How to Repair COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working (dllhost.exe) on Windows 10 PC

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The error message “COM Surrogate has stopped working” or “DLL host is not responding” is a strange and frustrating event. COM Surrogate errors are not catastrophic, but if these errors occur often enough, they can be very annoying.

COM Surrogate is a general term for processes called dllhost.exe that separate Windows Explorer from individual DLL hosts that are prone to failures. In particular, DLLs that work with multimedia thumbnails. There are many others, but this is one of the most common.

COM Surrogate ensures that if one of these DLLs fails, the entire Windows Explorer will not fail. Think of it as the first line of defense for system stability.

What causes COM Surrogate (dllhost.exe) to stop working?

Executable files, such as dllhost.exe, are essential to applications because they determine how the computer performs certain functions. The computer reads the commands created by the software developers when you click on these files, and then the applications are executed.

However, if the dllhost.exe file is lost or there is a problem with it, a dllhost.exe application error appears and prevents applications from opening. This is an indication that the device is malfunctioning.

These are the main causes for the dllhost.exe COM Surrogate error:

  • Incorrect registry entries
  • Windows updates are not being installed
  • Deleted/damaged/corrupted dllhost.exe files (fix corrupted files).
  • It can also occur if your PC is infected with a virus.

How to repair the ‘COM Surrogate has stopped working (dllhost.exe)’ error message?

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Add dllhost.exe to DEP exception

  1. On your keyboard, hold down the Windows logo key, then press R to bring up the startup window.
  2. Type control in the box and click OK to open the control panel.
  3. Click on System if the icons appear large or small.
  4. Then in the window that opens, click Advanced System Settings.
  5. In the Performance dialog box, click Settings.
  6. Turn on DEP for all programs and services except the one I selected: in the Data Execution Prevention pane.
  7. Then go to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 or System32 (depending on your system).
  8. Scroll down to find dllhost and double-click it.
  9. Click Apply -> OK to save your settings.

Resetting the graphics driver

  1. On your keyboard, hold down the Windows logo key and press R to bring up the program’s runtime window.
  2. Type devmgmt.MSC and press Enter.
  3. Locate and expand the Display Adapters section.
  4. Right-click on your video card driver and select Properties.
  5. Select the option you want to view under Driver. Then click Reset Driver.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The problem that causes COM Surrogate to stop working is mainly due to an incorrect video driver on your Windows computer. This can probably be fixed by reinstalling the video driver.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch Task Manager.
  2. When the Task Manager starts, find the COM Surrogate process and right-click on it.
  3. If you cannot find the COM Surrogate process, go to the Details tab and look for dllhost.exe.
  4. Right-click dllhost.exe and select End Task.

  1. Go back to the previous video card driver.
  2. Add dllhost.exe to the DEP exception.
  3. Re-register DLLs.
  4. Check the hard disk for errors.
  5. Update codecs.
  6. Reload Internet Explorer.

  1. Launch the Start menu.
  2. Find the gear icon and click it to launch the Settings app.
  3. Click on Update and security.
  4. Check for updates.
  5. If you don't see any updates, click Check for updates.
  6. Install the updates that your operating system has found.

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