In Windows, Svchost.exe is a generic host process name for services that run from dynamic-link libraries. There can be multiple instances of Svchost.exe, running at the same time. Svchost.exe is a generic host process and is widespread among processes running on windows operating systems.
During Windows Start up, Svchost.exe checks the services section of the registry, to construct a list of services that it must load.However, there can be multiple Svchost.exe sessions and each session can contain a grouping of services running on windows.Microsoft has designed such grouping of services for better control and easier debugging in windows. However, this design has some pitfalls, as the windows user cannot easily determine memory usage or legitimacy of individual services and processes running on the system. Moreover, viruses and malware disguise themselves as Svchost.exe and hide their presence from the Windows user.
How to find processes running behind the generic Svchost.exe process?
To find services running behind this generic host process – Svchost.exe,
- Click Start, type regedit and press Enter to open the Windows registry
- Navigate to the registry key – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SvcHost
- On the right pane, you may find a list of actual processes (services) running behind Svchost instances
If you are familiar with Windows Command line interface (CLI), then you can view all Svchost.exe processes using the following command line:
- Click Start, type cmd and press Enter to open the Command line Interface
- Enter the following command and press enter:
tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq svchost.exe"
You will find a list of all process Ids and services running behind the Svchost.exe.
However, the command line method may not work in Windows XP Home edition.
You can also view the details of services running behind Svchost processes via Svchost viewer. This is a small free tool (40KB in size), that lets you view the name and description of services run under each Svchost entry. It also details the memory used by each such generic Svchost process and the program path of the services, it has spawned.
svchost viewer is a simple tool that does not require any installation and is a portable application. However, as with most other windows tools, you should have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher installed on your PC, to use it. Svchost viewer work on windows Vista and XP (SP2).
Free download Svchost viewer from here and get to know all services or processes running behind the generic host process, Svchost.exe.
Are you nagged by Svchost.exe application error in windows XP? You could try to fix it by following the steps outlined in the article linked above.