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What’s SearchHost.exe? Is it safe or a virus?

Need to search your Windows PC? Then SearchHost.exe is an important process you're not going to want to kill in your Task Manager.

After checking the different machines here in our SpyShelter cybersecurity lab here in Austin, Texas, we found every one had SearchHost.exe actively running. It's a safe app, as long as it's signed by Microsoft as it should be.

SearchHost.exe is a Windows process that is responsible for indexing and performing searches on a user's computer. When a user performs a search using the Windows search feature, SearchHost.exe is used to retrieve the relevant results by scanning the files and folders on the system. This process helps to provide quick and accurate search results to the user.

Additionally, SearchHost.exe also aids in enabling features such as Copilot and Microsoft Edge by providing data for online and local searches. It is an essential component of the Windows operating system, ensuring that users can efficiently locate and access their files and information.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about SearchHost.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes SearchHost.exe?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of SearchHost.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is SearchHost.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the SearchHost.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find SearchHost.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 3, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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