If you visit the Processes tab in the Task Manager on Windows 10, you will most likely see a process called ‘COM Surrogate’. The process does not provide what it does and you may see more than one instance of it running.
COM Surrogate is not a virus. It is a Windows 10 process that provides support and security for apps that do not want to host a COM object under their own process thread.
What is COM Surrogate?
By default, Windows 10 applications can run COM objects. These features allow an app to extend its capabilities Think about it as an add-on for a browser ie add-ons extend what a browser can do but add-ons run as a process under the browser. COM objects may or may not be safe, and may be durable.
If a COM object is unstable, it may crash the app it started with. To avoid this, Windows 10 has the COM Surrogate service. It creates the COM object outside of the app process and allows the object and the app to connect. If the COM object created by COM Surrogate crashes, the crash does not affect the application that was using it.
The name ‘Surrogate’ suggests his role; instead of the process being ‘carried’ by the app that requires it, it is carried by an independent process that runs outside the app. The process itself has no function. It makes or runs the other apps it needs so that it depends on the process of generating thumbs for some file types or it may rely on an API run for Cortana.
Fix problems with COM Surrogate on Windows 10
COM Surrogate is used by a good number of apps, many of which have Windows 10 apps. Problems with COM Surrogate prevent certain features in an app from running. The app will run but you will get an error message telling you that COM Surrogate is not running. Here are a few things you can try to solve the problem.
1. Close / restart COM Surrogate
COM Surrogate is a process like any other and as such, it can cause problems. Like many apps and processes, restarting the COM Surrogate process can solve problems with it.
- Right-click on the taskbar and select Executive Manager from the context table.
- Go to Process tabs.
- look for COM Surrogate and select it.
- Click on the Task end button at the bottom right.
- Repeat for all COM Surrogate processes.
- Get to file or run the app that first showed COM Surrogate error.
2. Install media codec
Problems with COM Surrogate can be caused by media codecs. In particular, if you have a file that requires a special codec to be installed in order for it to create thumbs up, make sure you have it installed. If there is a problem with the codec, uninstall and reinstall it.
3. Locate and delete problem file
COM Surrogate may be having trouble trying to generate a thumbnail for a particular file. To fix this, you need to delete the existing file.
- Open File Explorer and go to the See the tab.
- Click the Options button and select ‘Change folder and scan options’.
- Go to See the tab and enable the ‘Always show images, never toes’ option.
- Click Okay and apply.
- Open File Explorer and address to This PC.
- Right click on the C drive (or your Windows driver) and select Properties from the context menu.
- Go to General tab and click Disk cleaning.
- In the window that opens, select thumbnails and click OK.
- Allow Disk cleaning to run.
- Download an Process analysis tool.
- Look for the dllhost.exe process and what file it is trying to get.
- Delete the file.
- Restart COM Surrogate (see previous section).
- Enable toes again (Steps 1-3).
4. Check for anti-virus
Many users use third-party anti-virus apps. There is nothing wrong with using a third-party app but one that is quite easy could block Windows 10 essential services like COM Surrogate.
- Whitelist COM Surrogate process in your antivirus application.
- Turn off your anti-virus and use Windows Defender to not block COM Surrogate.
- Update your antivirus and its virus definitions.
Decision on Surrogate COM Process
COM Surrogate it is not a virus and you should not attempt to uninstall or block the process on your system. If it is consuming a lot of CPU, check which file it is trying to access or which app is using it and troubleshoot it.
The post How to fix COM replacement process issues: What is COM Surrogate? first appeared on TechtricksNg.