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What’s sihost.exe (Shell Infrastructure Host)? Is it safe or a virus?

On our PCs here at SpyShelter's cybersecurity lab in Austin, Texas, we've found sihost.exe (Shell Infrastructure Host) is pretty much always running. That's because it's related to the Windows Taskbar (along with Windows search, and some other UI items), which most of us need to operate our PC normally.

This common .exe is responsible for hosting and managing the graphical user interface for a variety of system-related functions. This includes displaying the icons, taskbar, and Start menu, as well as managing user sessions and desktop composition. Sihost.exe also handles the communication between the system and various Windows components, ensuring smooth and efficient interaction between the user and the operating system.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about sihost.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes sihost.exe (Shell Infrastructure Host)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of sihost.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 sihost.exe safe or a virus?

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

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find sihost.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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