The legitimate csrss.exe file should be located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory, if it doesn’t, it could be a virus or malware. In addition, you can’t disable the real the csrss.exe process, because it is very important to your Windows. If you want to get more information, browse this post on the MiniTool website.

If you have a Windows PC, you can open the Windows Task Manager and you will see a process named csrss.exe running on your PC. Csrss.exe executable file in Windows is labeled as Client Runtime Server Process. It is a vital part of your Windows locating in the System32 folder. 

You may want to learn more information about csrss.exe: what is this? Are you able to disable this csrss.exe process? How can you know if it is a virus or not? Right now, you are able to keep reading this post to get the answers.

About Csrss.exe

In Windows NT 4.0, many of these related operating system functions were moved from csrss.exe to the Windows kernel. However, the Client Server Runtime process is still used for the shutdown process and console windows, which are very important functions for Windows. 

Before Windows 7, the csrss.exe process itself drew the console (Command Prompt) window, but on Windows 7 and later, it is the Console Host (conhost.exe) process that draws the console windows. 

Even so, csrss.exe is still used for starting the conhost.exe process when it is necessary to do this. That is to say, the csrss.exe process is used for some key system functions in the background. This is how Windows works. 

In a laptop, the power management scheme determined by the settings in Control Panel decides the work of the csrss.exe process. Meanwhile, the number of csrs.exe files to run may vary from operating system to operating system, but in Windows, there is still basically only one csrss.exe file. 

There are some known issues with the csrss.exe:

  • When you right-click csrss.exe, you find that csrss.exe uses 100% CPU resources. Microsoft says that when your user profile is corrupted, you will face this issue. You can remove the corrupted profile from additional properties.
  • You may also encounter the no disk error. This error may also be caused by csrss.exe. Its source may be the IOLO System Mechanic program. Thus, you should delete such a program if you have it installed.

Can You Disable the Csrss.exe Process?

So far, the Client Server Runtime process for Windows systems has limited functionality, but you can’t disable the csrss.exe process, because it is a very important part in Windows. In any case, there is no reason to disable this process. It uses very few resources and performs only some key system functions. 

If you enter the Task Manager and want to stop the csrss.exe process, you could make your PC unavailable, even worse, you may make your computer shut down automatically.

end Client Server Runtime Process

If you click through this warning, you will see a message that says Access is Denied. It is a protected process and you can’t terminate it. 

Windows is always launching the csrss.exe process when you start up the Windows. What will happen when the csrss.exe process can’t be launched during booting Windows? You will see a blue screen of death with error code 0xC000021A in your Windows. Thus, you know how important the csrss.exe process is now. 

Tip: If you are facing Windows 10 blue screen of death, read this post to get methods to this issue.

Is Csrss.exe a Virus?

It is normal if you see this process or multiple processes having the same name are always running in Windows. If the csrss.exe file is legitimate, it should be located in the C:\Windows\system32 directory on your system. 

In order to verify that it is the real csrss.exe process, you need to right-click on the file when you open the folder and then open the location of this file to check its Properties. 

You need to open to the C:\Windows\System32 directory that includes the csrss.exe file in Windows Explorer or File Explorer.

If someone says that the csrss.exe file that is locating in C:\Windows\System32 is a virus, that is a lie. It is the real file, and if you remove this file, there cloud be problems with your computer. 

Tech support scammers are known to say that if there is csrss.exe on your computer, that means your computer has malware. What you need to understand is that every PC has a csrss.exe process running and it is very normal. 

However, if you are worried about malware, a good method is to run an antivirus to perform a full system scan. Sometimes, legitimate Windows files may be infected or replaced by malware. 

What’s really worth your attention is that if the csrs.exe process leads to high CPU usage, it may be a virus. 

If the csrss.exe file is not in the right directory, there might be a problem in your computer and you need to delete this fake csrss.exe file immediately. In order to avoid arousing suspicion, some malware programs may disguise as csrs.exe. In particular, given that each terminal session creates a separate process instance, there can be dozens of them. 

At present, there are dozens of known viruses that use the csrss.exe name to mask your suspicion in Windows, such as Spyware.LoverSpy, W32.Dalbug.Worm, Trojan.Webus and many others.

How Does the Csrss.exe Malware Behave?

Because of this infection’s generic nature, there are various ways of installation. The usual way that the csrss.exe infections may often do is copying their executable to the Windows or Windows system folders to install them and then changing the registry to run the file at startup on each system. 

To do this, csrs.exe malware often modifies the following subkeys:


When the csrss.exe virus infects your computer, the infection may come into contact with a remote host for some reasons:

  • Accept instruction from a remote attacker.
  • Accept configuration or other data.
  • Download and perform arbitrary files which contain updates or additional malware.
  • Report a new infection to the author.
  • Upload data obtained from the affected computers.

Further Reading: A Useful Tool to Protect Your Data

If you disable the Client Server Runtime process by mistake, you will lose any data hasn’t been saved. Thus, in order to keep your data safe, you need to back up your data in advance. You are highly recommended to use great backup software – MiniTool ShadowMaker. 

