If you are among the people who prefer Windows as their operating system, you probably see this process all the time. It usually doesn’t take up a lot of your resources, but it might still worry you. CSRSS actually stands for Client Server Runtime Process, and you can rest safely as this process is legitimate. In fact, it is actually essential.
But, What Is It For?
As we have already said, this is an important process of your Windows OS. Before 1996, this process would be responsible for managing your entire graphical subsystem. That includes windows management, drawing options, and many other functions.
Windows NT 4.0
However, in 1996, Windows NT 4.0 came out. And, with it, most of the functions of CRSS were moved to the Windows kernel. However, the Client Server Runtime Process is still far from useless. It handles console windows and the shutdown function. And, as you know, both of these are crucial for windows.
Another process CSRSS was handling was drawing of the Command Prompt windows. The end of that function came with the release of Windows 7. With Windows 7, this function was taken over by the conhost.exe process. But, the Client Server Runtime Process is the one in charge of launching the Consoles Host process.
Can I End This Process?
This is an essential part of your OS, and you can’t turn it off. And why would you? It doesn’t use a lot of resources, and it performs crucial functions for your system.
Of course, you can find it in your Task Manager and attempt to kill it. Doing so will result in you receiving a warning message that Windows might become unusable without it. If you try to ignore this warning, you will simply get a message denying you access. This process is under protection, and you simply can’t shut it down yourself.
In fact, this process is there from the moment you turn your computer on. Windows will always launch it during the startup process. And, if, for whatever reason, Windows fails to launch it, it will result in the blue screen. Going through the blue screen, you will be capable of finding an error code for this issue – 0xC000021A. So, to put it shortly – don’t attempt to kill this process.
Could It Be Malware?
This process, with many similar ones, is always running while Windows is active. However, there are malware programs that will emulate it. So, to verify if your CSRSS process is legitimate, simply open its directory in the System32. Find the process in the Task Manager, right-click it and find the option to take you to the file location. If it is in the System32, everything is fine.
You should also be wary of the online scammers. They might tell you that the csrss.exe is a virus, even if it is in the System32 folder. If you ever hear that claim, someone is probably trying to scam you. Removing this file will cause a host of issues with your computer.
On the other hand, if you find it in a different directory, you might have an issue. So, immediately use your antivirus tool to scan your system.