Com Surrogate has Stopped Working in Windows

Well, a ‘COM Surrogate has stopped working’ or ‘DLL host not responding’ error is basically a weird and frustrating one to come across. COM Surrogate errors aren’t catastrophic, however, if these errors occur often enough, then it can be disruptive. Let’s now discuss Com Surrogate has Stopped Working in Windows. Let’s start!

The odd thing was that the error only came up whenever browsing video or photo files, not any other type of file. After doing some research, we actually managed in order to fix the problem but had to try a couple of different things before it finally worked actually.

A client of mine started having a strange problem whenever browsing photos and videos on his Windows 7 PC. It would popup along with the following error message:
COM Surrogate has stopped working

What is COM Surrogate?

COM Surrogate is actually a catchall name for processes called dllhost.exe. That basically separates Windows Explorer from individual DLL hosts that have the potential to crash. In particular, DLLs that deal along with media thumbnails. There are a lot of others, however, that’s actually one of the most common.

com surrogate has stopped working

COM Surrogate makes it really that if any of those DLL files crash, the files don’t crash the whole Windows Explorer. Think of it as a first line of defense for system stability actually.

Com Surrogate has Stopped Working in Windows

Update Codecs

Obviously, because it was a video/picture problem, we thought it could be something along with the current set of codecs installed. This client in particular basically liked to copy and rip stuff, so he had ffdshow installed plus also some other codecs. We manually updated all of the codecs to their latest versions. That includes ffdshow, Windows 7 Codec Pack, and others. You can now download the latest version of Windows 7 Codec Pack too.

If you guys have DivX or Nero installed on your PC, go ahead and update those to the latest versions too. In most of the cases, you guys may have to uninstall a program and then reinstall it later on.

Kaspersky Antivirus

There also has been a known issue with Kaspersky antivirus that causes this problem to occur. If you guys are via Kaspersky, you have to make sure you update the actual Kaspersky software, not just the antivirus definitions actually. You guys can also test to see if this is really causing the issue through turning off the program altogether and seeing if the issue goes away actually.


There are a few commands that you can try to run in Windows in order to see if it fixes the problem. You need to run these in the command prompt. Tap on Start, type cmd, and then right-tap on and select Run as Administrator. Now just type in the following commands, pressing enter after each one:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

That will basically re-register a few dlls with Windows and possibly fix the COM surrogate error. If not, then keep on reading!

Check Disk for Errors

If you guys are seeing this problem only on a particular drive such as an external USB device. Then it could be that there are some bad sectors on the hard drive actually. It’s a good idea to run a chkdsk in order to make sure the drive is functioning properly.

Turn off DEP for dllhost.exe

Another fix that has been mentioned many times is to add the dllhost.exe to the exclusion list for DEP (Data Execution Protection) actually. Click Add and then add the following exe file in Windows 7 32-bit:


Well, for Windows 7 64-bit, you need to exclude the dllhost.exe file in this path:


com surrogate has stopped working

Display/Printer Driver

This can also be a little tricky, however, if you recently updated a driver for your display or even some other hardware on your PC. Then try to roll back the driver to the previous version. It’s mostly more so with the display driver than anything else. In most cases, updating to the most recent version of the display driver can also fix the issue. So you will have to play around along with either upgrading the driver or rolling back the driver.

In order to roll back the display driver, head to Device Manager, just expand Display Adapters. And then right-tap on the display device and select Uninstall. You will see a popup window where you guys have to check the Delete the driver software for this device box.

So, in the same light, you should also check out your printer drivers and then update all of them, if updates are available as well.


You are good to go. If you have any queries and issues related to this article then let us know in the comments section below.

Also See: Windows Could Not Configure One Or More System Components

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