What’s Conhost.exe in Windows? What Does it Do?

The conhost.exe (console windows host) file is provided by MSFT and is usually legitimate and totally safe. It allows you to interact with the command prompt without having to open up the actual console window. You can see it running on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. It is required to allow the command prompt to interface with File Explorer (explorer.exe). It provides the ability to drag and dropp files/folders directly onto the command prompt window. This is used by many 3rd party apps to do things like copy text from one app to another. Even 3rd party programs can use conhost if they need access to command line.


In most cases, it’s entirely safe, and doesn’t need to be deleted or checked for viruses. If you’re curious about what it actually does, here are some examples:

1. Drag and Drop Files Into Command Prompt Window

2. Run Programs From Command Line Without Opening Console Window

3. Copy Text Between Apps

4. Create Shortcuts To Directories On Desktop

5. Open A New Tab In Internet Explorer

6. Start Task Manager With Admin Privileges

7. Delete Files And Folders

8. Change System Settings

9. Install Software

10. Uninstall Software

11. View All Running Processes

12. Kill Processes

13. Restart Computer

14. Shutdown Computer

15. Reboot Computer

16. Get Help For Any Problem

Software That Use Conhost.exe

The conhost.exe process runs every time you open a Command Prompt window. This happens whether you’re logged into Windows as yourself or another account. If you use multiple accounts on a single computer, you’ll notice that there are several instances of conhost.exe running.

Here are some programs that start the conhost.exe process:

* Dell DFS Agent

* NVIDIA Web Helper

* Plex Script Host

* Adobe Creative Cloud node.exe

* Microsoft Office 2013

* Microsoft Office 2010

* Microsoft Office 2007

* Microsoft Office 2003

* Microsoft Office 2000

* Microsoft Office 97

* Microsoft Office 95

* Microsoft Office XP

* Microsoft Office 2002

* Microsoft Office 2001

* Microsoft Office 98

* Microsoft Office 97 Pro

* Microsoft Office 2000 Pro

* Microsoft Office XP Professional

* Microsoft Office 2003 Professional

Is Conhost.exe a Virus?

Conhost.exe is one of the oldest viruses out there. In fact, it dates back to the early days of Windows. This little program is used by hackers to help spread malware.

Most people think of conhost.exe as something that infects computers. But it actually doesn’t do anything harmful unless you download a third party app that uses it.

The problem is that many apps store files like conhost.exe inside their installers. When someone downloads an installer, they often run it without thinking about where it’s located. And if the person opens up the installer, they’ll find the conhost.exe file.

If you see conhost.exes being downloaded onto your computer, it could mean that a hacker is trying to trick you into downloading a different type of malware. Or it could just be a mistake. Either way, it’s best to delete it immediately.

Why Is Conhost.exe Using So Much Memory?

Conhost.exe is a Windows utility that launches programs automatically when you log into Windows. A normal computer running conhost without any malware might see conhost.exe use around several hundred kilobits (e.g., about 500 KB) of RAM. But most people don’t realize that conhost.exe doesn’t necessarily do anything useful. In fact, it could just be a way to make your system look like it’s doing something while actually wasting resources.

If conhost.exe is taking up too much memory, and Task Manager shows the process is consuming a significant amount of the CPU, there’s a good chance the file isn’t legitimate.

This is especially true if the instructions above lead you to a directory that isn’t C:\Windows\System 32. There’s a particular conhost.ex virus called Conhost Miner, which stores itself in this folder. And it could be storing itself in other folders as well.

The Conhost Miner virus attempts to launch a cryptocurrency miner without you realizing. It does this by launching multiple copies of conhost.exe simultaneously. Each copy uses a different port number, and each one tries to connect to a remote server over the Internet. When it connects, it downloads a small piece of code that starts the miner.

How to Remove a Conhost.exe Virus

If you’re having trouble getting rid of a conhost.exe virus, there are some things you can do to speed up the removal process.

First, close all programs that might still be accessing the infected file. You can find out what processes are using conhost.exe by opening Task Manager. Click More Details, select the CPU tab, and look for the conhost.exe process. Close all programs that aren’t necessary to keep open, including browsers, email clients, instant messaging apps, etc.

Next, run a scan with Malwarebytes Free. This should detect and remove any malware found during the scan.

Finally, download and install the latest version of AdwCleaner. Run it, and let it finish cleaning your PC.

Once everything is finished, reboot your machine.

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