OS Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 1703 build 15063.

  • When I start up the machine it shows two processes in Task Manager (disappear after 2 minutes). Two process have the same executable file (.exe) which is backgroundTaskHost.exe. But with two different process name.

  • First one is with process name "Cortana Background Task Host" and with command line "C:\Windows\system32\backtgroundTaskHost.exe" -ServerName:CortanaUI.AppXy7vb4pc2dr3kc93kfc509b1d0arkfb2x.mca.

Image:Cortana Background Task Host

  • Second one is with process name "Microsoft Account Background Task Host" and with command line "C:\Windows\system32\backgroundTaskHost.exe" -ServerName:App.AppXmtcan0h2tfbfy7k9kn8hbxb6dmzz1zh0.mca.

Image:Microsoft Account Background Task Host

  • My questions are::
  • How is this possible to use one executable in two process name?
  • And what are the -ServerName options in command line?
  • Is the .mca a file extension? Where is it stored?
  • Where the full .mca file name saved?

Update:: There are fourteen different command line associated with that background task and all are metro apps linked with it. Here all the images given::

Photos::Windows Metro Apps

  • A name is just a name, the application sets it when it runs. In this case, the exe is a wrapper for running applications in the background. Server is a phrase used to indicate a background task, a daemon in UNIX terms. – Julian Knight May 23 '17 at 22:05
  • It isn't really an answer so probably not. Not sure what more you want. The exe runs other code, in this case wrapped up in a file with a .mca extension. The name will be set from the code in the mca file. I don't know whether .mca files contain code or are configuration files pointing to code. – Julian Knight May 24 '17 at 9:15
  • as I already said, those a re all background tasks. so you have 14 apps that use background tasks to do work when they don't run in foreground /getting current weather data, photo app my upload the taken photos to onedrive and so one). We can't add more details, we don't code them. – magicandre1981 Jun 3 '17 at 7:50

In Windows 10 the Task Manager has become much more beautiful, but it has also lost some information.

The Task Manager of Windows 7 has distinguished between Application Name and Process Name. While the later is derived from the executable file-name, the Application Name is either derived from the title of the main top-level window of the application, or is specified when the process was launched (see in the CreateProcess API the parameter lpApplicationName).

In your case, the parent of all the processes you cite is svchost.exe, which is the process charged with the launching of system services. Apparently, in Windows 10 it makes an effort to give the started service a better application-name. This is an improvement over Windows 7, where svchost was a black box requiring manipulations to identify a wasteful service.

To summarize, two processes with the same executable can have different application-names specified by invocation or by execution.

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  • Thanks! But from where did the .mca file name come? – Biswapriyo Jun 3 '17 at 13:23
  • 1
    @Biswa it's not necessarily a file - what you see is the process' command line. The name is clearly autogenerated. This looks like some unique temporary name (whether it's of a file, Object Manager object, named pipe or something else) that Task Scheduler service and backgroundTaskHost.exe use to communicate with each other. – ivan_pozdeev Jun 3 '17 at 15:43

backgroundTaskHost.exe is the process that starts background tasks. So Cortana and the other Microsoft app registered a background task which is now started by Windows.

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  • this includes the name of the task that needs to run – magicandre1981 May 24 '17 at 15:06
  • appx is the installer format of the new store apps since Windows 8.1. please do some research on your own and use google. – magicandre1981 May 24 '17 at 15:15
  • I have no idea, this is not documented by Microsoft. – magicandre1981 May 27 '17 at 7:56
  • maybe it is a kind of hash to identify the task, but I don't know if this is correct. – magicandre1981 May 27 '17 at 8:39

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