Remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate Virus (2022 Guide)

The term dllhost.exe *32, also known as dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate, is a process used to host one or more operating system services. The dllhost.exe *32 Microsoft Windows executable file is labeled as COM Surrogate. This is a required Windows file and is used to load needed DLL files that are used with Microsoft Windows and Windows programs that run on your computer.
This file is located in either the c:\windows\system32 or c:\winnt\system32 directories depending on your version of Windows and may also be located in the dllcache directory if present.

Trojan can use dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate as a process when has infected a computer. If you are seeing a very large numbers of dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate using a lot of CPU and RAM, then this trojan might be on your machine.
dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate virus

Because dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate is used as a common system process, some malware often uses a process name of “dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate” to disguise itself. The original system file dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate is located in C:\Windows\System32 folder.

How does the dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware behave?

Due to the generic nature of this infection, methods of installation may vary. The dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate infections may often install themselves by copying their executable to the Windows or Windows system folders, and then modifying the registry to run this file at each system start. dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate will often modify the following subkey in order to accomplish this:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

If your computer is infected with the dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate virus, this infection may contact a remote host for the following purposes:

  • To report a new infection to its author
  • To receive configuration or other data
  • To download and execute arbitrary files (including updates or additional malware)
  • To receive instruction from a remote attacker
  • To upload data taken from the affected computer

How do I know if dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate is malware or not?

Because dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate is a common process in the Task Manager, malware programs sometimes mask themselves by running under the same process name of dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate. Other times, a malware program may run, or inject, its service into an already running dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate process. In either case, this masking action can make it difficult to detect and remove these malware programs.

The easiest way to see if your computer is infected with malware running under the “dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate” name, is to open your Windows Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL on your keyboard,
the right-click on the dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate which you suspect is malware, and then click on “Open file location

The dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate from Windows should be located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Any file named “dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate” located in other folder can be considered as a malware.
Should you be uncertain as to whether dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate is a virus or not, we encourage you to submit the affected file to https://www.virustotal.com/en/ to be scanned with multiple antivirus engines.

How did dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware get on my computer?

The dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate virus is distributed through several means. Malicious websites, or legitimate websites that have been hacked, can infect your machine through exploit kits that use vulnerabilities on your computer to install this Trojan without your permission of knowledge.

Another method used to propagate this type of malware is spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate virus.

The threat may also be downloaded manually by tricking the user into thinking they are installing a useful piece of software, for instance a bogus update for Adobe Flash Player or another piece of software.

To check your computer for malware and remove it for free, please use the guide below.

Removal Instructions for Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy-to-understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubts at any point, stop and ask for our assistance.
To remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware, follow these steps:

STEP 1: Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

In this first step, we will start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking to prevent Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware malicious drivers and services from loading at Windows start-up. We’re using Safe mode because it starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers.

Windows 11Windows 10Windows 7
Before you enter Safe Mode, you need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment (winRE). To do this, follow the below steps:

  1. Press Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn’t work, right-click on the Start button, then select Settings. In the right window, click on Recovery.
    Go to Windows Settings
  2. Under Advanced startup, select Restart now.
    Recovery window in Windows 10

Now that you are in Windows Recovery Environment, you will follow these steps to take you to safe mode:

  1. On the Choose an option screen, select “Troubleshoot“.
    Windows 11 - Start in Safe Mode with Network
  2. On the “Troubleshoot” screen, click the “Advanced Options” button.
    Windows 11 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 2
  3. On the “Advanced Options” page, click the “Startup Settings” option.
    Windows 11 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 3
  4. On the “Startup Settings” page, click the “Restart”.
    Windows 11 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 4
  5. After your device restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select option 5 from the list or press F5 to enter Safe Mode with Networking.
    Boot in Safe Mode Windows 11
  6. While your computer is running in Safe Mode with Networking, we will need to download, install and run a scan with Malwarebytes (explained in Step 2).
Before you enter Safe Mode, you need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment (winRE). To do this, follow the below steps:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn’t work, select the Start button, then select Settings.
    Go to Windows Settings
  2. When the Windows Settings window opens, select Update & Security, then click on Recovery.
    Recovery window in Windows 10
  3. Under Advanced startup, select Restart now.
    Open Advance Startup

Now that you are in Windows Recovery Environment, you will follow these steps to take you to safe mode:

