If you have ever browsed the processes in Windows Task Manager, you may have an impression of the COM Surrogate process. Just by looking at the name, most people have no idea of what it is (some of them even think it might be a virus).

The following content will show you what COM Surrogate is and how to fix when it has stopped working.

Error: COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working

COM stands for Component Object Model; its main function is to allow developers to create COM objects by taking advantage of different programming languages. The COM Surrogate is actually a legitimate process used to host DLL files, show thumbnails, and help to get File Explorer to work (how to fix when File Explorer stops working?).

A lot of users said they have met the error message: COM Surrogate has stopped working. I advise them to ensure data security first with MiniTool Software; then, try to fix the error by referring to methods that will be mentioned in the next part.

COM Surrogate has stopped working

Ture Example

COM Surrogate has stopped working Windows 7 photo viewer:

The window photo viewer seem to be hang (Not responding) after some flipping through image file at a picture folder. Try to End the viewer using task Manager, error pop up saying COM Surrogate stopped working. Window 7 cannot even shutdown after that. I have to do hard reboot. It seems to be functioning fine, before I uninstalled Mcafee Security Center, ran a Mcafee removal program, MCPR and installed kaspersky internet security 2011. Have anyone experience this problem before? Need your advice.– said eric _leekf in Microsoft Forums

Possible Causes & Error Messages

Executable files such as Dllhost.exe are required for applications because they define the ways how the computer carries out particular functions. The computer will read the command created by the software developers when you click on such files and then the applications will be run.

However, if the dllhost.exe file is lost or in trouble, the dllhost.exe application error will appear, preventing you from opening any apps. It’s a sign of a broken device.

The Request Failed Due To A Fatal Device Hardware Error – Best Solution!

There are 3 main causes for dllhost.exe COM Surrogate error:

In addition, the COM Surrogate may be failed when your PC gets attacked by a virus.

The following warnings suggest that the COM Surrogate is not working on your computer:

  • exe not found.
  • Cannot find dllhost.exe.
  • exe failed.
  • exe is not running.
  • exe Application Error.
  • Error starting program: dllhost.exe.
  • Faulting Application Path: dllhost.exe.
  • exe is not a valid Win32 application.
  • exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working Windows 10: Fixes

You may see the error message – COM Surrogate has stopped working – when running Windows 10/8/7. What happens when it appears and how to fix it? The possible causes and warnings are listed above, so this part will only focus on how to solve COM Surrogate not responding.

Fix 1: Uninstall Recently Installed Drivers

  1. Right click on the Start button at the bottom left.
  2. Choose Device Manager from the context menu.
  3. Look for the drivers that you have installed recently.
  4. Right click on the drive and select Uninstall device.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button in the pop-up window to confirm.
  6. Repeat step 4 and step 5 for different drivers.

Uninstall device

Fix 2: Roll back the Video Driver

  1. Open Device Manager by following steps mentioned in fix 1.
  2. Navigate to Display adapters and expand it.
  3. Right click on the adapter driver.
  4. Choose Properties.
  5. Shift to the Driver tab from General.
  6. Click on the Roll Back Driver button.
  7. Check a reason for Why are you rolling back in the Driver Package rollback window.
  8. Click on the Yes button to confirm.

Roll Back Driver

What if the Roll Back Driver button is greyed out?

You should go to the website of your computer or video card manufacturer in order to download the previous version of video card driver.

Fix 3: Kill Virus

You should get a professional antivirus program, install it, and launch it to scan your computer. Then, remove any viruses found by the program and restart the computer to see whether the COM Surrogate has been fixed or not.

How to recover data lost due to virus attack on your PC?

You can also try to update the antivirus software you use to the latest version.

Warning: Some Kaspersky antivirus users reported the problem may occur when they’re using the Kaspersky. And they find an easy way to fix it: update the actual Kaspersky software (not only the antivirus definitions). If you’re still worried, you can just disable the program.

How to recover if data get lost during the process?

Step 1: download MiniTool Power Data Recovery and install it to the drive contains no lost files.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2: launch the data recovery software and select This PC from the left sidebar (if the whole partition is lost, you should select Hard Disk Drive instead).

