What is COM Surrogate? How to Fix Issues With It?

While browsing my video files collection in Windows 10, I encountered an error “COM Surrogate has stopped working”, and I was unable to do anything. After some research, I was able to fix the error. Let me explain COM Surrogate before going ahead.

It is a Windows 10 process that is responsible for showing the thumbnails and this kind of relevant information. It is one of the core processes, but occasionally, you encounter an error in it. If you face an error in COM Surrogate, don’t worry. It is not a big nut to crack. Just follow the methods I am going to discuss in this guide, and you would be able to fix the error.

Method # 1: Rollback the Display Driver [Most Working Solution]

Sometimes, the current version of the display driver is creating an error. You need to rollback it to get rid of this problem.

Right-click the “Start” button and select “Device Manager” from its WinX menu.
In the Device Manager window, click “Display Devices” to expand it and double-click the “Display Driver” to view its properties. Here, you need to select the “Rollback Driver” option to again go back to the previous version of the display driver.
Rollback option for driverOnce it is done, close the Device Manager window and reboot the system.

Method # 2: Install Windows Updates

When you see the error message, you need to check for the Windows Update immediately. If you check for the updates manually, make sure you have installed the latest updates and restarted the system. It will fix most of the Windows 10 errors.

Go to the “Start” menu and select “Settings” from here.

Choose “Update & Security” category from the Settings menu.

Here, in the left pane, you will see “Windows Update” feature. Select it, and you will see the “Check for Updates” option. Use it to install the latest updates for Windows 10.
Windows Updates CategoryOnce it is over, reboot the system and see if it fixes the error.

Method # 3: Uninstall Updated Drivers

If you have recently updated the drivers, you may get any corrupted or missing file in the updates. This corruption in the drivers can create the COM Surrogate issues. So, you need to uninstall the updated drivers to fix this problem.

Right-click the “Start” and select “Device Manager” from the list.

Here, right-click the driver you have recently updated and select “Uninstall” from the list.
Now reboot the system so that the system could install these drivers during the system is rebooting.

Method # 4: Stop COM Surrogate Process from Task Manager

When you try to modify the picture’s properties, you receive a message that “This action can’t be completed because the file is open in COM Surrogate.” You can stop this process from the Task Manager to avoid this kind of issues.

Right-click “Start” button to display the WinX menu and select “Task Manager” from there.
Here, scroll down the list of processes to look for “COM Surrogate.” Once you get it, right-click and select “End task” option from the context menu.
Stop COM Surrogate in Task ManagerIt will stop the functioning of this process, and you can easily edit the properties of an image file.

(If there is no process “COM Surrogate,” you need to look for “dllhost.exe” in the “Details” tab menu. When you get it, just right-click this task and select “End Task” from its context menu.

Method # 5: Disable Thumbnails View

A corrupted media file can cause showing the error message. So, you need to turn off the thumbnails. If the thumbnails are disabled, the damaged media file cannot create a problem in the functioning of this process. Hence, it will not show you the errors. It is how you can disable the thumbnails.

Go to the “Cortana” search bar and type “File Explorer Options.” Select it from the search results.

Here, click the “View” tab and check the checkbox “Always show icons, never thumbnails.” Click “Apply” and “OK” to save the changes.

View Tab Options
Method # 6: Delete Existing Thumbnails

You need to remove the existing thumbnails to get rid of this error. If there is a corrupted thumbnail, it will interrupt the functioning of the COM Surrogate process. As a consequence, you will encounter errors. Follow the instructions to perform this action.
Go to “Cortana Search bar” and type “Disk Cleanup” here. It will show you the desired app in the search results. Select it from here.

Now select the “Drive” to clean up. It is usually the C drive where the users install Windows. If you have installed Windows in any other drive, select it now.

The Disk Cleanup app will start calculating the space you can free up by deleting the currently existing thumbnails and junk files. Wait for some time.

Check the checkbox for “Thumbnails” in the list and click “OK” to delete all existing thumbnails.

Delete ThumbnailsMethod # 7: Find Out and Delete the Culprit Media File

You cannot fix the error if you could not access the corrupt file. So, here is a third-party tool that can detect the corrupt media file that is interrupting the COM Surrogate function. It is known as “Process Monitor.” Download it from Here.

It identifies the culprit media file. You need to go to the Photos or Videos collection and delete that media file.

Process Monitor Detecting Errors(You cannot delete the media file without stopping the COM Surrogate process in the Task Manager. First, stop this process and then go to the media file and remove it)

Method # 8: Add the Process in Data Execution Prevention Exclusion Category

If you receive a message that the process has stopped working, it means you need to exclude it from the Data Execution Prevention. Here is how to do it.

Type “View Advanced System Settings” in Cortana search bar and select it from the search results.

Here, click “Advanced” tab and select “Settings” from the Performance section to move ahead.

Settings in Advanced Tab

In the “Data Execution Prevention” tab, you will see the “Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select” option. Select it and click “Add” button.

Add COM Surrogate

Now browse the “dllhost.exe” file from System32 in Windows folder in C drive. Add the file here and click “Apply” and “OK” to save your preferences.

dllhost.exe in System32
Method # 9: Update Antivirus Tool

You may be using an outdated antivirus program that can cause serious issues with this process. So, you need to update the antivirus tool you are using. For this purpose, uninstall the tool and install its latest version to avoid the error.

Method # 10: Re-Register DLL files

If you still getting issues with the COM Surrogate process, just re-register the “dll” files to fix them. Follow the instructions below to do so.

Right-click the “Start” button and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu.
Type “regsvr32 vbscript.dll” and press Enter.
Re-register VBScriptNow type another command “regsvr32 jscript.dll” and press Enter.
Re-register JScript
Now close the Command Prompt window and reboot the system to apply the changes.

Method # 11: Check Hard Disk

Observe attentively. If you receive the error while connecting a USB flash drive with the system, it means there is some problem with the Flash drive. You need to format the USB flash drive. If you do not use a USB flash drive and you are still getting the issues, you need to check the Hard Disk for the problem.

Go to the “Windows Explorer” and right-click “Local Disk (C:)” and select “Properties” from the context menu.

Click the “Tools” tab above and select “Check” option in the Error-checking category.

Check Hard Disk

It will scan the Hard disk and detects the errors. You can delete the error files.

Method # 12: Reset Internet Explorer to Default

There may be some corrupt cached files in the Internet Explorer that are causing the errors. So, you need to reset Internet Explorer to its default setting. Follow the steps below to do so.

Press “Windows + R” keys to launch the “Run” box. Type “inetcpl.cpl” and press Enter.
Choose the “Advanced” tab here and select the “Reset” option as shown in the image below. It will reset the Internet Explorer to its default settings. All the corrupted cached files will be removed.

Reset Internet ExplorerClick “Apply” and “OK” apply the changes and close the window.

Method # 13: Update Codecs

You need to update the Windows Codec Pack to fix this issue.

If you are using Windows 7, you need to click Here to install the latest Codec Pack for your Windows.

If you are Using Windows 8 or 10, Click Here to install the updated Codec Pack.

That’s all! Now reboot the system and check. I am sure that you have successfully fixed the error. Leave comments to let the other readers know how you have fixed the COM Surrogate issues and which method helped you the best.


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