Learn how to fix, when you receive 'COM Surrogate has stopped working' message in Windows 10/8.1/8 running operating system
NOTE: This method works with Windows 10 as well.

When you navigate through files and folders in File Explorer, there are some host processes going on in background. Due to these processes, you’re able to view file thumbnails, and other information that may be needful. COM Surrogate basically can be treated as complimentary process which helps File Explorer to get objects on the go. Explorer generally triggers COM Surrogate when it has to extract content for a task.

So as a consequence of this, if something goes wrong, COM Surrogate process fails, it saves the Explorer from crashing and takes whole dependency on itself. Due to this, for Explorer, we can treat COM Surrogate as sacrificial process. Now the point here is what you need to do when COM Surrogate process fails. Here is the message you received when it happens:

COM Surrogate has stopped working

A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

[FIX] COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 8.1

Here is how to bypass this error in few simple steps:

FIX : COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 10/8.1/8

1. Press Windows Key + R and type sysdm.cpl in the Run dialog box. Click OK to open System Properties.

[FIX] COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 8.1

2. In the System Properties window shown below, switch to Advanced tab and click Settings under Performance section.

[FIX] COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 8.1

3. Next, in the Performance Options window, switch to Data Execution Prevention tab. Choose Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select:. Now click Add.

[FIX] COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 8.1

4. Finally, in the browse folder dialog box, type File name as dllhost.exe and click Open. Basically, you have to add C:\Windows\System32\dllhost.exe (assuming C: is system root drive) into exception list. Click Apply followed by OK in above shown window.

[FIX] COM Surrogate Has Stopped Working In Windows 8.1

If you receive “You can not set DEP attributes to 64-bit executables” error at this stage, refer this fix.

After rebooting the machine, COM Surrogate has stopped working error will be suppressed.

Hope this helps!


  • On a 64-bit machine tried this off the newly installed ATI Catalyst Control Center, but i it says ‘You cannot set DEP attributes to 64-bit executables.’ .please help.

  • Mark S, I hope you see this: if you are trying to apply this to dllhost.exe, you need to go into SYSWOW64 instead of System32.


    This seems silly as the error message you received does mention 64-bit, but this is what worked for me.

    Perhaps your ATI CCC has files residing in SYSWOW64?

    I hope that helps.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Oh Matt, thanks a lot for your inputs. I’m sure it will help many others with this same problem :) I’ve added your method here.

  • The COM surrogate stopping is a new error for me after upgrading to Windows10ProX64 — I tried setting the DEP for SYSWOW64/dllhost.exe but no change and the errors continue – always after resuming from suspend. Any other suggestions?

  • Does this method apply to windows 10? How does someone use the remove image properties in windows 10 feature without com surrogate opening them?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Yes, it applies to Windows 10 as well.

  • Hello,

    I’ve had exact same issue, and during my searches, i’ve seen many people struggle with this problem…
    I did all the suggestions proposed on the net but not solved…
    then i realized that problem occurs only if there’re raw files in the photo folder i try to open/review etc…
    my camera is Sony Alpha A7 markII and googled sony raw driver, found it on manufacturer’s page..downloaded and installed…tataa…proble dissapeared immediately.

    I believe there’re files in your folder that’s crashing windows during preview/pre load/thumbnail creation. Try to find manufacturer specific drivers..
    Now all the folder are opened without any delay, freezing…no any freezing during viewing any file with any program…

    Interesting thing is, this was never happened with win7

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad to hear issue is resolved for you 😊 Thanks for your inputs on this, much appreciated!

  • I have found the same suggestions in different sites (over and over again …) but nothing works…..
    registering dll’s – didn’t work
    Turn on DEP exclusion – didn’t work
    Rolling back video driver – Didn’t work
    I have only seen this on Windows 10, 1709 built.

  • Or you could just delete the Microsoft Solitaire program. That will also take care of the problem. No, I don’t have the slightest idea why, but it works.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Strange 😊 well, thanks for adding this!

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