COM Surrogate - High Memory or CPU Usage

Some users who like to keep a closer eye on their Windows system might have noticed the process name "COM Surrogate" in their Windows Task Manager. In some cases, you might see high memory or CPU usage associated with the COM Surrogate process and that is a valid cause for concern.

Let's get a few things out of the way first - COM Surrogate is not a virus, nor a piece of malware. It is a legitimate Windows OS component. If you right-click the process in your Task Manager and choose "Open file location" in the menu, you will be brought to your C:\Windows\System32 directory in an Explorer window, with the file "dllhost.exe" highlighted.

Dllhost.exe is the file associated with all active COM Surrogate processes and it too is a legitimate component of a Windows installation.

COM Surrogate is a process that handles the so-called COM objects. COM stands for "component object model" and a COM object can belong to a number of software applications that use it.

The point where you might have some grounds for concern when it comes to COM Surrogate is when the process has an extraordinarily high memory or CPU usage. If you suspect something is wrong with the process in question, do the procedure described above - right-click the resource-hog process and select "Open file location". If you arrive at a place different from C:\Windows\System32 and see a file other than dllhost.exe, you might be dealing with malware.

Additionally, there are certain types of malicious tools and applications that may either spoof the dllhost executable or simply use the legitimate process to infect your system. Your best bet in those situations is to navigate to whatever file on your hard drive the COM Surrogate process is linked to, then scan it with whatever anti-malware software you use.

To recap, as a general rule of thumb, COM Surrogate is a legitimate Windows process associated with a legitimate Windows file called dllhost.exe. If a COM Surrogate process is exhibiting weird behavior or is hogging unusually high system resources, navigate to the file's location and scan it with an anti-malware tool.

November 2, 2021