Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working in Windows 7

A client of mine started having a strange problem when browsing pictures and videos on his Windows 7 PC: it would popup with the following error message:

COM Surrogate has stopped working

com surrogate

The odd thing was that the error only came up when browsing video or picture files, not any other type of file. After doing some research, we managed to fix the problem, but had to try a couple of different things before it finally worked. In this post, I’ll write out the different possible solutions and hopefully one of them will work for you.

Method 1 – Update Codecs

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

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

Method 2 – Kaspersky Antivirus

There has been a known issue with Kaspersky antivirus that cases this problem to occur. If you’re using Kaspersky, you need to make sure you update the actual Kaspersky software, not just the antivirus definitions. You can also test to see if this is really causing the issue by disabling the program altogether and seeing if the issue goes away.

Method 3 – Commands

There are a few commands you can try to run in Windows to see if it fixes the problem. You have to run these in the command prompt. Click on Start, type cmd and then right-click and choose Run as Administrator. Now type in the following commands, pressing enter after each one:

regsvr32 vbscript.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll

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

Method 4 – Check Disk for Errors

If you’re seeing this problem only on a particular drive like an external USB device, then it could be that there are some bad sectors on the hard drive. It’s a good idea to run a chkdsk to make sure the drive is functioning properly. You can read my previous post on how to use the chkdsk utility.

Method 5 – Disable DEP for dllhost.exe

Another fix that has been mentioned numerous times is adding dllhost.exe to the exclusion list for DEP (Data Execution Protection). You can read my previous post on how to turn off DEP in Windows. On the last step in that article, click Add and then add the following exe file in Windows 7 32-bit:


For Windows 7 64-bit, you have to exclude the dllhost.exe file in this path:


com surrogate dll

Method 6 – Display/Printer Driver

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

To rollback the display driver, go to Device Manager, expand Display Adapters and then right-click on the display device and choose Uninstall. You’ll see a pop up window where you need to check the Delete the driver software for this device box.

roll back driver

In the same light, you should also check out your printer drivers and update all of them, if updates are available.

Hopefully, one of these methods will fix the COM Surrogate error in Windows 7. If not, post a comment here and let us know your specs and what you’ve tried and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

Comments [21]

  1. I was having this error come up, but it was for ANY file type that Windows was generating some form of icon/bitmap for. I truly believe my problem was completely unrelated to Nero, codecs, or any of the problems that I have seen suggested on this topic from a web search. At times when I would browse to a folder, ALL files would be represented by a generic file folder (as if they did not have an application association) and the system would halt until :

    A) the COM Surrogate Error appeared

    B) the COM Surrogate executable had finally finished generating the icons

    C) I stopped the service via CTL-ALT-DELETE (after doing so, the service would restart and I would see icons as I would expect)

    This all started happening when I did a recent Windows Update, so I peaked around in msconfig to see what may be new. I noticed in the ‘Sartup’ tab in msconfig, that a new item labeled “Microsoft Windows Operating System” was checked. I had never seen that before and I am ALWAYS going into the Startup and Services tab of msconfig. I was a little leery to uncheck it, but I did and I have not come across the COM Surrogate problem since.

  2. I need to append my reply. Removing the aforementioned service from the msconfig startup list did not correct the problem. We are still having the issue…

  3. com surrogate is not working.

    1 tb hd
    8 gb ram
    windows 7 home premium
    core i5

  4. None of above worked for me. What I did:

    1. I download Minidump.
    2. I reproduce crash and without closing error message i open Minidump and create a dump file.
    3. Download WinDbg (set symbols path to microsoft) and analyze dump.
    4. After debugging finish search for faulting IP –>will point to dll or exe that crash dllhost.exe
    5. Uninstall or reinstall to the last update what cause crash.

    In my case was Intel graphics.

  5. I have the same error while viewing pictures. Please help me with a solution:

    “COM Surrogate has stopped working”

    Thank you.

  6. I tried almost everything you mentioned. When I got to the display step, I realized that I had installed a Neat scanner. Well, earlier this week, my wife went to boot the computer and got a blue screen. I had her turn off the computer, disconnect the scanner, and reboot again. Computer’s seemed fine. Now I go to print a picture and get the error above. So, thinking the problem was my scanner, I uninstalled it. Still get the problem. I did not create a backup before installing the scanner, so I cannot go back to before the installation. I’m stumped. I am running Windows 7 home version on a Dell Inspiron 580.

  7. COM Surrogate has stopped working win7……I have fixed my own computer. There were two video cards: nvidia and intel graphics. I updated both drivers to the latest versions and the problem disappeared….so in my case, it was a graphics card problem.

  8. Method 3 – Commands WORKED FOR ME!!! THANK YOU

  9. Hi, I did all what you said but still have the COM surrogate problem. When I open my photos with “Windows Photo Viewer” and change them repeatedly the error page appears, but if I open them with other applications such as “Microsoft Office Picture Manager” I don’t have the problem anymore. What should I do? Reinstall Windows?

  10. Tried 1, 3, 4, 5 the rest didn’t apply. Asus i7 laptop, 8 gb RAM. Windows 7 64 bit. Its been doing this since i bought the PC, have heaps of photos, but it only does it for my professional photos that are larger in size????

  11. Thank you! I click the problem details and found this [Application Name: DLLHost.exe] I think mine is Method 5. Thanks! I’ve encountered it once. I really don’t know what happened. Thanks anyway!

  12. Hi,

    This worked for me.

    1. Open Internet Explorer.

    2. Click Internet options.

    3. Click Advanced tab.

    4. Press restore advanced settings and Reset button with Delete Personal Settings checked.

    5. Apply and restart your PC.

    If unable to open internet options then restart system in safe mode.

    I hope this will be helpfull.



  13. few commands you can try to run in Windows to see if it fixes the problem. You have to run these in the command prompt. Click on Start, type cmd and then right-click and choose Run as Administrator. Now type in the following commands, pressing enter after each one:

    regsvr32 vbscript.dll
    regsvr32 jscript.dll

    WORK ! Thanks.

  14. The commands (regsvr32 vbscript.dll, regsvr32 jscript.dll) worked for me…Thank You

  15. method 3 fixed it for me. regsvr32 jscrip.dll but it only succeeded when i ran cmd prompt as administrator

  16. I have just updated codecs for windows 8.1 and it worked :D Thanks !

  17. I already tried step 1,2,3,4,5 & 6, but none of them works for me. I’m using lenovo G470 intel(R)core(TM)i5-2450 CPU @ 2.50 GHz Windows 7 ultimate 32bit

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