How to Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working

COM Surrogate has stopped working

COM Surrogate has stopped working suddenly pops up while you were viewing photos or watching videos? Don’t worry most of the users face this error and so there must be a fix for this. In this post, we are going to discuss how to fix this error.

COM Surrogate has stopped working

What does the COM Surrogate do and why does it always stop working?

The dllhost.exe process goes by the name COM Surrogate and the only time you’re likely even to notice its existence is when it crashes and you get the message COM Surrogate has stopped working. What is this COM Surrogate and why does it keep crashing?

The COM Surrogate is a fancy name for the Sacrificial process for a COM object that is run outside of the process that requested it. Explorer uses the COM Surrogate when extracting thumbnails, for example. If you go to a folder with thumbnails enabled, Explorer will fire off a COM Surrogate and use it to compute the thumbnails for the documents in the folder. It does this because Explorer has learned not to trust thumbnail extractors; they have a poor track record for stability. Explorer has decided to absorb the performance penalty in exchange for improved reliability resulting in moving these dodgy bits of code out of the main Explorer process. When the thumbnail extractor crashes, the crash destroys the COM Surrogate process instead of Explorer.

In other words, the COM Surrogate is the I don’t feel good about this code, so I’m going to ask COM to host it in another process. That way, if it crashes, it’s the COM Surrogate sacrificial process that crashes instead of my process. And when it crashes, it just means that Explorer’s worst fears were realized.

In practice, if you get these types of crashes when browsing folders containing video or media files, the problem is most likely a flaky codec. So without wasting any time let’s see How to Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working with the help of the below-listed tutorial.

How to Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working

Method 1: Update Codecs

Since the problem is related to viewing photos and videos, then updating the codec seems to be a good option and hopefully, it can help you fix the COM Surrogate error. You can download the latest version of codec for windows 10 / 8.1 / 7 here.

If you have DivX or Nero installed then you might consider updating them to their latest version and in some cases, you have to uninstall and again install them in order for them to work properly.

If you’ve upgraded Nero and DivX and still have the problem, you can try renaming the file C:\Program Files\Common Files\Ahead\DSFilter\ to You may also need to rename to NeVideoHD.bak this will break Nero Showtime, however.

Method 2: Disable thumbnail

You can disable Thumbnail previews, which should solve the problem temporarily, but isn’t the optimal solution to fix COM Surrogate has stopped working.

Method 3: Re-register DLLs

Re-register a few DLLs with Windows which can possibly fix the COM surrogate error. To do this:

1. Right click on the Window button and select “Command Prompt (Admin).”

command prompt admin

2. In the cmd window type these following commands and hit enter after each of one:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

register DLLs

This can fix the COM Surrogate has stopped working issue but if not, then continue reading!

Method 4: Hard disk error checking

Another way to which you can fix the COM Surrogate error is by running the check disk utility which is explained here.

Method 5: Disable DEP for “dllhost” file

Disabling DEP for dllhost.exe seems to fix the problem for most users so let’s see how to do that. You can read more about it in my previous post on how to turn off DEP.

1. In the last step, click Add like shown below:

Add services

2. In the Add pop-up box, select the following executable files:

 If you are on a 32-bit system then select the following file:
 If you are on a 64-bit system then select the following file:

dllhost file open

3. Select the dllhost file, click open and you will something like this:

COM Surrogate in DEP

This should probably fix the COM Surrogate has stopped working error.

Method 6: Rollback Display Driver

Sometimes recent updates of display drivers may cause this error and hence driver rollback on Windows 10 may fix the issue. But you should do this only if you notice a problem after your drivers have been updated.

1. Right-click on This PC or My Computer and select properties.

2. Now on the left click on Device Manager.

device manager

3. Expand Display Adapters and then right-click on the display device and Choose Uninstall.

Rollback display driver

4. You’ll see a pop-up box where you need to check the “Delete the driver software for this device” option and click OK. Windows will uninstall the device and delete the driver software downloaded from Windows Update. You can install fresh drivers software afterward.

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Hopefully, one of these methods will fix COM Surrogate has stopped working error. If you still have any doubt or questions feel free to comment we’ll try to help.

Posted by

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a skilled tech writer with 10 years of experience in the field. He has a strong background in Troubleshooting, and has a talent for simplifying complex technical concepts for a general audience. He has worked with a variety of clients in the technology industry, creating user manuals, technical documentation, and instructional materials. With his combination of technical knowledge and writing talent, he is able to create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the most out of their technology.


  1. com surrogate error is preventing me access to the system properties of my laptop. i can’t access some areas of my laptop due to this problem. i have tried fixing it from command but still to no avail

  2. Thanks very much for this lengthy discussion of a very troublesome problem. I spent about 5 hours working on it yesterday. This would seem to have been a waste of time had it not been for the fact that I accumulated so much data that the solution for my particular cause emerged from the mist, when I realized that extremely unlikely causes rarely cluster by chance.
    Uninstall Acronis True Image 2013 backup software from the system (Windows 7 Pro). This worked like magic, and the evil spirits went away, never (I hope) to return. I had never had any trouble with this software at all until now.
    Who knew? Please add this to your list.

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