Taskhost.exe Process Explained

Martin Brinkmann
May 12, 2010
Updated • Jun 9, 2014
Windows, Windows 7

The Windows Task Manager lists the processes that are currently running on the computer system. Security conscious users monitor the processes regularly to make sure that no new or rogue processes are running on their personal computer.

The first thing that you may want to do when it comes to displaying process is to enable the show processes from all users option as it displays all running processes and not only a selection.

Some processes, like firefox.exe or explorer.exe can be identified immediately by their name while others, like taskhost.exe or dwm.exe, require research to find out what the process is all about.

Taskhost.exe is a generic host process for Windows 7 32-bit services. The location in Windows that taskhost.exe needs to be located in is C:\Windows\System32\Taskhost.exe.

If it is located in any other directory it is very likely not legit.

Taskhost.exe is a generic process that acts as a host for processes that run from dynamic link libraries (dll) instead of exe. The process checks the Windows Registry on startup to discover dll-based services that need to be loaded.

Several instances of taskhost.exe can be running on the same computer system which is still no cause for concern if the taskhost.exe is located in system32 of the Windows operating system.

You can find out about that by looking at the path information that the Windows Task Manager displays.

Taskhost.exe is therefore a core system process of the Windows 7 operating system.

Users who want to analyze the process further to find out which dll-based services are executed by it should install Process Explorer for that task. The free program will display additional information about the underlying dll-based services.


Some of those are core services that cannot be disabled while others might run dlls that are not necessarily needed. Process Explorer will list the information that are needed to identify those components. It might be necessary to use a search engine to find additional information about a specific dll. Some Windows 7 users have for instance noticed high cpu usage problems with the RACtask (Windows Reliability Monitor) that is run by taskhost.exe.

Taskhost.exe Process Explained
Article Name
Taskhost.exe Process Explained
How to determine if the taskhost.exe process is legitimate on Windows.

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  1. Bill Crest said on June 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Newbinpro64 — someone is doing something naughty and I aint talking reading the news, LOL

  2. dch48 said on November 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    On my Win 7 64 bit machine, tasskhost.exe is not in the system 32 folder at all. It’s path is: C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-taskhost_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_8664adc870f5633a

    1. Dennis said on December 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      That’s also where the file is located on my Windows 7 64 bit machine. It’s not in my system32 folder either.

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