Fix: COM Surrogate has stopped working (dllhost.exe)

Many Windows (7, 8 and 10) users have reported experiencing as an issue where they receive an error message stating “COM Surrogate has stopped working” while browsing folders containing video or media files. Some users have also reportedly received this error while trying to print. COM Surrogate is the executable host process (dllhost.exe) which runs in the background, while you are navigating through files and folders. Due to this process, you are able to view thumbnails and when this process crashes, the error pop-ups up on the screen. This may also be caused by corrupt codecs required to view the media. In this guide, we’ve listed some steps for you that will hopefully fix the issue.

Repair Corrupt System Files

Download and run Restoro to scan for corrupt files from here, if files are found to be corrupt and missing repair them and then check if it fixes the issue, if not then proceed with Solutions listed below.

Method 1: Rollback to The Previous Display Adapter Driver

To do this, Hold the Windows Key and Press R. In the run dialog, type hdwwiz.cpl and Click OK. Scroll to the Display Adapters section in the Device Manager. Right Click on it and select Properties. Click Roll Back Driver and proceed with the instructions on the screen. In some cases, this option is grayed out, if that is the case then attempt the Methods below.

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Method 2: Add dllhost.exe to the DEP Exception

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced System settingsPerformance settings > Data Execution Prevention.
  2. Select “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select:”
  3. Click on “Add and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe on 32-bit Windows Machine and on a 64-bit machine, add C:\Windows\SysWOW64\dllhost.exe
  4. After Adding dllhost.exe to the exception list, Apply changes or click OK 

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Method 3: Re-register the DLLs

Run the following commands in an escalated command prompt. Click Start, type cmd; right Click on the “cmd” program from the search results and select Run as Administrator.

cmd-run-as-administrator

In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands and press Enter key one by one:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

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Method 4: Check Disk For Errors

If this error occurs when opening files saved in a particular DRIVE other then C:\ then you should check that drive for errors, otherwise if no additional drives, then the C:\ should be checked.

Hold the Windows Key and Press  E. On Windows 7/Vista – You will see the drives listed. On Windows 8/10, chose This PC from the left pane to view the drives. Right-click on the Selected Hard disk drive that you want to check and then select “Properties”.

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Click the Tools tab from the top and then click Check Now under Error-Checking.

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Check both the Options and the Click Start.

Method 5: Update Codecs

Another manual method to solve this error is to update all the Codecs of the Windows (7, 8 or 10) to their latest updated versions. You can download and install your latest Windows Codec Pack from here:

Windows 7 Codec Pack: http://www.windows7codecs.com/

Windows 8 & 10 Codec Pack: http://www.windows8codecs.com/

Method 6: Reset Internet Explorer

The issue can also be caused due to cached files, that were corrupt. In this instance, it would be best to Reset IE. To do this, hold the Windows Key and Press R. In the run dialog, type inetcpl.cpl and Click OK. Go to the Advanced Tab and choose Reset. Put a check on Delete Personal Settings and hit the reset button again. Once done, reboot the PC and test.

Method 7: Uninstall EaseUS Data Recovery

In some cases, it was reported that the EaseUS Data Recovery application was causing issues with the COM Surrogate process by interfering with some of its important elements. Therefore, it is recommended to uninstall it and check to see if the issue persists. In order to do that:

  1. PressWindows” + “I” keys simultaneously to open up settings.
  2. Click on “Apps” and selectApps & Features” from the left pane.
    Clicking on Apps & Features
  3. Scroll down and click on the “EaseUS Data Recovery” option and selectUninstall“.
    Clicking on Uninstall
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to completely uninstall it from your computer.
  5. Check to see if the issue persists.

Method 8: Performing Clean Boot

In some cases, performing a clean boot can get around this issue because in a clean boot state the third party applications are prevented from launching. Therefore, check if this error occurs during clean boot and if it doesn’t it means that a third-party app is causing it. Try enabling apps one by one and see which one makes the error come back. Furthermore, you can choose to either uninstall this app or check for any workaround which fixes the error.

Note: Also, try to disable the Thumbnail Preview and check if that fixes the issue for you.

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

Fix: COM Surrogate has stopped working (dllhost.exe)

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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