  1. On the Choose an option screen, select “Troubleshoot“.
    Windows 10 - Start in Safe Mode with Network
  2. On the “Troubleshoot” screen, click the “Advanced Options” button.
    Windows 10 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 2
  3. On the “Advanced Options” page, click the “Startup Settings” option. In Windows 8, this option is labeled “Windows Startup Settings” instead.
    Windows 10 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 3
  4. On the “Startup Settings” page, click the “Restart”.
    Windows 10 - Start in Safe Mode with Network - Step 4
  5. After your device restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select option 5 from the list or press F5 to enter Safe Mode with Networking.
    Boot in Safe Mode Windows 10
  6. While your computer is running in Safe Mode with Networking, we will need to download, install and run a scan with Malwarebytes (explained in Step 2).
  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
  2. When the computer starts you will see your computer’s hardware being listed. When you see this information start to press the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with the Advanced Boot Options.
    F8 Safe Mode
  3. In the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Networking and then press Enter.
    Safe Mode with Networking screen
  4. While your computer is running in Safe Mode with Networking, we will need to download, install and run a scan with Malwarebytes (explained in Step 2). In some cases, victims may have issues while trying to start the computer in Safe Mode with Networking, if this happens, you can try to scan your computer with Malwarebytes in normal mode.

STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

While the computer is in Safe Mode with Networking, we will download, install and run a system scan with Malwarebytes.

Malwarebytes Free is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.

  1. Download Malwarebytes.

    You can download Malwarebytes for Windows by clicking the link below.

    MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on MBSetup installer to install Malwarebytes
    You may be presented with a User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the Malwarebytes installation.
    Windows asking for permission to run the Malwarebytes installer

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.

    When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program on, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
    Malwarebytes setup: Click on Personal Computer step 1

    On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
    Malwarebytes Setup: Click on Install

    When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.

  4. Click on “Scan”.

    To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
    Click on Scan button to remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware virus

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will scan your computer for the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning for Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware virus

  6. Click on “Quarantine”.

    When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the Conteban malicious files that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
    Review the malicious programs and click on Quarantine to remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware virus

  7. Restart computer.

    Malwarebytes will now remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware malware and other malicious programs that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes will ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes requesting to restart computer to complete the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware removal process

    When the malware removal process is complete, your computer should start in normal mode (if not, simply restart your device to exit Safe Mode) and continue with the rest of the instructions. We do recommend that you run another scan with Malwarebytes once you’re in Normal mode to make sure all the malicious files were removed.

STEP 3: Scan and clean your computer with HitmanPro

In this third step, while the computer is in normal back, we will download and run a scan with HitmanPro to remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs.

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to its clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.

Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit on scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one-time 30-days trial to enable the clean up.

  1. Download HitmanPro.

    You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.

    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Install HitmanPro.

    When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    Double-click on the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide
    You may be presented with a User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Windows asking for permissions to run the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

    When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.

    Click Next to install HitmanPro to remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware virus

    HitmanPro final installer screen

  4. Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.

    HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
    HitmanPro while scanning Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

  5. Click on “Next”.

    When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs.
    HitmanPro scan summary. Click Next to delete the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

  6. Click on “Activate free license”.

    Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious files from the computer.
    Activate the free HitmanPro license keyEnter your email to complete the HitmanPro activation - Help Guide

    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.


STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with Emsisoft Emergency Kit

In this fourth step, we will scan the computer with Emsisoft Emergency Kit to remove any leftover files from the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending Emsisoft Emergency Kit to users who still have malware-related issues or just want to make sure their computer is 100% clean.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a free second opinion scanner that can be used without installation to scan and clean infected computers. Emsisoft scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity.

  1. Download Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

    You can download Emsisoft Emergency Kit by clicking the link below.

    EMSISOFT EMERGENCY KIT DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download Emsisoft Emergency Kit)
  2. Install Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

    Double-click on the EmsisoftEmergencyKit setup file to start the installation process, then click on the “Install” button.
    Click on the Install button

  3. Start Emsisoft Emergency Kit.

    On your desktop, the “EEK” folder (C:\EEK) should now be open. To start Emsisoft, click on the “Start Emsisoft Emergency Kit” file to open this program.
    Click on Start Emsisoft Emergency Kit to remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Allow Emsisoft to run on your PC - UAC

  4. Click on “Malware Scan”.

    Emsisoft Emergency Kit will start and it will ask you for permission to update itself. Once the update process is complete, click on the “Scan” tab, and perform a “Malware Scan“.

    Perform a Malware Scan with Emsisoft Emergency Kit
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit will now scan your computer for the Conteban malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
    Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanning for the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

  5. Click on “Quarantine Selected”.

    When the Emsisoft scan has finished, you will be presented with a screen reporting which malicious files were detected on your computer. To remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware, click on the “Quarantine Selected“.
    Click on Quarantine Selected to remove the Conteban virus
    When the malware removal process is complete, Emsisoft Emergency Kit may need to restart your computer. Click on the “Restart” button to restart your computer.

    When the process is complete, you can close Emsisoft and continue with the rest of the instructions.


