Does your windows task manager show processes with high CPU usage? Seeing a dozen processes named svchost.exe? Ever wondered what’s behind a process before trying to kill it?
svchost.exe is a generic host process name for services that run from dynamic-link .dll libraries. A single svchost.exe instance is created for each group of Windows services.
You can trim down unneeded services by disabling or stopping the services that don’t absolutely need to be running. Additionally, if you are noticing very heavy CPU usage on a single svchost.exe instance you can restart the services running under that instance.
The biggest problem is identifying what services are being run on a particular svchost.exe instance – this is covered below.
To see for yourself, just open up Task Manager and check the “Show processes from all users” box:
If you’re using Windows 8 or 10, you’ll need to go to the Details tab.
You can also check from the Command Line by typing:
The problem with using the command line method is that you don’t necessarily know what these cryptic names refer to. You can also check in Task Manager in any version of Windows.
From the details view of the processes, which is going to be a little different depending on what version of Windows you’re using, you can right-click on a particular svchost.exe process, and then choose the “Go to Service” option.
This will flip over to the Services tab, where the services running under that svchost.exe process will be selected. Again, this will look slightly different in Windows 8 or 10, but it’s the same view.
The great thing about doing it this way is that you can see the real name under the Description column, so you can choose to disable the service if you don’t want it running.
Process Explorer utility from Microsoft/Sysinternals is also a great tool to see what services are running as a part of a svchost.exe process.
Hovering your mouse over one of the processes will show you a popup list of all the services:
Or you can double-click on a svchost.exe instance and select the Services tab, where you can choose to stop one of the services if you choose.
To disable services, open up Services from the administrative tools section of Control Panel, or type services.msc into the start menu search or run box.
Find the service in the list that you’d like to disable, and either double-click on it or right-click and choose Properties.
Change the Startup Type to Disabled, and then click the Stop button to immediately stop it.
You could also use the command prompt to disable the service if you choose. In this command “trkwks” is the Service name from the above dialog, but if you go back to the tasklist command at the beginning of this article you’ll notice you can find it there as well.
sc config trkwks start= disabled