Most likely, you came to this article because you came across the Host process from the console window or conhost.exe in your Windows task manager. There may be more than one Console Window Host process (conhost.exe) visible in Windows Task Manager consuming memory from your system with high CPU usage.
You may have many questions about this process. Is this process really unnecessary? Do I need to close this process? Is conhost.exe a virus? We will answer all these questions and many more in this article.
What is conhost.exe?
Conhost.exe is a process that you can see running in Windows Task Manager if you are using Windows 7 and above as your operating system. It is an executable file and therefore an .exe extension, created by Microsoft. It is really normal to see it running in your Windows Task Manager.
Conhost.exe allows the command prompt to perform its many functionalities. Command Prompt, also known as cmd.exe is an application that interprets the command line. The main functionality of the command prompt is the execution of the commands. Most of the commands are automated with the help of scripts and batch files. The command prompt is also useful for administrative tasks and for troubleshooting Windows errors.
Conhost.exe adds more functions to the command prompt. Allows users to directly drag and drop folders / files to command prompt. Also, the modern window style seen in the command prompt was not possible in earlier versions of Windows such as Windows XP. Conhost.exe made this possible. The reason for this is explained in the next section.
In earlier versions of Windows like Windows XP, CSRSS handled the command prompt. CSRSS stands for ClientServer Runtime System Service. It was a system-level service with few problems. The biggest problem with CSRSS was that if it failed, it was capable of bringing down the entire system. It was not reliable at all. Another problem (although not that big) with CSRSS was the old classic look of the command prompt. CSRSS was the reason why the command prompt had a simple look as opposed to other windows.
Take a look at this image of cmd in Windows XP – see how the command prompt window is different from the normal window.
An upgrade from Windows to Windows 7 resolved these issues with CSRSS. Console Window host (conhost.exe) is an intermediary between CSRSS and the command prompt. Not only did it solve this problem, but it also added features like drag and drop functionality at the command prompt.
Multiple conhost.exe Running in task manager?
Mostly Multiple Console Window Host (conhost.exe) in Task Manager is also a perfectly normal situation .
Sometimes third-party software uses a command prompt. But while using this software, you won’t see the command prompt pop up because it runs in the background.
The host of multiple console windows may not always be something to ignore.
One of these processes could be a virus!
Go to the next section to know how to identify if Console Window Host (conhost.exe) is a virus or not and also how to get rid of it if it is a virus.
Is Console Window Host conhost.exe a virus?
As mentioned above, if conhost.exe is used by third-party software, you will see multiple console window host processes (Conhost.exe) in your task manager. But if you are using Windows XP, Vista or earlier, then Conhost.exe in your task manager is a virus.
Also for other Windows operating systems, if Console Window Host in your task manager is consuming too much system memory and CPU usage, it could be a virus.
The hijackers use a virus called a Trojan disguised as a Console Window Host for processes like bitcoin mining.
To check whether your conhost.exe is genuine or not, follow the below steps:
Step 1: open the task manager. Right click the start button and select Task Manager from the list or you can access the task manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
Step 2: Find the Host from the console window in your task manager. Right click on it and choose “Open file location”
Step 3: If you see that the Console Window Host directory is » C: Windows System32 ″, then you don’t have to worry. Conhost.exe is genuine. But if a directory is something else, then conhost.exe in the task manager is a virus. Most likely, if it is a virus, the folder will open “% Userprofile% AppData Roaming Microsoft” .
How to get rid of a conhost.exe virus?
It is not an exact science. You can end the conhost.exe task by right-clicking the Host file from the console window in your task manager and then clicking End Task. Then use antivirus and scan your system to permanently remove this virus.
Does Conhost.exe consume too much memory and CPU usage?
Suppose you checked the task manager and the Windows Host console is in the correct directory, but it is still using too much memory. What will you do? We have a solution for you. This won’t exactly solve your problem, but by following this solution you can identify the root of the problem. You can then go through a troubleshooting procedure for that particular software and get rid of the problem.
All you need to do is download Process Explorer from this link . Open this software and press “Ctrl + F”. This will open the Process Explorer search window. Type conhost in the search bar and press Enter. Then it will list all the conost.exe processes running on your system.
Check which one is consuming too much memory and CPU usage and perform troubleshooting for that software. If your Conhost.exe is not consuming too much memory, it is completely normal. You do not have to do anything. But if you are eating too much memory, you can finish the task when needed.
Method 2: Run the System File Checker tool
The sfc / scannow command will check all your Windows files for wrong versions. Not only that, it will alert you if it finds something suspicious. So, use this command to see if your Microsoft files are corrupted or not
- Open command prompt as administrator
- Scribe sfc / scannow
It takes a few minutes to complete the scan.
I hope you find this article useful. Thank you for reading!