Windows is the most popular operating system for desktop and laptop computers because of the many optimization and customization features it offers to Windows users. Unfortunately, the Windows system is more complicated than it looks on the surface.
A lot of system files and processes are required for even the simplest tasks. For example, starting up the Windows OS requires launching several system processes and each of them play a critical part in the boot up process. One wrong process or one deleted file could lead to a host of errors, including the svchost.exe_SysMain error.
When this error appears, the system becomes totally unresponsive and most users don’t know how to proceed. This problem has caused a lot of Windows users to be frustrated, especially because there is no particular guide available on how to deal with the svchost.exe_SysMain Windows error.
svchost.exe_SysMain error — What is this and how do I fix it? If you’re asking yourself this question right now, then you’re on the right page. This article will help enlighten you about the svchost.exe_SysMain, why you’re getting the svchost.exe_SysMain error, and how to fix this particular error.
So let’s start off by defining what the svchost.exe_SysMain process is and the reasons why an error is popping up.
What is the Svchost.exe_SysMain Error?
The svchost.exe is the default host process for Win32 services on the Windows operating system. The process is used to launch Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files and other supplementary processes on your Windows computer.
DLL files are functions that are separately compiled, linked and stored from the processes that use them, saving both disk space and system resources. DLL files are quite useful, but they cannot run by themselves. They need another executable program to execute the job. This task is the responsibility of the svchost.exe file.
When you boot your Windows computer, the Svchost.exe process goes through your Windows Registry to check for the services that should be loaded during startup. When any of these services get corrupted or damaged, an error automatically appears, such as the svchost.exe_SysMain error.
The error is usually accompanied by the following error log:
Faulting application name: svchost.exe_SysMain, version: 10.0.10586.0, time stamp: 0x5632d7ba
Faulting module name: sysmain.dll, version: 10.0.10586.0, time stamp: 0x5632d545
Exception code: 0xc0000005
When you get this error message, this means that the Svchost.exe process encountered the issue when loading the sysmain.dll, which is a System Maintenance Service Host process.
What Causes Svchost.exe_SysMain Error?
The main reason why the svchost.exe_SysMain Windows error occurs is because of the corruption in the sysmain.dll file that is being loaded by the svchost.exe process. This can happen when a program overwrites an earlier version of the DLL file or when a user removes the DLL file, either by mistake or intentionally.
Another element you should consider is the presence of malware. Malware is known to delete important system files, particularly registry entries. When you suspect a malware infection, it is possible that other system files have also been corrupted.
If you’ve recently installed a system update or a new piece of software, the installation must have broken some system files and caused the error.
How to Fix the Svchost.exe_SysMain Error
Since the svchost.exe_SysMain error is related to the SysMain.dll, some users might be tempted to download a copy of the SysMain.dll file from third-party DLL libraries to quickly fix the issue. It doesn’t work that way. Downloading DLL files from third-party repositories is risky because you might be downloading malicious software instead.
When you get the svchost.exe_SysMain Windows error, you won’t be able to proceed normally with the startup because your computer will most probably be unresponsive. Some computers even go into a boot loop unless the error is fixed. So when you encounter the svchost.exe_SysMain error, the first thing you need to do is boot into Safe Mode and execute the solutions within that environment.
To boot into Safe Mode without loading the operating system, you need to interrupt the boot up process three times until the Automatic Repair mode is triggered. When Automatic Repair mode is loaded, select your account then click on Advanced Options. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Press 5 or F5 to choose Safe Mode with Networking.
Once you’re in Safe Mode, you can then perform the following fixes:
Fix #1: Uninstall Recently Installed Apps.
If the svchost.exe_SysMain error happened after you installed a new app or program on your computer, there is a possibility that that newly installed software is the culprit. Uninstall the app or apps by following the steps below:
- Click the Start menu, then click on Settings.
- Click on System, then choose Apps & features from the left menu.
- Choose the app you want to uninstall, then click on it.
- Click the Uninstall button that appears.
- Wait for the uninstallation process to be completed.
- Repeat the steps above for all the apps you want to uninstall.
After uninstalling the app, make sure to delete the leftover files using a PC repair tool.
Fix #2: Roll Back Recent Updates.
If you recently installed a system update, rolling back to the previous patch may help resolve the svchost.exe_SysMain error. To do this:
- Click on the Start menu and type in Control Panel into the search box.
- Choose Control Panel from the list of search results.
- Choose Programs > Uninstall a program.
- Click View Installed Updates from the left menu.
- Find the latest Windows update installed on your computer, right-click on it, then choose Uninstall.
- Restart your computer for the changes to apply, then check if the svchost.exe_SysMain error has been fixed.
Fix #3: Run the SFC Tool.
The best way to restore corrupted registry and system files is by using the built-in System File Checker tool on Windows. This utility helps scan your computer for broken Windows files and fix them if possible.
Here is the process to run the System File Checker tool:
- Click the Search button on the bottom left of the Taskbar, then type in command prompt.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt program listed on the search results, then choose Run as administrator.
- Type in the following in the Command Prompt window:
- Press Enter to execute the command and to begin the scan.
- Wait for the process to be completed. You will see a summary of any integrity violations found during the scan and which of these have been repaired.
Check if the svchost.exe_SysMain Windows error has been resolved. If not, proceed with the next step.
Fix #4: Run the DISM Tool.
If running the SFC tool is not enough to restore the damaged system files, you can try the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) utility instead. This tool can fix the underlying Windows system error and make the SFC tool run correctly.
- To run the DISM command, follow the instructions below:
- Open a Command Prompt window by following the steps above.
- Type in the following commands one by one, then press Enter after each line:
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Wait for the processes to finish, then check whether the error has been fixed.
The svchost.exe_SysMain error is a Windows issue that involves the registry and system files required during the system startup. When you encounter this error, don’t panic. Just switch to Safe Mode and try the fixes we’ve outlined above.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.