Step 3: pick out the drive that holds the lost data. Then, click on the Scan button in the bottom right corner.

Step 4: wait for the scan. Browse the found items in the software carefully to pick out the lost data you want to recover.

wait for the scan

Step 5: click on the Save button and choose a location to store the file lost since the COM Surrogate is not responding/working.

Kindly reminder: you can experience the Trial Edition first if you don’t trust this file recovery software. However, you should know that the Trial Edition only allows you to scan disk and preview files found by it; if you really need to recover files from the scan results, you’ll need a license to register to a full edition.

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Fix 4: Add Dllhost.exe to the DEP Exception

The executable host process (also known as dllhost.exe) will be always running in the background when you look through files or folders. However, the DEP could have a conflict with dllhost.exe. To prevent/solve COM Surrogate not working issue, you should add dllhost.exe to the DEP exception list or disable the DEP directly.

How to add dllhost.exe to Data Execution Prevention list?

  1. Right click on This PC icon.
  2. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  3. Select Advanced system settings option from the left sidebar.
  4. The Advanced tab will be checked by default. Now, click on the Settings button under performance area.
  5. Shift to Data Execution Prevention tab in the Performance Options window.
  6. Check Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select: (the Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only is advised and selected by default).
  7. Click on the Add… button below.
  8. Make sure Executable Files is selected for Files of type.
  9. Browse the file list and select dllhost (it is located in C:\Windows\SysWOW64 or C:\Windows\System32).
  10. Click on the Open button.
  11. Click on the Apply button.
  12. Click on the OK button to confirm.

Executable Files

Please note:

You may receive this error message after clicking Open: You can not set DEP attributes on 64-bit executables.

can not set DEP attributes

All you can do at this time is clicking on the OK button to close the prompt.

But what does this mean?

You don’t need to be anxious when seeing this: it indicates that you are running a 64-bit operating system and the processor of it gives support to hardware-based DEP. Since the processes have been protected all the time, you’ll need to turn DEP off manually via Command Prompt in order to prevent it from protecting the 64-bit application.

How to disable DEP?

Always Off: DEP will be completely turned off and no process or program (including Windows processes) will be protected.

  1. Click on the search box on the taskbar and type cmd into it.
  2. Right click on Command Prompt from the search result.
  3. Select Run as administrator from the menu.
  4. Type exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff and hit Enter. (If you want to turn on the DEP again, you should type bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOn.)
  5. Wait a second for the operation to complete.
  6. Restart your PC.

Turn off DEP

If they still can’t fix the COM Surrogate stopped working problem, please turn to the following methods.

How To Recover Files Using CMD: Ultimate User Guide!

Fix 5: Close COM Surrogate in Task Manager

  1. Open Task Manager by holding Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
  2. Look for COM Surrogate under processes.
  3. Right click on COM Surrogate and choose End task.

If you can’t find COM Surrogate, you should shift to Details tab > find and right click on dllhost.exe > select End task.

End task

Fix 6: Check Disk for Errors

If the COM Surrogate error only appears on a particular drive like a USB drive, you should suspect that there are some bad sectors on it.

How to check a drive for errors?

Method 1: check disk in File Explorer.

  1. Connect the USB drive to the computer properly.
  2. Open File Explorer. (What if File Explorer is not responding?)
  3. Find the USB drive here and right click on it.
  4. Choose Properties from the context menu.
  5. Shift to the Tools tab.
  6. Click on the Check button in the Error checking area (this button is named Check Now in Win7).
  7. Click to scan the drive and wait for the scan.
  8. If any error is found, Windows will give you a corresponding solution.


You can click on the Show Details link to go to the Event Viewer program and check the Application log.

Solved – One Of Your Disks Needs To Be Checked For Consistency.

Method 2: check disk via Command Prompt.

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator by following the steps mentioned in fix 4 (how to disable DEP part).
  2. Type chkdsk *: /r (* is the drive letter of target disk) and hit Enter. (You can also select the drive first and then type chkdsk /r.)
  3. Wait for the command to complete.



