What is backgroundTaskHost.exe, Error & How to Disable it?

  • Ankita 
  • OS

The backgroundTaskHost.exe is an executable file that is a part of Microsoft Cortana. Cortana comes by default in Windows 10 which is a smart virtual assistant created by Microsoft. It utilizes the Bing internet searcher to perform assignments, for example, setting updates and responding to inquiries for the client.

Cortana has multilanguage support, it can be accessed in:

  • English
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Chinese
  • Portuguese,
  • Spanish
  • German, and

French language versions depending on the need and region where the system is being used.

Microsoft Cortana

Quick Overview:

  • File description: Background Task Host
  • Original filename: backgroundTaskHost.exe
  • Type: Application
  • File version : 10.0.18362.1 (may vary)
  • File location : C:\Windows\System32
  • File size: 19.5 KB (may vary depending on the versions)
  • Publisher: Microsoft Corporation.

I have provided detailed information for you to check whether backgroundTaskHost.exe is safe for your system or not.

File Size & Location

The default file location of backgroundTaskHost.exe is under C:\Windows\System32 directory but it could also be located under C:\Windows\WinSxS\ folder. The file could be approx 20 KB.

backgroundTaskHost.exe process

You can see the properties of any such file by right tapping on the desired file then simply choosing the Properties alternative.

Note: backgroundTaskHost.exe is a Windows essential file. If your PC comes with the Cortana virtual assistant then this .exe file will come preloaded in your system.

These .exe blunder messages can happen during the establishment of a program, during its execution partner programming program, Windows 10 Operating System, during the startup or closure of Windows, or in any event, during the establishment of the Windows working framework. Tracking when and where your backgroundTaskHost.exe blunder happens is significant data for fixing these issues.

Is it safe to have backgroundTaskHost.exe in your system?

The primary factor that will help you judge whether the backgroundTaskHost.exe file is malware or not is its location on your computer. The very safe location for this file is  ‘’C:\Windows\System32’’. If the .exe file is found anywhere else other than the safe specified location then there is a high chance that the backgroundTaskHost.exe is a threat to your system and framework and thus you should take necessary actions against it.

Common backgroundTaskHost.exe errors

  • Cannot find backgroundTaskHost.exe
  • BackgroundTaskHost has stopped working. Windows is checking for a solution to the problem… – This error message is mostly seen in Windows 7,8 and 10.
  • exe is not a valid Win32 application.
  • Access violation at address FFFFFFFF in module exe. Read of address 00000000.
  • exe has failed.

How to disable backgroundTaskHost.exe from PC?

Usually, the backgroundTaskHost.exe doesn’t consume high CPU or memory. This doesn’t even show any error message and it should not be disabled. But if you came across frequent error messages or consuming high CPU then you may consider disabling this, here are the steps:

Temporary Block

1) Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc button together

2) Click on the Details tab

3) Locate backgroundTaskHost.exe > right-click on it and choose to End Task

This will immediately kill the backgroundTaskHost.exe and release the memory if currently being used.

Disable backgroundTaskHost.exe (Cortana) Permanently 

Once you are sure that you are no more going to use the Cortana then you may follow the below steps to disable it:

1) Click on the Windows logo, type apps and features, and click on it.

Apps and Features

2) Type Cortana on the search box located on the left-side and choose Change how you talk to Cortana

3) Now disable the 2 radio button that says Lets Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana” and Let Cortana listen for my command when I press the Windows logo 

Disable cortana backgroundTaskHost.exe

Now close the window and restart the system.  Now the backgroundTaskHost.exe has been disabled on a permanent basis.

How to be sure that backgroundTaskHost.exe has been successfully disabled from your PC

Press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc button, click on the Details tab and check whether the .exe file is still visible.

How to avoid errors caused by backgroundTaskHost.exe?

A perfect and clean PC is probably the most ideal approach to maintain a strategic distance from issues related to backgroundTaskHost.exe. This implies performing:

  • Regular malware scans
  • Uninstalling programs you do not require any more
  • Observing any auto-start programs, and
  • Allowing automatic Windows updates.

If you have a more serious issue, attempt to undo the things you did before the issue.

Conclusion: Well, generally this file is not dangerous as it is one of the Windows files. This is all you need to know about the backgroundTaskHost.exe. I hope you like the article.



Founder and Writer @ WinOSBite. Future plan is to make this platform open to community to resolve and discuss various issues, usage related to Operating System.

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