Client/Server Runtime Subsystem

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Client/Server Runtime Subsystem, or csrss.exe, is a component of the Windows NT family of operating systems that provides the user mode side of the Win32 subsystem and is included in Windows NT 4 and later.

Malware hoaxes[edit]

There are numerous virus hoaxes that claim that csrss.exe is malware and should be removed to prevent damage to the system- these are false, as removing csrss.exe or killing the csrss.exe process will result in a Blue Screen of Death.


The Windows NT 3.x series of releases had placed the Graphics Device Interface component in CSRSS, but this was moved into kernel mode with Windows NT 4.0 to improve graphics performance.[1] The Windows startup process has changed significantly since Vista. Two instances of csrss.exe are running in Windows 7 and Vista.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Windows NT 4.0 Kernel mode change". MS Windows NT Kernel-mode User and GDI White Paper. Microsoft. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  2. ^ "Inside the Windows Vista Kernel – Startup Processes". Inside the Windows Vista Kernel – Startup Processes. Microsoft. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 

External links[edit]