What Is CSRSS in Task Manager?

Written by thomas king
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What Is CSRSS in Task Manager?
Malicious programs usually slow your computer. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

When you open the Windows Task Manager, csrss.exe appears in the list of running processes. This is normal and indicates that your computer is functioning properly. However, if you notice two instances of csrss.exe in the list of running processes, one of the instances likely belongs to a malicious program or commercial keylogger.

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Client Server Runtime Subsystem

Csrss.exe stands for Client Server Runtime Subsystem. The process belongs to the Microsoft Corporation and is used in the Windows operating system for various purposes, including implementing portions of the MS-DOS environment and managing various graphical instruction sets. Csrss.exe is considered an essential system process and thus removing the process will result in serious system failures.

Other Instances

Csrss.exe is also an executable file that is installed and used by various malicious programs and commercial keyloggers. These include Win-Spy, Employee Watcher, ICE Remote Spy, Is My Mate Cheating Online, Buddy Pro, KidWatcher, Spy Software 4 Parents and W32.Backdoor.Sokacaps. These programs record your personal information and may send the information to a remote hacker. Moreover, these programs generally slow your computer, change your system settings and reduce your available system memory.

Identification

To determine whether the instance of csrss.exe in your Task Manager belongs to the Microsoft Corporation or one of the malicious programs or commercial keyloggers, press "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Escape" simultaneously to open the Windows Task Manager. Click the "Processes" tab of the Windows Task Manager and then click the "Image Name" heading to view a list of running processes in alphabetical order. Right-click "Csrss.exe" and select "Properties." In the Properties window, click the "General" tab. Next to "Location" it should say "C:\Windows\System32." If it does not, the particular instance of csrss.exe does not belong to the Microsoft Corporation and may belong to a malicious program or commercial keylogger.

Removal

If you determine that an instance of csrss.exe in your Task Manager belongs to a malicious program or commercial keylogger, you need to run and up to date anti-malware program to remove csrss.exe and the accompanying program. Several free anti-malware programs are available online, including Avast! Free Antivirus 6, Malwarebytes and Microsoft Security Essentials.

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