How to Know What’s Behind the Svchost.exe Processes

Saikat Basu

Svchost.exe is one of those little understood, and more often misunderstood things on our computers. I think we did a fairly good job of explaining what is the Svchost.exe process and why are so many of it running? For those who have come in late, let me again reiterate the simpler explanation of what Svchost.exe is from the previous article.

Svchost.exe is a system file that enables Windows to launch other programs. Many of Windows processes are run via DLL (Dynamic Linked Library) files. But DLLs cannot start and run on their own. The Windows operating system needs an executable program that can act as a bridge to launch these DLLs. The svchost.exe file is that ‘bridge’.

Svchost process

Also, we know there are multiple instances of Svchost.exe that run simultaneously. Finding out which processes are connected to which instance of Svchost is sometimes critical for a power user. The reason being:

To accomplish both the tasks, you need a program that makes it dead easy to see the processes that Svchost.exe is running. We took a look at Process Explorer in the previous article.  If that seemed a bit overwhelming with its rich information for you, Svchost Viewer is another simple application that helps you identify the Windows processes and give you a more informed picture of what’s going on in your computer without burdening you with too much data.

Svchost Viewer needs .Net Framework (ver. 2.0+) to run, but it does not require an installation and can be launched from a Flash drive too. Also the small package (40 KB) makes it an almost essential app for your Windows troubleshooting kit. The program launches and takes a few seconds to gather all the information.

Svchost Viewer

The left panel represents all the individual Svchost.exe processes (and the process tree) that are running. The right-side of the program is where all the description and details are mentioned. The menu gives you a few tools like – Stop selected service (for disabling a process), and an option to generate a text report.

Svchost.exe does not need a detailed walkthrough as it is very easy to understand. As a freeware, it is about doing a simple job well. What do you think? As a system tool, which one do you prefer?

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