What is the csrss.exe process and why is it running on my PC?

What is the csrss.exe process and why is it running on my PC?

If you have a Windows PC, open your Task Manager and you will surely see one or more Client Server Runtime Process (csrss.exe) running on your PC. This process is an essential part of Windows.

Not sure what these services are? Better start reading!

What is the client server runtime process?

The csrss.exe process is an important part of the Windows operating system. Prior to Windows NT 4.0, released in 1996, csrss.exe was responsible for the entire graphics subsystem, including window management, screen drawing, and other related operating system functions.

With Windows NT 4.0, many of these functions have been moved from the client server runtime process, which runs like a normal process, to the Windows kernel. However, the csrss.exe process is still responsible for the console windows and the shutdown process, which are critical functions in Windows.

Before Windows 7, the CSRSS process drew the console windows (command prompt) themselves. In Windows 7 and later, the Console Host process (conhost.exe) draws the console windows. However, csrss.exe is still responsible for starting the conhost.exe process when needed.

In other words, this process is responsible for some critical functions of the background system. That’s just how Windows does things.

Can i disable it?

What is the csrss.exe process and why is it running on my PC?

You cannot disable this process, as it is a crucial part of Windows. There is no reason to disable it, however: it uses a small amount of resources and performs only some critical system functions.

If you log into the Task Manager and try to terminate the client server runtime process, Windows will inform you that your PC will become unusable or shut down. Click on this warning and you will see an “Access Denied” message. This is a protected process that you cannot terminate.

Windows always starts this process on startup. If csrss.exe cannot be started when Windows starts, Windows will display a blue screen with the error code 0xC000021A . Here’s how critical this process is.

Could it be a virus?

It is normal for this process, or even multiple processes with this name, to always be running on Windows. The legitimate csrss.exe file is located in the C: \ Windows \ system32 directory of the system. To verify that this is the real client server runtime process, you can right click in the Task Manager and select “Open File Location”.

What is the csrss.exe process and why is it running on my PC?

File Explorer or Windows Explorer should open in the C: \ Windows \ System32 directory containing the csrss.exe file.

If someone told you that the csrss.exe file located in C: \ Windows \ System32 is a virus, it’s a hoax. This is the real file and removing it will cause problems with your PC.

Tech support scammers have been known to say “if you see csrss.exe on your PC, you have malware”. Every PC has a client server runtime process running and this is normal. Don’t fall for the scam!

However, if you’re worried about malware, it’s a good idea to run a virus scan anyway. Malware can sometimes infect or replace legitimate Windows files.

What is the csrss.exe process and why is it running on my PC?

If the csrss.exe file is in another directory, you have a problem. Some malware programs disguise themselves as csrss.exe to avoid suspicion. (Additional copies of the file may be in other directories, but should not be made from that directory.)

If you see a csrss.exe file in the wrong folder or are just concerned that you might have malware in general, you should run a system scan with your favorite antivirus tool. It will check your PC for malware and remove anything it finds.

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