MiniTool ShadowMaker is a powerful data protection and disaster recovery tool for your PC. With it, you not only can back up files, partitions, Windows operating system and disks, but also can clone the whole hard disk. You are also allowed to restore data if you encounter system crash, hard drive failure, and more. 

Besides, if you find that your computer fails to boot, you can create bootable media (CD/DVD disc, USB flash drive or USB hard drive) to restore your OS to the previous normal state. 

MiniTool ShadowMaker is also a powerful piece of file sync software, with the Sync function of it, you can synchronize files and folders to other locations to keep data safe. 

Right now, you can download and install MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition to back up your data to keep your data safe.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

The following part will show you how to make a data backup with the Backup function of MiniTool ShadowMaker. 

Step 1: Choose the Source File

1.Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to enter its interface.

2.Click Connect in the Local module to continue.

3.After entering the main interface of MiniTool ShadowMaker, click the Backup tab to continue.

click the Backup feature to continue

Tip: In general, the system reserved partition and C drive are selected by default. You can choose another backup source – file/folder/disk/partition which you want to back up.

4.Click the Source module firstly and then select the source type you want to back up. Here, you should choose files as backup source to avoid losing data.

select the source file

Step 2: Choose a Destination Path to Save Backup Files

1.Click the Destination module.

2.Then click a destination where you want to save backup files. There are 5 types of destination paths for you to choose – Administrator, Libraries, Computer, Network and Shared. Click OK to continue.

select a destination path

Step 3: Perform Backup Operation

1.Click Back up Now to execute the backup operation immediately. You can also choose Back up Later to carry out the operation later, and you need to click Back up Now in the Manage page to execute the pending operation.

perform backup operation immediately

1. MiniTool ShadowMaker provides some advanced backup settings to meet your different needs. They are backup options, schedule setting and backup scheme. You can make some advanced settings for each new backup task during the process of backup, such as adding a comment, compressing files, etc.
2. It can also help you automatically back up PC daily, weekly, monthly, and on event and manage disk space usage by deleting the specified backup image file versions.

2.Read the confirmation and click Yes to continue. You can also check Shut down the computer when all the running backup tasks are finished.

confirm to start backup operation now

Tip: If you are interested in the Scheme function, read this post – 3 Types of Backup: Full, Incremental, Differential – MiniTool.

In addition to the Backup function, Sync is also a powerful feature of MiniTool ShadowMaker to keep your data safe. With this function, you can sync files and folders. The following part will show you how to sync files with this feature. 

Step 1: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to enter its interface. 

Step 2: Select the files you want to sync from the Source tab. 

Step 3: Select a destination where you want to save the synced files from the Destination tab.

select the sync destination

Step 4: Click Sync Now to perform this operation immediately. You can also choose Sync Later to execute synchronization operation later, and you need to click Sync Now in the Manage page to carry out the pending operation. 

1. MiniTool ShadowMaker also provides you with some advanced synchronization settings like the Backup function. They are synchronization options and schedule setting. You can make some advanced settings for each new task during the process of synchronization – compressing files, and setting exclude conditions to filter sync files.
2. It can also help you automatically sync files daily, weekly, monthly, and on event.

After you complete all the steps above, you can successfully sync files. 

If you want to learn more about sync and get more details of syncing files with MiniTool ShadowMaker, click to read this post – The Best File Synchronization Software – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

After I finish reading this post, I know much better about csrss.exe. Meanwhile, I make a backup for my data to keep it safe. MiniTool ShadowMaker is really useful.Click to Tweet



This post has briefly shown you what the csrss.exe is. It also tells you that you can’t terminate the csrss.exe process and the real csrss.exe file is not a virus. In addition, this post introduces you a useful tool – MiniTool ShadowMaker to protect your data. With it, you not only can back up your data, but also can sync data to keep your data safe.

If you encounter any issues when you are creating backups with our software, please let us know. Or if you have any suggestion, also tell us. Sending an email to [email protected] or leaving a comment below is available.

Csrss.exe FAQ

What does Csrss exe do?
Csrss stands for Client/Server Run-Time Subsystem. It is an essential subsystem that must be running at all times. It is responsible for console windows, creating and/or deleting threads, and implementing certain portions of the 16-bit virtual MS-DOS environment.
How do I remove Csrss exe from Windows 10?
  1. Click Start > Run and press Enter. Next, type regedit.exe in the Run box.
  2. Click File > Export. Choose a safe location on your hard drive or external storage media and click Save to Save the exported registry file.
  3. Click Edit > Find. Type the following path into the search box: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Csrss.exe
  4. Click Find Next to search for the file.
  5. Right-click the csrss.exe file in the search results and select Delete.
  6. Click File > Exit to close Regedit.
Is Csrss exe a virus?
The real csrss.exe file is a secure Microsoft Windows system process called Client Server Runtime Process. However, the writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans, deliberately give their processes the same filename to avoid detection.
How do I know if Csrss exe is a virus?
You can check if your computer is infected with csrss.exe virus. First, press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open Task Manager. Click the Processes tab and browse the list. If you only see one csrss.exe process running, your computer is safe. If there is more than one csrss.exe process, your computer is infected with malware.
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