If the system cannot lock the drive, you’ll see this message: Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N).

Now, type Y and hit Enter. Then, restart your computer, and wait for the scanning and repair drive process to complete. Please remember you can’t disconnect the drive during this process.

How to recover if data get lost after CHKDSK:

Files Get Lost After CHKDSK? Now Recover Them in Three Ways
Files Get Lost After CHKDSK? Now Recover Them in Three Ways

Does your files get lost after CHKDSK? Here are ways to help your recover CHKDSK deleted files in few steps.

Read More

Sometimes, the Restart to repair drive errors may appear to inform you that drive errors are found and you should repair the drive by just restarting your PC.

Fix 7: Reset Internet Explorer Settings

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Start + R buttons.
  2. Type cpl into the textbox and click on the OK button.
  3. Shift to the Advanced tab.
  4. Find the Reset Internet Explorer settings area.
  5. Click on the Reset… button.
  6. Check Delete personal settings in the pop-up window.
  7. Click Reset and wait.
  8. Reboot your PC.


Fix 8: Re-register the DLLs

What’s more, you can try the following commands which will re-register a few dlls.

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator by following the steps mentioned in fix 4 (how to disable DEP part).
  2. Type regsvr32 jscript.dll and hit Enter.
  3. Click OK in RegSvr32 window.
  4. Type regsvr32 vbscript.dll and hit Enter.
  5. Click OK in RegSvr32 window.

Command Prompt

Fix 9: Disable Thumbnails

  1. Type File Explorer options into the search box on the taskbar.
  2. Shift to the View tab.
  3. Check Always show icons, never thumbnails under Advanced settings > Files and Folders.
  4. Click Apply & OK one by one at the bottom.
  5. Type disk cleanup into the search box.
  6. Select Disk Cleanup from the result.
  7. Choose the Windows 10 hard drive and click OK to start scanning it.
  8. Check thumbnails under Files to delete.
  9. Click OK to confirm and wait a second for the removing.

show icons, never thumbnails

Fix 10: Update Codecs

Some users also reported that updating the Codecs is very helpful for fixing the issue of COM Surrogate has stopped working. If you still find COM Surrogate stopped working, you can try to rename the files.

COM Surrogate Issues on Windows 10

The following content shows you the common issues related to COM Surrogate.

  • COM Surrogate not responding (or freeze at all)
  • COM Surrogate crashing and opening
  • COM Surrogate virus
  • COM Surrogate taking too much memory
  • COM Surrogate high CPU and disk usage
  • COM Surrogate is always running in the background

How to remove dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate virus?

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The error COM Surrogate has stopped working may appear when you browse pictures and videos or do something else. This post talks about the possible causes for COM Surrogate error and the useful methods for fixing it. You should read them carefully to find out the most suitable solution for you.

COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working FAQ

What is the COM Surrogate process?
The COM Surrogate process is actually the Sacrificial process for a COM object. It runs in the background under your username, so you probably won’t pay attention to it until it crashes. There will be many COM Surrogate processes running simultaneously on your computer.
What is a COM Surrogate error?
Definitely, the COM Surrogate error means there’s something wrong with the COM Surrogate process running on your computer. You may discover strange things or receive detailed error messages when error occurs. For instance, COM Surrogate has stopped working.
Is Dllhost exe a virus?
If you open task manager and find dllhost.exe in it, you’ll want to know whether it is a virus or not. Here’s how to define: if the dllhost.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, it’s normal and safe; if you see dllhost.exe somewhere else, it may be a virus, spyware, trojan or worm!
How do I fix Windows Explorer has stopped working?
  1. Check the disk for bad sectors.
  2. Do clean boot troubleshooting.
  3. Run the System File Checker (SFC).
  4. Boot in Safe Mode to check for startup issues.
  5. Update the video driver to the latest version.
  6. Test the RAM memory.
  7. Check for corrupted pictures.
  8. Kill virus, spyware, trojan and worm.
  9. Resort to System Restore.
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