What Is conhost.exe and Why Is It Running In Your Task Manager

Almost every Windows user out there has probably come across conhost.exe in their Task Manager at one point or another. In some cases, you’ll find that this process is causing huge CPU and memory usage. Now, if you’ve ever wondered what this process actually is and is it legit, simply read our short explanation below.

What Exactly is conhost.exe?

You’ll usually find the conhost.exe in your Task Manager when you open Command Prompt. conhost.exe is an abbreviation for Console Windows Host. If you’re currently using Windows 10, you have probably seen the process with this name in your Task Manager.

In all actuality, this process is extremely important for your Operating System. As a matter of fact, it’s closely related to Client Server Runtime System Service – more commonly known as csrss.exe – and Command Prompt – a.k.a. Cmd.exe

So what does conhost.exe do? Actually, it does a lot. For instance, it allows cmd.exe to stay within the same window frame like other processes. In addition, it also allows you to use the drag-n-drop function to put files directly in Command Prompt.

Is conhost.exe Completely Legit?

In most cases, conhost.exe is a completely legitimate process. Your Operating System needs it, so you shouldn’t try to remove it or disable it if you want everything to stay smooth.

However, there’s a slight chance the process isn’t legit. In order to verify the process, you need to take the next few steps:

  1. Activate your task manager and find conhost.exe
  2. Click on the process and select the Open file location option
  3. If this leads you to a System32 folder, the process is legit

conhost.exe system32

Malware Faking as conhost.exe

If the conhost.exe file isn’t in your System32 folder, it can be a piece of malware trying to mask itself as the real Console Windows Host. Certain types of malware can keep your CPU usage and memory at a noticeably high level.

If you want to be safe, you should definitely use your anti-malware software to scan your PC for any suspicious files and activities. And if the conhost.exe turns out to be a virus – or any other type of malware for that matter – the anti-malware software will remove it automatically.


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