The Windows Club

What is svchost.exe in Windows? Multiple instances, high CPU, Disk usage explained

What is svchost.exe in Windows 10? Why do I see multiple instances of svchost.exe processes running in my Task Manager? How do I find out basic information, like the name and description for each svchost process? Why is svchost.exe constantly running? Why does my svchost show high Disk or CPU usage? This article will attempt to answer these questions.

What is svchost.exe in Windows 10/8/7

Svchost stands for Service Host. It is a .exe executable operating system critical file which is located in the System32 folder. When Windows starts up, it checks the Windows Registry and makes a list of Services or group of Services that it has to load.

You, therefore, see multiple such svchost.exe running at the same time. This grouping of services also assists in better control and debugging should the need arise. Services run in svchost are implemented as dynamically-linked libraries or dll files.

Multiple instances of svchost.exe processes

You can see all these svchost.exe groups under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Svchost

To view the list of services that are running in Svchost, open an instance of the command prompt, type Tasklist /SVC and hit Enter.

svchost.exe high CPU or Disk usage on Windows 10

Many times svchost.exe may show high resource utilization. Although it is difficult to isolate the service responsible for this, since many services are associated with this process, the built-in Resource Monitor or SysInternals process Explorer will help you in that direction.

To see which svchost is associated with which single or multiple Service, right-click on the svchost.exe and select Go to Service(s).

In the Services tab, you will now be able to see the associated services, highlighted.

But this does not give you much information. If you need to know more details like the name and description for each svchost process, you can download use freeware portable app Svchost Viewer.

This tool gives you some basic information like the name and description of the services with a particular svchost process. It gives you information like:

It also lets you stop or pause select services where possible and even lets you access the Service Manager directly.

For instance, Windows Defender on Windows 10 is known to make CPU usage shoot up. Open Windows Defender Security Center > Firewall & Network protection > Disable Firewall for all Networks. Then click on Restore settings and see if that helps.

If you want to reduce the instances of svchost processes, the only way to do it is by reducing the services which start-up automatically. If you want to disable services you may want to check out our Windows Services Tweaker. But I advise that you do so, only if you know what you are doing.

Want to know about these processes? Shellexperiencehost.exe | RuntimeBroker.exe | TrustedInstaller.exe | Host Process for Windows Tasks.