to open cmd.exe at all.
However, this does not rule out the possibility that other background applications may still use a hidden command line to launch. While playing old DOS games is unlikely to cause a spike in system resource usage, some new system applications can cause problems.
To find the culprit, you can use the Process Explorer application developed by Microsoft. This allows you to see which running applications can interact with conhost.exe and cause high CPU usage.
- To do this, download and run Process Explorer from the Microsoft website. In the Process Explorer window, select Find> Find Handle or DLL to open the search window. Or press Ctrl + F on your keyboard.
- In the Process Explorer search box, search for conhost, then click the Search button. Select one of the results from the list. The Process Explorer will immediately change its view to highlight the item.
- Do this for each conhost.exe example running on your computer. If the use of system resources (for example, the CPU in the CPU column) is too high, you can end the process by right-clicking and selecting the End Process option.
If you find that conhost.exe is interacting with another application or service that you are not aware of, this could indicate a malware infection. In this case, scan your computer for malware to make sure your computer is safe.
How to Remove Conhost.exe from Windows 10
The conhost.exe interface for background applications continues to be important, even though the command line becomes less important in Windows 10. As an important system process in and of itself, you cannot remove conhost.exe from running. And trying to do so may prevent other applications and services from starting.
For most users, the conhost.exe process does not cause any problems and can be left running. If it is running, it runs in the background, allowing other applications to interact with lower levels of the Windows operating system.
If you run it yourself, this should still not be a problem, although we still recommend switching to the newer PowerShell in the long run. However, the problem with conhost.exe can occur when it is used by rogue software.
Some malware will run fake processes (using the name conhost.exe) to disguise itself, while others will interact with conhost.exe to gain additional control over your computer and its resources. If it bothers you (even after scanning for malware), you can check if conhost.exe is a legitimate system process.
How to Check if Conhost.exe is Real and Safe
In almost all cases, system processes such as conhost.exe and msmpeng.exe should only be launched from one location on your PC: from the Windows folder (C: Windows) or one of its subfolders (for example, C: Windows System32 ). While there are exceptions for packaged UWP apps like yourphonexe.exe, this is still true for conhost.exe.
This makes it easy to determine if conhost.exe is safe and legitimate or bogus by using Windows Task Manager to open the location of all running conhost.exe processes. If you want to make sure that conhost is not interacting with malware, you can use Process Explorer (as described above) for a first check.
- To check if conhost.exe is safe, correctly -click the taskbar and select the Task Manager option.
- In the Processes tab of the Task Manager window, find the Console Window Host process. You may have to click the arrow icon next to each process to find it in the list of another process. You can also find conhost.exe under the Details tab.
- To check if the conhost.exe process is real, right-click it in the Processes or Details tab, then select the Open File Location option.
- The C: Windows System32 folder will open in Windows Explorer. If this is not the case, then the conhost.exe process currently running is bogus. You will need to perform a scan of your computer to get rid of the likely malware infection, if so.
Securing a Windows 10 System
Conhost.exe is just one of many different system processes that play a role in the proper operation of the entire Windows operating system. By following the above steps, you can be sure that the processes your computer is based on are safe to start and use without having to stop or delete them.
This does not mean that all processes on your computer are safe. If you are concerned, you can schedule a Windows Defender scan at the download level to check all files on your computer for malware. And if that doesn’t work, there are many third-party apps out there that can remove resistant malware instead.
Is the Conhost.exe safe?
Is the Conhost.exe safe?
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