Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working in Windows 8

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Most of us might get a lot of errors and issues while working with Windows 8. Some errors may not directly related to issues on Windows 8, but could be because of other installed apps, drivers and devices connected to it. Among many other error, you might have also encountered “COM Surrogate has stopped working” issue in Windows 8 or even in Windows 7.

COM Surrogate is the executable host process (dllhost.exe) which runs in the background, while you are navigating through files and folders. Due to this process you are able to view thumbnails and when this process crashes, the error pop-ups up on the screen. Users have reported that they have experienced this issue mostly while browsing folders containing video or media files. Some users have also reportedly received this error while trying to print.

It can be said that COM Surrogate is a fancy name for Sacrificial process for a COM object that is run outside of the process that requested it. Explorer uses the COM Surrogate when extracting thumbnails. If you open a folder with thumbnails enabled, Explorer will fire off a COM Surrogate and use it to compute the thumbnails for the documents in the folder. Explorer has decided to absorb the performance penalty but to keep improved reliability resulting in moving these dodgy bits of code out of the main Explorer process. When the thumbnail extractor crashes, the crash destroys the COM Surrogate process instead of Explorer.
Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working in Windows 8

Fix COM Surrogate has stopped working in Windows 8

This article is written with an intention to dig up, what exactly this problem is and how one can rectify it. There is not a single hard and fast solution for this problem but there are many methods that can be used on hit and trail basis. Different methods that may solve this problem are given below:

Check Disk For Errors

This method can help if the files, you are trying to open, are saved in a drive other then C:\ then that drive should be checked for errors, but if no additional drives, then the C:\ should be checked. In order to check disk, follow these simple steps:

On windows 7, Hold the Windows Key and Press E. A list of drives will appear. On Windows 8, chose This PC from the left pane to view the drives.

  • Right-click on the Selected Hard disk drive that you want to check and then select “Properties”.
  • Click the Tools tab from the top and then click Check Now under Error-Checking.

Rollback to the Previous Display Adapter Driver

Another method that you can try by following given instructions:

  • Hold the Windows Key and Press R.
  • Type hdwwiz.cpl in the run dialog, and Click OK.
  • Scroll to the Display Adapters section in the Device Manager.
  • Right Click on it and select Properties.
  • Click Roll Back Driver and proceed with the instructions on screen.
  • Check both the Options and the Click Start.
  • Check both the Options and the Click Start. If this option is disabled, then try some other method.


There are a few commands you can try to run in Windows to see if it fixes the problem. It will re-register a few dlls with Windows and possibly fix the COM surrogate error. 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:

  1.   regsvr32 vbscript.dll
  2.   regsvr32 jscript.dll

Update Codecs

This manual method is considered helpful to solve this error. You just need to is to update all the Codecs of the Windows to their latest updated versions. You can download and install your latest Windows Codec Pack from following addresses:

  • For Windows 7 Codec Pack:
  • For Windows 8 Codec Pack:

Display/Printer Driver

A little tricky, but sometime helps. As mentioned above, you need to roll back the driver to the previous version, if you recently updated a driver for your display or even some other hardware on your computer, It’s usually more so with the display driver than anything else. Similarly, by updating to the most recent version of the display driver may also fix the issue. So try it in both ways.
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