What is Taskhostw.exe – Uses, Error & How To Fix High Cpu Usage

Are you wondering what a taskhostw.exe file is and what is its function? If you see this process running in the background and are unable to understand if it is a virus harming your computer, then read ahead? 

Windows comes with a huge range of operating system files. Taskhostw.exe is one such Windows OS file that is responsible for initiating various Windows services. In this post, you will discover more about it and also learn how to disable taskhostw.exe error.

What is taskhostw.exe and what is its function?

What is taskhostw.exe

Taskhostw.exe, a Windows OS file helps Windows services to initiate on the basis of DLLs each time the PC boots up. It is not exactly an executable file and rather acts as a host for running processes that are required in executing a DLL.

A DLL is a dynamic link library that contains code and data that would be used by multiple programs simultaneously more than once. For Windows OS, many programs’ functionality is assisted by DLLs. DLLs aid in promoting modularization of code, reuse of code, efficient usage of memory, and reduced disk space issues. This helps in the better performance of the Windows operating system. It also helps the programs to load and run faster. 

In some versions of Windows, this file may disguise and appear as a taskhost.exe or taskhostex.exe file.

Taskhostw.exe file size & location

If you are wondering where is the taskhostw.exe file is located generally, then here is the location and file size to understand whether the file you are seeing is a legit file or a virus.

Taskhostw.exe location: C:\Windows\System32\taskhostw.exe

Taskhostw.exe file size: 48 KB

This is the usual and genuine location and is a hidden Microsoft-signed file, therefore, it can’t be viewed easily.

It is to be noted that if you are not finding the taskhostw.exe file in the above-mentioned location, then it could be malware and it would be prudent to disable taskhostw.exe error.

What leads to taskhostw.exe application errors?

Sometimes you may open the Task Manager and see that the taskhostw.exe process is causing heavy CPU usage. The main reasons behind the taskhostw.exe high CPU usage are as follows:

  • Improper uninstallation of apps – If some apps might be using DLL files are deleted incorrectly, then users might see the taskhostw.exe file error. 
  • Corruption of DLL files – If the DLL files have gone corrupt or have been accidentally removed, then it can cause taskhostw.exe error.
  • Malware attack – Some malware attacks can lead to taskhostw.exe high disk usage.
  • Issue with Device Drivers – Corrupted and outdated device drivers can cause problems with DLL files ultimately causing the taskhostw.exe issue.

Now that you are aware of the reasons that cause taskhostw.exe errors, find the ways to disable taskhostw.exe error in the below segment of the post.

Is it a virus?

It is a legit Windows OS file in general. It is associated with the Start Manager Services of Windows and can be found in the system 32 folders. However, some viruses may conceal themselves as the taskhostw.exe file and hide in your system. 

If you feel that you are encountering a malware threat, then here is how you can identify if the taskhostw.exe file is authentic or not.

  • Open the Task Manager.

Task Manager

  • Go to the processes tab and right-click on the taskhostw.exe process.

taskhostw.exe process

  • Select the ‘Open File Location’ option.
  • If the file is located in its usual location, then it is genuine; however, if it is not, then it could be a virus. 
  • You will then have to run an antivirus program to take care of it or disable taskhostw.exe error.

How to remove taskhostw.exe error

Since taskhostw.exe is a file associated with Windows operating system, therefore, it is advisable to not remove it before conducting a thorough evaluation if you are facing a taskhostw.exe application error. You can try other fixes before proceeding with the deletion of the file. But if you still feel the need to uninstall it, then follow the below steps:

  • First of all, create a Restore Point for Windows. 
  • Then, click the F3 button to open a search window. Here search for ‘taskhostw.exe’ and locate the program which is using it.
  • Finally, go to the program folder in C:\ Program files and then uninstall it.


So, with this, we arrive at the concluding point of the article where you have gained a fair knowledge about what a taskhostw.exe file is and what is its function in the Windows computer. Further, you have also learned how to disable taskhostw.exe error.


What is taskhostw.exe?

It is a Windows operating system file that is used to start several Windows services dependent upon the DLL.

How do I fix taskhostw.exe?

There are several fixes for taskhostw.exe application error and they are; running system file checker, taking help of the DISM, troubleshooting in the clean boot state, etc.

Can I disable taskhostw.exe?

Yes, you can disable taskhostw.exe error.

Is taskhostw.exe a virus?

No, it is a legit file if located in the C:\Windows\System32\taskhostw.exe. However, if located elsewhere, then it could potentially be a virus.

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