What is Conhost.exe, Is it a Virus? How to Fix High CPU?

Conhost.exe is an executable application and stands for Console Windows Host. It is developed by Microsoft Incorporation. Conhost.exe is an important Windows process associated with cmd.exe (Command Prompt) and csrss.exe (ClientServer Runtime System Service) processes. It can be found in the processes tab in the Windows task manager. 

Brief Overview

  • Filename: conhost.exe
  • File description: Console Window Host
  • File version: 10.0.18362.1
  • Product by: Microsoft OS

What it is & its use?

Console Windows Host process facilitates in providing Command Prompt with some external features. For instance, this process enables Command Prompt to use the same window frame as used by the other programs, as well as allows its users to directly drag and drop a file onto it. It was known as ClientServer Runtime System Service (CSRSS) in WindowsXP.

In XP, the CSRSSwas used to handle the Command Prompt, which is one of the Windows operating system’s signature applications. Through this command line interpreter application, various administrative actions can be executed and certain Windows issues can be resolved as well.

CSRSS was a system-level service, so if it crashed, it would be fatal for the entire system. Hence it became a security concern as well as a reliability issue. Another problem with CRSS was that it could not be themed, as it was a big risk running theme code in a system process.

This is the reason why Command Prompt had the classic archaic look, as compared to the current modern look with new interface elements.

Console Windows Host process was introduced with Windows 7. As implied by its name, the process is a host for the console window. It bridges the gap between CSRSS and the Command Prompt, thereby fixing the theme as well as the user interface issues. This conhost.exe file exists in the Windows 10 operating system too.

File size & location

If your Windows system is 32-bit then Conhost.exe will be located under  C:\Windows\System32 folder, whereas if your system is 64-bit then it will be Conhost.exe will be placed inside C:\Windows\WinSxS\ directory.

The file size of conhost.exe is approximately 865 KB.

Quick Overview

File description:Console Window Host
File version:6.1.7601.17514
File Size:332 KB
Product name:Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
File type:Application
Copyright:Microsoft Corporation

Is it safe or a virus?

Conhost.exe is a safe program and does not pose any danger to the system. Nonetheless, there are chances that some malware programs may be written with the same name to circumvent the Firewalls and Anti-virus software.

To identify such malware, there are two ways:

  • If any program named conhost.exe is running in Windows XP and Windows Vista, then it is a virus. This is because the legitimate conhost is not present in these two operating systems.
  • If conhost.exe is not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, then it is a malware. 


Some common errors that occur in the system due toconhost.exe are:

  • “Conhost.exe. This program is not responding”
  • “Application error: conhost.exe.”

How to remove it?

It is not suggested to remove conhost.exe from the Windows system, as it might stop some functions to work properly.

Error How to fix high CPU?

Sometimes Conhost.exe may use high CPU resources of up to 90% and causes the system to slow down. This issue can be avoided using three methods: 

Method I: Update Windows

1) Press Windows + I keys and select Update & Security.

2) Click on Windows Update on the left panel

3) Click on “Check for updates” on the right-side panel. This will start checking, downloading and then installing for the latest updates.

Fix Faulty Drivers

Sometimes high CPU consumption by conhost.exe happens due to outdated or faulty drivers. This issue can be fixed by updating the drivers.

1) Press Windows logo keys, type Device Manager and click on it

Open device manager using Cortana

2) Check for any yellow marked just beside the driver’s name.

3) If you find one, right-click on the driver and select Update Driver.

Once the update is done, restart the system.

Method III: Clean boot

1) Press Windows + R keys

2) Type MSConfig and press the Enter key.


3) Go to “Services” tab
4) Click to check the box beside “Hide all Microsoft services” at the bottom left corner of your screen.
5) Click on “Disable all

6) Go to the “Startup” tab and click on the link “Open Task Manager”.

Open Task Manager

7. Now, click on all startup processes one at a time and then click on “Disable”. Repeat for all items.
8. Close task manager and then, click on “OK
9. Restart the system.



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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