STEP 5: Use AdwCleaner to remove malicious browser policies

In this final step, we will use AdwCleaner to remove malicious browser policies and unwanted browser extensions from your computer.

AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner that can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find. This on-demand scanner includes a lot of tools that can be used to fix the side effects of browser hijackers.

  1. Download AdwCleaner.

    You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.

    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
  2. Double-click on the setup file.

    Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_x.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
    AdwCleaner Setup File
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    AdwCleaner and Windows User Account Control Pop-up

  3. Enable “Reset Chrome policies”.

    When AdwCleaner starts, on the left side of the window, click on “Settings” and then enable “Reset Chrome policies“.
    Enable Reset Chrome policies

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    On the left side of the window, click on “Dashboard” and then click “Scan Now” to perform a system scan.
    AdwCleaner Scan Now button

  5. Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to complete.

    AdwCleaner will now scan your computer for the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes.
    AdwCleaner Scanning for Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs

  6. Click on “Clean & Repair”.

    When AdwCleaner has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button to remove the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs from your computer.
    Click Clean to remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware

  7. Click on “Clean & Restart Now”

    When the malware removal process is complete, AdwCleaner may need to restart your device. Click on the “Clean & Restart Now” button to finish the removal process.
    Click Clean & Restart Now to get rif of Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware


Your computer should now be free of the Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate malware and other malicious programs. If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:

Protect your device from viruses

Here are some basic security tips that will help you avoid malware:

  1. Install updates.

    Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Whenever an update is released for your device, download and install it right away. These updates often include security fixes, vulnerability patches, and other necessary maintenance.

  2. Be careful when installing programs and apps.

    Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third-party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next."

  3. Don't use keygens and cracks.

    Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

  4. Install an ad blocker.

    Use a browser-based content blocker, like AdGuard. Content blockers help stop malicious ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

  5. Be careful what you download.

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.

  6. Be alert for people trying to trick you.

    Whether it's your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it's easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn't make messages more trustworthy.

  7. Back-up your data

    Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. You can do this manually on an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup software. This is also the best way to counter ransomware. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

  8. Secure your device.

    Keeping all the above tips in mind will keep you well on your guard, and installing a good antivirus will monitor your files for unusual changes and other warning signs. Whether you use a PC, a Mac, or a mobile device, Malwarebytes Premium is the strongest protection ever. Malwarebytes sits beside your traditional antivirus, filling in any gaps in its defenses, and providing extra protection against sneakier security threats.

26 thoughts on “Remove Dllhost.exe *32 COM Surrogate Virus (2022 Guide)”

  1. There are so e thieves stealing money and things , one is carlos sotelo pascual peruvian and the other is daniel, i am a musician , my name is paulo and the artist name is Hoju, please be aware of people calling you or contacting you with voice changer programs or fake acounts .thank you and i will be using this software and support as soon as i can, keep up the good work…..am kile

  2. My daughter had been dealing with the COM Surrogate problem for several months. The ESET solution worked like a champ. Thank you so very much for saving her and I from this headache.

  3. You can’t imagine how much pain and headache you have saved me. Like the below user said, i was really helpless before i got to this website, and i could finally rid my computer of this beast that has messed with not just my work, but my time as well in trying to figure out what was wrong, and had created a huge nightmare for me over the past few weeks. Really really thankyou very much for all of this.

  4. I would like here to thank you for the save from the very annoying , med-risked and disgusting adware “Candy-box.Biz”. I really couldn’t do anything before I arrived at your forum and executed all what you recommended and the result for the moment was a clean computer. Thanks alot, I really appreciate you and wish you a great success and accomplishement as you substantiate the meaning of humanity in the depths of your kind self.

  5. Stelian, I notice in your guide posted here that you replaced programs from a few weeks ago. For instance, I notice Step 1 a few weeks ago referred to ComboFix and now you are recommending ESET Powerlinks Cleaner. You also removed Rogue Killer which was Step 2 a few weeks ago. Any particular reason why? If I used the older 6-step process will I expect problems? Thanks.

  6. This worked like a charm. Following it (pretty much) word-for-word, it did what it said it would do. Thanks, Stelian, for providing a simple, straight-forward document as a resolve for such removals. Awesome.

  7. This is an update from a comment I left 5 days ago. I went through the steps with some trepidation and it took me all day because I ran into trouble not being able to download. I figured that out and then lost my file that enables you to connect to the Wi-Fi which of course I lost internet connection. I figured that out by rebooting two times; could not get Emsisoft emergency kit to run, had to use the search and find files on my start menu to find the download and open it there to run it. Been using the computer for a few hours now and I haven’t encountered any problems. I will update this comment in a few days after I had time to use the computer more. Thanks Stelian for this information, well done..

  8. This is a great guide! It was very easy to follow and well explained. Thank you so much for your help!

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