HomeTechnologyNewsWhat is "Shell Infrastructure Host" and why is it running on my...

What is “Shell Infrastructure Host” and why is it running on my PC?

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


The Shell infrastructure host process is an important part of the Windows system. It is an integral part of the graphical interface and is responsible for effects such as window transparency, Start menu layout, and background image slideshow.

Take a look at the running processes in Windows Task Manager and you will probably see the Shell Infrastructure Host process. If you’re curious about what sihost.exe is, what it does, and perhaps why it sometimes uses a lot of CPU resources, here’s what you need to know.

What is the Shell infrastructure host process and what does it do?

The “Shell Infrastructure Host” is a critical process in Windows. Along with other processes, such as the Shell Experience Host, it is responsible for things like window transparency, Start menu layout, desktop background slideshow, and various other graphical elements of the operating system (OS).

In Task Manager, whose process name is sihost.exe, Shell Infrastructure Host can be found in the Windows Processes section. Under normal conditions, it will consume very little system resources. Occasionally, the resources consumed by the Shell Infrastructure Host can increase unexpectedly, causing delays, system slowdowns, and even crashes.

the shell infrastructure host process in task manager

Why does the process use so much CPU power?

When operating under normal conditions, the Shell infrastructure host process will use only small amounts of CPU and power resources when making specific graphical changes. It will also use a small amount of memory (or RAM) at all times.

Occasionally, resource usage will increase, with users reporting that the process uses up to 70% of CPU power. This spike can sometimes last for hours, which can be both worrying and frustrating if it affects PC performance.

The main reasons for this problem are usually a memory leaking app or apps and incorrectly configured or out-of-date personalization settings. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to prevent the problem is to apply available updates for Windows and applications.

Another common cause of high CPU usage by this process is having the desktop background set to slideshow mode. If the operating system update did not help, try setting the desktop background to a static image. If that helps, but you still want a slideshow, try using images from a different location or installing a third-party desktop slideshow app.

If the resource surge only occurs when a particular application is running, it indicates a memory leak. The easiest way to fix this is to repair the app in Settings.

Can the shell infrastructure host be disabled?

There is no way to permanently disable the process, and we wouldn’t recommend doing so even if there was. Disabling the process would almost certainly prevent Windows from starting and leave you looking at a blue screen of death (BSOD).

You can end the process temporarily in Task Manager, to see if that fixes the high CPU usage, but it will automatically restart after a few seconds. To do this, open Task Manager, find Shell Infrastructure Host under Windows Processes, and right-click on it. Select “End Task” from the menu.

Is the shell infrastructure host a virus?

If you are concerned that Shell Infrastructure Host is a virus, the answer is almost certainly not. The Shell Infrastructure Host is a normal and essential part of Windows 10 and 11. As long as Windows is running normally, you should expect to see it in Task Manager.

The CPU and memory spikes could possibly be caused by malware on your computer, but the process itself likely wasn’t hijacked by a virus. If you’re still worried, running a full virus scan with a reliable and up-to-date antivirus program is always an option.


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Must Read
- Advertisement -
Related News
- Advertisement -