What is host.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 host.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for host.exe related errors

Host.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with host
Host.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Personal SMTP server belongs to software Host Service or TightVNC or SPECTral Personal SMTP Server by Microsoft ( or JRRT Project, RIVS Technologies.

Description: Host.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Host.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 536,576 bytes (62% of all occurrences), 86,016 bytes, 161,858 bytes or 209,920 bytes. 
Host.exe is not a Windows core file. The file is a file with no information about its developer. The program is not visible. Host.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 57% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify host.exe related errors

Important: Some malware also uses the file name host.exe, for example Application.Agent.FH (detected by F-Secure), and Backdoor.Win32.Rbot.bqj (detected by Kaspersky). Therefore, you should check the host.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

right setings
Added by the W32/Kelvir-S. An MSN Messenger worm, it will attempt to disable security related processes and services.
It has tried to access my computer several times but my MalWareBytes Anti-Malware block it. I just did not know what it was. Thanks for the info.
c:\windows\system32\host.exe size 73,216 has same install date as FileZilla FTP server and Bind9 DNS server on my Win 8.

Summary: Average user rating of host.exe: based on 4 votes with 4 user comments. One user thinks host.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. 2 users think host.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade host.exe ("not sure about it").

Do you have additional information? Help other users!
What do you know about host.exe:
How would you rate it:
Link for more info:
Your Name:

Best practices for resolving host issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with host. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the host.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity 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. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

host.exe [all]