When I noticed that opening many tabs (10 to 20) in Google Chrome took an increased time with every new one I looked into Process Hacker and discovered 169 csrss.exe processes. I've never seen that many before, what could be the cause and is it a problem?

See my list of processes and System Information using DxDiag.

Edit: When restarting Windows I noticed that there were updates pending to be installed, not sure if that's related. After restarting I only have csrss.exe running two times, back to normal I guess. Looking at the Event Log didn't reveal anything either.

1 Answer 1


Some process is launching all these csrss.exe instances, figure out which.

You can sort them into a process tree using Process Explorer, then figure out the parent of them.

  • I used Process Hacker which displays even more information and it showed the csrss.exe processes as top level nodes in its tree.
    – magnoz
    Nov 2, 2011 at 23:39
  • @magnoz: Can you try to sort them by PID and tell me the lowest numbers, the process that launched them will have a lower PID than the majority of them so that is another way to figure it out. What is that conhost.exe doing there? Can you see the command line that was used to launch those csrss.exe processes? As a side note, Process Explorer actually displays more information but you have to turn the individual columns on. Enabling all those relevant might give further clues, perhaps looking into the thread information to see which functions were called too... Nov 3, 2011 at 0:19
  • Thx for the hint with PIDs, I'll keep that in mind. Luckily/unfortunately I can't reproduce the problem - as soon as I restarted everything has been back to normal since (csrss is only running two times now). And as for the conhost I currently have it running three times, all having csrss as parent. But I don't have any console window opened...
    – magnoz
    Nov 5, 2011 at 13:55
  • @magnoz: Then you might want to investigate these. See if Process Explorer / Process Hacker provides you with more information, or you could look at all the various things that can load on boot using Autoruns. Nov 5, 2011 at 15:12

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