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How to Tell if Svchost Is Real or a Trojan

Updated February 21, 2017

Svchost.exe is a process belonging to Microsoft. More specifically, svchost.exe is a host process that helps administer dynamic link libraries. The process is essential to the proper functioning of the Windows operating system and thus should not be removed. Several malicious programs, including worms and Trojans, install a process named svchost.exe. To determine whether the svchost.exe process on your computer belongs to Microsoft or a Trojan, you will need to view the process details in the Windows Task Manager.

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  1. Press "Ctrl," "Shift" and "Escape" to open the Task Manager.

  2. Click the "Processes" tab of the Task Manager.

  3. Click "Show Processes From All Users" and "Image Name." A list of all the processes running on your computer appears under the Image Name heading in alphabetical order.

  4. Right-click on "svchost.exe" and select "Properties."

  5. Click the "Details" tab. Next to Copyright, it should state "Microsoft Corporation." If it does not, the svchost.exe process in question likely belongs to a Trojan.

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About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.

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