(also svchost, Service Host)
A system process hosting one or more Windows services formally introduced with Windows 2000. Since running separate processes for each related service is inefficient, svchost.exe groups them together into a single process to use less resources. There can be multiple instances of svchost.exe running on a Windows device at the same time, each controlling a different set of services.
Because svchost.exe uses a lot of RAM while active and is featured prominently in Windows crash reports, many users mistakenly believe it to be a virus. While some malware does indeed masquerade as svchost.exe, attempts to remove the real file can destabilize the whole operating system.