Fixing SVCHost.exe Errors

Svchost.exe (which stands for "Service Host") is a host process found on recent versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Multiple services required by your hardware and software will run in conjunction and at the behest of svchost.exe, which scans the Services portion of the registry when Windows boots and starts the critical service processes. Many important functions of your computer, such as networking and file sharing, run as services hosted by svchost.exe. Typically, a group of related services will all run under the same instance of svchost.exe.

Controlling svchost.exe

You can manage the services that svchost.exe starts upon boot by accessing the Services control panel. To do this, choose "Start", then "Run", and enter "services.msc". Here, you can see the startup type of each of the services. Services that have the startup type "Automatic" will start with your computer; alternatively, services that have a startup type "Manual" will only start when specifically requested to by an external application. You can double-click on each service to access the Service Properties dialogue, which will allow you to change the startup type of the service.

Troubleshooting svchost.exe errors

If your computer is slow or unresponsive, you may have a rogue or runaway service running on your system. In most cases, this is caused by malware or a buggy but harmless progress. Inspect your running processes by pressing "Ctrl" + "Alt" + "Delete" and accessing the Task Manager. Once you have the Task Manager on your screen, navigate to the "Processes" tab and sort by "Image Name". Search for a process named "svchost.exe" that is taking a disproportionate amount of your system resources (RAM and CPU). If you can see an instance of "svchost.exe" that appears to be using too many system resources, you should try to identify which service is causing the issue by noting the PID of the runaway instance of svchost.exe. If you're using Windows XP Professional, run the following command at the command prompt (accessed by choosing "Start", then "Run", entering "command", and pressing "Enter"):

According to this Wikipedia article, this command will print a list of all instances of svchost.exe, their related PIDs (process IDs), and the services that rely on that particular instance of svchost.exe. By matching the PID of the problematic instance of svchost.exe with the PID printed by the previous command, you can identify which services on your machine are causing the performance issue. Use the steps to modify services previously outlined in this guide to disable or stop the problematic services.

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