What is csrss.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the csrss.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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Csrss.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with csrss
Csrss.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Client Server Runtime Process or Csrss Helper File or FTP Serv-U Daemon or SFX Cabinet Self-Extractor or setup or Live Update (version 64 bit) or Transparent Proxy Server or np

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or update or Serv-U or SFX Cabinet Self-Extractor or Csrss Helper File or Live Update (version 64 bit) or Transparent Proxy Server or Project1

by Microsoft ( or Cat Soft ( or SFX Cabinet Self-Extractor or Transparent Proxy Server or TSoft or Symt or Transparent Proxy or Symt64bit.

Description: The original csrss.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Csrss.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 6,144 bytes (88% of all occurrences), 4,096 bytes and 4 more variants. 
The csrss.exe file is a Windows core system file. The program is not visible. Csrss.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 4% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify csrss.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is csrss.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true csrss.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Client Server Runtime Process". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are such as TROJ_GEN.USEGJ20 or TROJ_GEN.R47C3H7 (detected by TrendMicro), and Trojan-Proxy.Win32.Agent.kj or (detected by Kaspersky).
To ensure that no rogue csrss.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as csrss.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the csrss.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

system file...
Many viruses disguise as this proccess. The fastest way you can be certain if it is a virus or not is by looking where it is located. Dont touch it tough, unless you know it is a virus...
This is a Windows Client/Server file that is vital for the OS. Beware of scams though, there should only be ONE process of CRSS.exe running. If there are multiple instances of crss.exe, then one of them is a virus. Use a reputable AV to clean your computer and only delete files at the last resort.
File size changed 7,680 bytes
Windows System Datei
multiple cmd.exe windows popups up at a particular time once a week and the CSRSS.exe in monitor graph shows 98% process time. It goes down if you start killing the popups. It does harm the applications running, however, there are so many cmd windows popuped and you need to close them. There is sql client request that keeps on running everytime, but once a week some thing happens and multiple cmd windows pop up. There is no other csrss.exe in c:\windows\system32 and as there is no i386 folder because it is on windows server 2008. I hope there is no virus on the system if that is cause from above various discussions.
Task Mang list only one csrss.exe, but it is 6,680 K in size while site list size of 4K to 6K.
This is a legit windows file for the runtime environment touch it and the computer will die
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Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of csrss.exe: based on 489 votes with 9 reviews. 153 users think csrss.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 30 users think it's probably harmless. 111 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 75 users suspect danger. 120 users think csrss.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 44 users don't grade csrss.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving csrss issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with csrss. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the csrss.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

csrss.exe [all]