COM Surrogate Issues in Windows 10: Proven Troubleshoot Methods

Is COM Surrogate not working anymore? Let’s understand the COM Surrogate process and why problems and errors start with it.

This malfunction occurs when half of the entries in the Windows Task Manager are missing. COM Surrogate, i.e., dllhost.exe, is responsible for this process. Now let’s understand this process in more detail and its work and importance for the computer system.

COM Surrogate about

A COM Surrogate is an auxiliary process of a COM object, which works outside the process to which the request was sent.

The COM object (Component Object Model) is a software standard from Microsoft to make communication processes easier. For example, take an Excel spreadsheet embedded in a Word document. These shared objects allow you to see how changes in Excel will automatically update the Word table.

The COM objects

The process names of these COM objects make it clear that they are DLL files located in protected Windows folders, without which the OS can’t work fully. You can get the DLL file you need by downloading them from the online DLL file library.

Sacrifice About

We will now discuss what a sacrificial process is. COM Surrogate is used to generate thumbnails in File Explorer to a large extent. Older versions of Windows drove the explorer process through self-generated thumbnails, which caused numerous crashes because the thumbnail extractors were unreliable.

Whenever File Explorer is assured of an imminent failure, a COM Surrogate process appears to handle the risky behavior. The user opens the folder where the thumbnails need to be created, and File Explorer passes the process to COM Surrogate. It turns out that the Explorer process remains stable when the thumbnails are crash-loaded.

Is there any way to terminate this process?

The user can open the Task Manager via the Ctrl+Shift+Esc command and finish with every COM Surrogate process that appears on the screen. It is worth warning that such an idea is not a good one. Programs create strategies when they need them to execute a command. By stopping and destroying such processes, the system contains all the worksites functioning.

It turns out that you cannot disable COM Surrogate because commands start it from other programs.

What process was started: how can the user see it?

The Task Manager cannot get detailed data about all COM Surrogate processes. The user is presented with copies, which leads to a question: what programs started them?

Otherworldly utilities such as Process Explorer can be of help. The program reveals the details regarding the launch of all processes on the PC and which method has launched a surrogate COM. If the list does not show anything, it means that programs are not using COM surrogates.

How to fix a COM Surrogate Crash?

In COM Surrogate, few people have seen before an error that informs about the end of its work. The reason for such an error is a file that is associated with thumbnails.

For those users who often get COM Surrogate errors, there are ways to fix this problem:

  • Upgrade or uninstall each codec package and multimedia software. Using similar software (K-Lite, DivX, Nero, and so on) can get this problem. It is better to uninstall them because these codec packages are bad for your system.
  • Install Windows Updates. Installing the latest system updates can solve the problem. Most likely, your PC had a hiccup with the file type.
  • Delete existing thumbnails. A corrupted thumbnail is very often a problem with COM Surrogate. Try deleting it with the disk cleanup tool to have Windows rebuild the thumbnails cache.
Delete existing thumbnails
  • Identify the problem file. Using the process explorer, it will become clear which file is of interest to dllhost. It may point to the file causing the error, so remove that file.
  • Remove COM Surrogate from the Data Execution Prevention list. Windows uses DEP to prevent malicious code from running on the system. Try to exclude specific processes from this list:
  1. Type advanced system in the search engine – choose View advanced system settings – click on Settings on Performance tab – choose Data Execution Prevention.
  2. Now go to Turn on DEP for all programs… – click on Add.
  3. Then find C:{Windows\System32\dllhost.exe (for 32 bit system) or C:{Windows\SysWOW64\dllhost.exe (for 64 bit system) – click OK.
View advanced system settings
  • Scan your hard drive. Try to scan your PC. Type the SFC command in the command line to repair Windows files and the CHKDSK command to check problematic drive errors.
  • Re-register DLL files. Execute the commands regsvr32 vbscript.dll and regsvr32 jscript.dll at the command line to re-register two DLLs to fix the COM Surrogate error.
  • Antivirus check. Antivirus conflicts are often the initiators of the problem. Disable antivirus protection and ensure that accessing a file or folder causes the error.

Could it be a virus?

The normal COM Surrogate process is a normal part of Windows, so it is not a virus. However, malicious programs use dllhost methods for the wrong purposes. Many COM Surrogate entries in Task Manager with high CPU load are considered a sign of infection.

Such malware copies the operation of essential system processes and files, so you should not remove it on your own to avoid erasing a vital file. Run a scan through a trusted antivirus.

You can also use Windows Defender:

  1. Type defender into the Start menu search box.
  2. This will open the Windows Defender Security Center.
  3. Select Protection against Viruses and Threats.
  4. Click on Quick Scan to start the scan.

Now you know about the COM Surrogate process. This process is a helper created by another program to reassign tasks. Because of this, the user sees varying amounts of COM Surrogate, but you know how to troubleshoot and detect viruses.