What is perfhost.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 perfhost.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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Perfhost.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with perfhost
Perfhost.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as x86 Performance Counter Host or Hôte de DLL de compteur de performance or x86-Leistungsindikatorhost belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Système d’exploitation Microsoft Windows or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows by Microsoft (

Description: The original perfhost.exe is an important part of Windows and rarely causes problems. Perfhost.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 20,992 bytes (88% of all occurrences) or 19,968 bytes. 
The file is a Microsoft signed file. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 6% dangerous.

Recommended: Identify perfhost.exe related errors

If perfhost.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, the security rating is 16% dangerous. The file size is 21,504 bytes. The perfhost.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The program has no visible window. The file is not a Windows core file. perfhost.exe appears to be a compressed file.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as perfhost.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the perfhost.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.


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One user thinks it's probably harmless. One user thinks perfhost.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it.

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Best practices for resolving perfhost issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with perfhost. 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 repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, 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 perfhost.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

perfhost.exe [all]