Overview of conhost.exe
The conhost.exe file, which stands for “Console Windows Host,” is usually legitimate and safe. Microsoft usually gives this file to people.
Windows 10, 8, and 7 can also be seen running it.
Conhost.exe must be running for Command Prompt to talk to Windows Explorer.
One of its jobs is to let you drop files and folders into the Command Prompt by dragging and dropping them.
Even programs made by other people can use conhost.exe if they need to see the command line.
Many people don’t need to get rid of conhost.exe or check it for viruses.
Many people run this process multiple times simultaneously (you’ll often see numerous instances of conhost.exe in Task Manager).
It could be hard to tell the difference if a virus is disguised as the conhost EXE file.
The first thing to look for is if conhost.exe is taking up a lot of space on your computer.
How do I know what conhost.exe is?
It’s essential to run Conhost.exe for Command Prompt to work with Windows Explorer.
With this app, you can drag and drop files and folders right into the Command Prompt.
If other people need to use the command line, they can also use conhost.exe.
Cmd.exe (Command Prompt) is a vital part of running the windows you use on your PC.
Conhost.exe is a new addition to this process.
It was made for Windows 7 to help lessen the load on the csrss.exe file.
People who use software that runs on a computer called Conhost.exe
Command Prompt and any program that needs this command-line tool start the conhost.exe process every time they start. Even if you don’t see the program (like running in the background), it’s still running.
- Conhost.exe is known to start some of these things:
- Dell’s “DFS.Common.Agent.exe” is what you need to run “DFS.Common.Agent.”
- NVIDIA’s “NVIDIA Web Helper.exe” is a program that can help you find things on the web.
- Plex uses a program called “PlexScriptHost.exe.”
- In Adobe Creative Cloud, the “node.exe” file is called “node.exe.”
No, Conhost.exe is not a virus at this time.
You don’t have to think that conhost.exe is a virus or that you should take it out.
When in doubt, there are a few things to check.
The first time you see conhost.exe running on your computer, chances are it’s a virus or at least an unwanted program. This is because conhost.exe is not used on Windows Vista or XP, which don’t use the file.
If you see conhost.exe in either of those Windows versions, go to the very bottom of this page to find out what you need to do about it, then.
- Open the Task Manager.
To do this, you can press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys on your keyboard.
- Look for the conhost.exe process in the Details tab, and then click on the process (or Processes tab in Windows 7).
- Ensure that the “Description” column for conhost.exe reads Console Windows Host on the far right.
- Right-click or tap-and-hold the process. Then choose the Open file location from the menu that comes up.
- You can see where conhost.exe is stored in the folder that opens when you click on the folder name.
Why is Conhost.exe taking up so much space?
In a regular computer, conhost.exe would use about 300 kilobytes of RAM when it was running without any malware. Even when using the program that started the file, it’s likely to use no more than 10 MB of RAM even though you’re still using the program that began conhost.exe.
If conhost.exe is taking up a lot more space than that, and Task Manager shows that the process is taking up a lot of CPU time, there’s a good chance that the file is fake.
People who follow the steps above should be careful even if they end up in a folder that isn’t C:/Windows/System32/.
There’s a virus called Conhost Miner that stores its “conhost.exe” file in this folder, and maybe other places:
percent user profile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftPersonal Data
If you don’t know, this virus will try to run a Bitcoin or other crypto coin mining operation on your computer without you knowing. This can be very hard on your memory and processor.
Is Conhost.exe a virus? How do I remove it?
If you know or even suspect that conhost.exe is a virus, it should be easy to get rid of it.
Lots of free tools are out there that can help you get rid of the conhost.exe virus from your computer, and there are even more that can help you keep it from coming back.
However, your first step should be to stop the parent process using the conhost.exe file so that it won’t be running its malicious code, and it will be easier to get rid of it.
- Double-click or tap and hold the conhost.exe file you want to get rid of in Process Explorer to get it to remove.
- Take a picture and then choose “Kill Process.”
- Then say, “OK.”
- To get back to the main screen, press OK.
If you want to close Process Explorer, you can do so at this point.
When you need to be concerned about something
There are, however, times when you can and should remove a file called conhost.exe, and it’s called that.
There’s no need to worry if you see more than one version of the file in your Task Manager.
It should happen every time cmd.exe is run.
Whether or not the program that needs conhost.exe is visible, this can still be true even if it is.
If you see one of a few things, though, there are some things to be concerned about.
There are two things you need to know about conhost.exe before you can use it:
Because conhost.exe files that use either of those in large amounts are a sign of something wrong.
Many malware hides by using the same file name as regular files to avoid being found.
To see if a file called conhost.exe is malware or not, right-click the operation in your Task Manager and choose Open file location.
When you open a legitimate copy of conhost.exe, it will open in the WindowsSystem32 folder.
If the file opens in a different place, it is malware and should be thrown away.