The mystery process


For those of  you, like me, who ever open the windows task manager to take a look at the running processes or to kill a hanging process will without any doubt have noticed a few processes that may raise some questions.

One of the most famous is the SVCHOST.EXE. There are a dozen of these things running on your computer. But why? I never started them? You never started them. They are just there!.

Creepy? Not really.

At a certain point in time microsoft decided to put all of the windows internal functionalities into DLL files in stead of executable files.
A DLL is a Dynamic Link Library, without going into detail, it’s a file that can be used by other programs, it was actually made for that purpose.

Now these DLL files make more sense for programmers, it makes these files reusable. But ofcourse there is a problem with these files. You cannot execute them. Since they are built to run from another program. So what do we need? Yes.. another program.
3 guesses which one? Indeed SVCHOST…

So that’s great isn’t it. Another mystery solved. But on the other hand… Why do we need to many of them? Is it really that hard to group all the task in 1 process.
The truth is, no it isn’t. But if you run the DLLs all under the same process, 1 failure could crash Windows entirely. So they are split up in different processes. Failures can still occur but it is less impacting.
SVCHOST processes exist for logical groups.

You can actually reduce the number of SVCHOST processes by killing a few windows services (which you won’t be using). But honestly, unless you have some serious performance issues, just drop it.
Now you know what it is and that there is nothing to worry about.

Until next time!

PS: be careful because:

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