Most antivirus programs identify winsvchost.exe as malware—e.g. Kaspersky identifies it as Trojan.Win32.Genome.amomz or not-a-virus:RiskTool.Win32.BitCoinMiner.ccl, and TrendMicro identifies it as TROJ_SPNR.0CC513 or TROJ_SPNR.07LC12.
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Description: Winsvchost.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Winsvchost.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 386,560 bytes (37% of all occurrences), 129,024 bytes, 431,104 bytes or 592,384 bytes.
It is a file with no information about its developer. The program has no visible window. The winsvchost.exe file is not a Windows core file. Winsvchost.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 63% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify winsvchost.exe related errors
If winsvchost.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's "Documents" folder, the security rating is 45% dangerous. The file size is 67,072 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 267,776 bytes or 291,840 bytes. The program is not visible. The winsvchost.exe file is not a Windows core file.
If winsvchost.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 88% dangerous. The file size is 7,680 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 58,880 bytes. The application has no file description. The file is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows system file. Winsvchost.exe is able to monitor applications.
If winsvchost.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 22% dangerous. The file size is 66,048 bytes.
Important: You should check the winsvchost.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.
The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: Security Task Manager examines the active winsvchost process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known anti-malware tool tells you if the winsvchost.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. 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.