The way this program works is somewhat technical and requires you to understand another file extension: dll.
Dll files, which always end in “.dll,” can be thought of as “dependent” programs. They can’t be run on their own and must be activated by another program. This activation is the job of taskhostw.exe. This executable acts as a “host” for different dll file “tasks.”
Don’t worry if you find that too technical, the important takeaway is that taskhostw is a necessary file Windows needs to run correctly. You can find it on your computer but trying to open it won’t do anything.
This program is harmless to the average user. Unfortunately, like with some other files discussed on this site, the name of this program has frequently been given to viruses.
However, because taskhostw.exe is a secured Windows system file, modern anti-virus and anti-malware software is able to identify harmful executables easily. If you see this file pop up with a warning from your anti-virus software, you can and should follow the prompts from your security program to remedy the problem.
More details below:
Common Taskhostw.exe errors
The following are common errors with Taskhostw.exe:
These errors are usually caused by:
- Issues with the host
- A recent Windows update which may cause the program to search in the wrong file location and so could not be found
- An out of date Windows system32 file
- Applications being loaded on an old machine
- Too many programs being opened on a PC
How To Fix Taskhostw.exe Errors
The safest way to fix these errors is to reinstall the related application. This should reinstall the latest Exe files and fix any issues.
You may wish to uninstall the previous version first too – to be downloading to a ‘clean’ PC. An alternative is to download the missing file from the vendor – although this is very technical and should only be done by a developer.
The other common fix, which we do not recommend, is to use one of the many download sites. Adding the file may not fix the problem as Exe errors are often more complex than a missing file (even if that’s the immediate error that is flagged).
In addition the files on these sites are often out of date, or even contain viruses, which could also cause problems.
Therefore, we recommend reinstalling the application using the offending exe file to fix any error.
How Can You Tell if Taskhostw.exe Is Legit or a Virus?
The file is usually legitimate – it’s an important part of a reputable piece of software – but there are occasions where this may not be the case.
In particular malware writers and hackers sometimes give their virus the name as a legitimate file to fool you.
Here then are a few tips to ensure your version of Taskhostw.exe is not malware.
Check the Location of the File
Here’s how you find the file’s location:
How To Check A File’s Location
a. Press ctrl-alt-del
b. Click on the ‘Processes Tab’ :
c. Highlight the Taskhostw.exe file as above
d. Right click and click ‘Properties’ to get the following screen:
e. Note the location (circled)
If the file is in C:\Windows\System32 or a relevant ‘Program Files’ folder then it is probably legitimate.
Check the Signature Verification
Checking the File Signature Verification is one of the smartest tricks we have to spot the wicked malware. It’s also a piece of cake, and takes a few minutes to do. Here’s how it works.
Check the Size of the Taskhostw.exe File
The size of a file can also be a neat indicator of whether or not it’s authentic.
You can check the table above to find out how larger Taskhostw.exe should be (although the version you have may differ slightly).
Then check the size of the file of concern by going to the task manager, and finding the location of the file. When you right click on it, you’ll get all the data you need.
If you read out a very different value from the above figure, then that’s definitely a reason for concern.
Now let’s have a look at how your remove Taskhostw.exe if it is considered malware:
How to Remove Taskhostw.exe From Your Computer Automatically
There’s a wide array of cybersecurity programs available for free download. These programs will destroy any malware, malware, or virus on your computer without any required effort on your part.
They also run scans regularly to make sure your device is clean. If it’s not, they’ll alert you to do necessary precautions, such as changing your password or disabling your online banking data. These programs will be able to detect hidden malware much better than you can do, and they’ll be constantly on the watch.
Most anti-malware automatic tools are fairly easy to use. You’ll merely download them and check the steps they require you to do. Afterward, they’ll start working on their own. As long as you don’t turn them off, they’ll keep checking your computer for infections.
There are a bunch of efficient options to choose from. Here are some of the best:
How to Remove Taskhostw.exe From Your Computer Manually
Aside from the anti-malware tools, you can remove Taskhostw.exe by using the old-fashioned manual method. A lot of people prefer it, even though it’s associated with a lot of system risks if done the wrong way. That’s why we advise against it for beginners.
Nevertheless, some anti-malware programs might not be able to trace minor malware. That’s where the manual method shines.
Here, we’ll show you 3 easy steps for removing malware infections from your computer.
Step 1: Run the ‘cmd’ Command
The first thing you’ll do is open the Command Prompt Window. You can do that by pressing the Windows Start button. Afterward, click on ‘Run’. A small window will appear on your screen; write the command ‘cmd’ in its text bar and click OK.
Step 2: Locate the related DLL Files
In this step, you’ll locate the unwanted DLL files on your PC. DLL files contain a bunch of procedures and codes for various Windows programs, and they’re usually the malware’s primary target.
To locate the files, you’ll have to type ‘Regedit’ in the command prompt window once it opens. This will open the Windows Explorer. Regedit is a Windows executable file that lets you view the registry editor. The editor allows you to see all entries and keys present in the registry database.
The next thing to do is locate the DLL files associated with Taskhostw.exe and unregister them. You can easily do that by clicking File and choosing Export. Next, save the file in the local disk c:\. This is only a backup step, just in case you need it later.
Afterward, click Edit and choose Find. Type Taskhostw.exe and wait until it detects all the unwanted files. You’ll then delete all files related to the malware.
Step 3: Reboot Your Computer
Now, you should be done with the all vital steps of the procedure. The only thing left is rebooting your computer to let it start with a clean slate. If you have an anti-malware tool, this would be the right time to use it. It’ll make sure the Taskhostw.exe is 100% gone.
So, Which Malware Removal Method Should I Use?
Although the manual method is effective, there’s a high chance you won’t be able to do it correctly. Deleting the wrong file in the previous step can cause permanent damage to your computer.
Additionally, some malware has resuscitators, which means they’re likely to come back to life after you remove them. So, we advise against using the manual method, unless you’re an expert in these situations. Alternatively, the automatic tools are always available to do your job for you. Most of them are available for free download, too.
How to Protect Your Computer From Taskhostw.exe
If you want to steer clear of harmful malware, there are some measures to take. Take a look at these tips; they’ll help you protect your computer as much as you can.
Now that you know how to remove Taskhostw.exe, it should be easy to deal with it. The most vital thing is identifying that it’s present on your computer. Afterward, getting rid of it shouldn’t be that hard.
The malware removal tools will make your life much easier; they’re double as efficient as the manual method. Not to mention that they won’t allow the malware to come back to life.
To Wrap Up
What’s important is that you take caution and steer clear of suspicious links. Free downloads seem tempting, but the end result won’t be worth the hassle.