What is COM Surrogate Process & How to Remove it?

In Layman’s terms, COM Surrogate is one of the Windows 10 processes which is responsible for running various extensions.

The majority of the time, users can find the process within the Task Manager. So, rest assured, just because this process is running in the background, doesn’t mean that your computer is infected by viruses.

But, at the same time, there are several malware that can mimic the COM Surrogate process.

Basically, the work of the COM Surrogate process is to make users aware of the extensions that their software is running.

In fact, these extensions are known as COM Objects, as a result of which the name of the process came into existence.

COM surrogate & how to fix it

The majority of the time, this process doesn’t bother anyone. But, since it doesn’t come with a regular icon, it can sometimes get under the skin.

Most Common COM Surrogate Issues on Windows 10

Unlike every other issue, COM Surrogate can cause a variety of problems in Windows 10.

Here is a list of some of the most common encounters by the users:

  • COM Surrogate High Disk and CPU Usage: This is by far one of the most common problems faced by COM Surrogate. The majority of the time, it has been observed to take higher disk space along with higher CPU usage without any proper reason. But there is an easy fix to the same as well.
  • COM Surrogate is Not Responding: Once COM Surrogate stops responding, it results in the entire computer getting frozen. Removing the service or disabling it is one way to fix the issue.
  • COM Surrogate Virus: As stated earlier, there are several viruses and malware which mimic the appearance of COM Surrogate and trick us into believing it as the same process.
  • COM Surrogate Taking up Memory: If you are having constrained memory space such as 4 GB or even 8 GB in Windows 10, chances are you might face this problem. However, our solution can help you to fix the problem.
  • COM Surrogate Stopped Working: This particular issue is quite different from not responding. If the COM Surrogate process stops working, it can actually result in the malfunctioning of the extensions used by different software.
  • COM Surrogate Always Running: Constantly running the process in the background also comes with its own set of adverse effects. For instance, this would result in higher memory, CPU, and disk usage.
  • COM Surrogate Keeps Crashing: There are some instances where the COM Surrogate process might crash and keeps on opening on its own. This can result in a hindrance to the overall workflow.

Different Steps to Solver COM Surrogate on Windows 10

Installing Media Codecs

There are several instances where the COM Surrogate process will show up out of nowhere.

At the same time, one can also find thumbnails not working or having a hard time processing despite higher CPU usage.

Issues like such can be easily fixed with the help of installing media codecs, which can assist with running the thumbnails seamlessly.

Some of the most commonly used media codecs include K-Lite and Shark.

Updating Your Antivirus Software 

One would be surprised to know how updating your antivirus software can easily fix the COM Surrogate issue.

The majority of the antivirus software such as Kaspersky and Avast can assist in the same.

But, bear in mind, in order to fix the issue, make sure that you are using the latest version of the antivirus software.

As we were discussing earlier, this particular way of fixing the COM Surrogate issue, suggests that your machine was virus infected instead of the regular service issue.

Closing COM Surrogate Using Task Manager

There are several instances where changing media information such as a picture or video, the user is prompted with the message “The action can’t be completed because the file is open in COM Surrogate.

The easiest fix to the problem is to close the process all alone.

Follow the instructions down below to close the process:

  • Press the CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously to open the Task Manager.
  • Once the Task Manager pops up, make sure to look for COM Surrogate and right-click over the same.
  • Choose End task from the option. In case you can’t find the program, look for the one dllhost.exe. Right-click over the same and terminate the same process.

Disabling the Thumbnails and Using the Process Monitor to Find the Issue

There are several instances where a single corrupted image or video file can actually trigger the COM Surrogate process.

Now, since the file is corrupted in the first place, COM Surrogate becomes unable to access them while giving you the prompt of not working.

Under such circumstances, the easiest solution is to actually delete the file in the first place.

But it is easier said than done.

So, before figuring out the problematic file, it is better to disable the thumbnail.

  • Within the search bar, look for File Explorer Options. Select the first option that comes as the search result.
  • Once the file explorer option opens in front of you, make sure to go to the Views tab. Select the option, Always show icons, never thumbnails. Once you are done making the changes, hit Apply and then OK. 

After you are done disabling the thumbnails, make sure to remove the existing ones.

It can be done by the process down below:

  • Press the Windows + R key and type Disk Cleanup.
  • Choose all the hard drives within your computer, as initially, it is only set to the C drive. Then click enter.
  • Once your computer is done with the initial scanning process, make sure that you check all the thumbnails under the Files to delete the section. Then click OK to remove all the files.

Lastly, it’s time to find the files that are creating all the problems. It can be done using:

  • First, download the process monitor.
  • Running it will ensure you find the files that dllhost.exe is trying to access. The majority of the time, it always turns out to be a multimedia file such as an image or video.
  • After you are done removing the file, make sure to close the COM Surrogate as well as dllhost.exe from the task manager.
  • Now, you can turn back the thumbnails.

Adding COM Surrogate to Data Exclusion List

This particular step is mainly applicable if you are getting the massage COM Surrogate has stopped working.

In order to solve the problem, make sure to add it to the list of Data Exclusion Prevention. 

  • Press the Windows Key + S and look for Advanced System Settings. Select the first result that comes in the search result.
  • Under the Performance section, select Settings. 
  • Head over to the Data Exclusion Prevention tab.
  • Check the option “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select” and hit the Add button.
  • Navigate to the C folder, look for dllhost.exe and select it.
  • Now click Apply to save all the changes.

Re-registering DLL Files Using the Command Prompt

The COM Surrogate error is oftentimes associated with the DLL files that are present on the computer.

Making subtle changes to the same can assist you to solve the issue. This can be done using the steps given below:

  • First, open the command prompt to open as administrator. Press the Windows + X key and select Command Prompt (Admin). At the same time, you can also go with PowerShell (Admin). 
  • After the command prompt opens, make sure to enter these lines one by one:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll

regsvr32 jscript.dll

Running these commands can assist you in solving the COM Surrogate problem.

Look for Hard Drive Errors

Sometimes the issue with COM Surrogate occurs when you insert any USB Flash Drive into the computer.

Certainly, if that is the case, there is nothing wrong with checking the device before you start using it.

In fact, in the same way, you can also check your external HDD to find errors:

  • Head over to This PC and look for the device you are about to check. Right-click on them and select Properties.
  • Under the Tools tab, select the Check option in order to check the computer.

Uninstalling Recently Installed Drivers

You might correlate the issue with COM Surrogate stated after installing a new driver.

If that is the case, removing recently installed drivers can assist you with the same.

In order to remove them, follow the steps down below:

  • First, open Device Manager. You can even press the Windows Key + S and look for Device Manager. Under the same, choose the first option that comes to the list.
  • Look for the recently installed drivers and right-click on them.
  • Select Uninstall device from the menu
  • Select the Delete the driver software or this device option, and click Uninstall
  • Once you have successfully uninstalled all the drivers from the PC, restart your computer to check if the problem still persists.

Switching to List or Detailed View

As we have already mentioned, when it comes to thumbnails, COM Surrogate takes all the charges.

That is why switching to another view is by far one of the most preferred solutions so that you don’t run into the problem in the first place.

In order to change the view to a list or details, go through the steps down below:

  • Head over to File Explorer.
  • Under the View tab, you will find the option to choose between a list or details.

Bear in mind, even though it is just a workaround, it can actually assist you with solving the problem.

Also see: Service Host Superfetch error and how to fix it

Also see: How to Fix Windows Modules Installer Worker

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