On your Windows 11/10/8/7 operating system, if you ever receive an error message: Program exe, Application exe or COM Surrogate has stopped working, A problem caused the program to stop working correctly, Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available, then here are a few troubleshooting steps, I’d like to suggest which may help resolve such errors.
What is COM Surrogate
The dllhost.exe process goes by the name COM Surrogate. It is located in the System 32 folder.
COM stands for Component Object Model. The description for the process reads:
Manages the configuration and tracking of Component Object Model (COM)+-based components. If the service is stopped, most COM+-based components will not function properly. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.
COM Surrogate is the sacrificial process for a COM object that is run outside of the process that requested it. Explorer uses the COM Surrogate when extracting thumbnails, for example. If you go to a folder with thumbnails enabled, Explorer will fire off a COM Surrogate and use it to compute the thumbnails for the documents in the folder. It does this because Explorer has learned not to trust thumbnail extractors; they have a poor track record for stability. Explorer has decided to absorb the performance penalty in exchange for the improved reliability resulting in moving these dodgy bits of code out of the main Explorer process. When the thumbnail extractor crashes, the crash destroys the COM Surrogate process instead of Explorer.
Application exe or COM Surrogate has stopped working
There are a few reasons that could cause such errors, bad or corrupted programs, UAC settings, Malware infection, DEP settings, etc. If you recently updated a device driver, maybe you want to roll back and see if that helps. If the issue started recently, could you try a system restore and see if it makes the problem go away? Disabling Thumbnails via File Explorer options is also known to help. If not, here are a few other suggestions.
A problem caused the program to stop working correctly
1] UAC Settings
On Windows 11/10/8/7, you have User Account Control (UAC) settings that would prevent administration access for programs due to security reasons. Certain programs need administrator access to run properly, so to work around this issue, you have to Right Click on the executable file and Run as administrator.
If you always want to run that Program as an administrator, then right-click on the shortcut and go to Properties and Click on the Compatibility Tab.
Then check on “Run this program as Administrator” and click Apply / OK.
Sometimes you also might need to enable the Compatibility Mode as certain programs might not be fully compatible with Windows 11/10.
If the program is compatible with Windows 11/10, ensure you don’t enable Compatibility Mode. If it’s enabled, uncheck it because it can crash the program as well.
2] Malware Infection
If you’re getting the error for multiple programs, then there are chances your Windows computer might have gotten infected. In such cases, download a good 3rd party standalone antivirus software and scan your PC with it.
Reboot the system in Safe Mode and run a complete scan.
3] DEP Setting
DEP setting, i.e., Data Execution Prevention setting, might cause the programs to crash. To check those settings
1. Click on Start and Right Click on Computer and go to Properties
2. Then click on Advanced system settings.
3. There, click on Advanced Tab and click on Settings under Performance session.
4. Click on Data Execution Prevention.
5. Make sure you have selected “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only.”
6. Then click Apply and click OK and reboot your system
Alternatively, you may select Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select, click on Add, and add the following:
- C:\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe for 32-bit systems
- C:\Windows\SysWOW64\dllhost.exe for 64-bit systems
4] Re-register DLL files
Open an elevated CMD and execute the following commands:
See if that helps.
5] Reinstall the application
If these steps do not resolve, then try reinstalling the specific application that is causing the problem.
NOTE: If it’s happening to one of the Windows components, then try to run SFC /SCANNOW.
TIP: See this post if you receive a The action cannot be completed because the file is open in COM Surrogate message.
How do I fix error COM Surrogate has stopped working?
To fix COM Surrogate has stopped working error in Windows 11/10, you need to verify the UAC permission first. Following that, you must scan your computer with trusted antimalware, antivirus, and adware removal tools. Next, check the DEP settings and re-register the DLL files. However, if nothing works, you need to reinstall the app.
How do I fix COM Surrogate high CPU usage in Windows 11?
In most cases, it happens due to an adware attack. That is why it is highly recommended to scan your computer with adware removal tool first. Then, you can close the respective process using Task Manager, check your hard drive errors, opt for Safe Mode and use the same tips and tricks. Most of all, it is recommended to check the app settings also.
These ‘has stopped working’ posts may also guide you for specific application errors:
- Explorer has stopped working
- Media Foundation Protected Pipeline EXE stopped working
- Desktop Window Manager stopped working
- Microsoft Register Server has stopped working
- Windows Host Process Rundll32 has stopped working
- BSvcProcessor has stopped working
- Windows Shell Common Dll has stopped working
- Managed SQL Server installer has stopped working
- CTF Loader has stopped working
- KDBsync.exe has stopped working
- GfxUI has stopped working
- NVIDIA Share has stopped working.