How to Fix “COM Surrogate has stopped working” Error On Windows

The “COM Surrogate has stopped working” error is one that plagues many Windows computers. This guide will help you fix it and get back to using your computer!

This is normally caused by having an application that uses Microsoft’s legacy Visual Basic 6 runtimes (VB6Run.exe).

These applications are compiled in VB6 which means they’re not compatible with modern versions of Windows (XP, Vista, etc) and will need to be updated or replaced.

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Fortunately for you, most of these applications have been updated already to work on newer systems!

Fix “COM Surrogate has stopped working” Error

How do I fix it? The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that your antivirus program isn’t the cause of the problem.

Virus checkers like Avast! will often disable COM Surrogate as a false positive because this file can sometimes be used for malicious purposes (like running software on Windows 98).

Once you’ve confirmed that your virus scanner isn’t what’s causing the problem, proceed with these steps:

Step 1: Uninstall or disable your virus scanner

This step is simple. If you have a virus scanner running, it will continue to prevent COM Surrogate from starting, even after you’ve fixed the problem with whatever software was causing this issue in the first place.

This means that if you have an antivirus program that is blocking com surrogates from loading, then remove it and stop using it until the COM Surrogate has been fixed.

In Windows 10/8/7, open the Start menu. Type ‘Uninstall a program and click the result.

On older versions of Windows, jump to Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a Program.

You may have to remove more than one antivirus application before COM Surrogate works again.

Step 2: Search for VB6Run.exe or another Visual Basic 6 runtime

If you’re not sure which software is breaking COM Surrogate, some detective work will be required.

Luckily there are free tools available online that can help us locate the executable in question! If you are using Windows 10/8/7, download Process Explorer.

Run it as an administrator (right-click on it and choose “Run as Administrator”) and click the “Find” button on the toolbar.

Enter VB6RUN.EXE or another Visual Basic 6 RunTime filename in the top window, then browse to your C:\Windows\ folder.

If it’s not located here, try browsing to your C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ folder instead.

If you don’t have these folders, check for any .exe files that are named after a program that has stopped working with COM Surrogate – they’re much more likely to be what you’re looking for!

Step 3: Move or Delete the offending file

Once you’ve found which file is breaking COM Surrogate, simply delete it or it out of its folder!

Step 4: Restart your computer

Once you’ve removed the file, restarting Windows will resolve the problem.

If that has no effect or isn’t possible, try restarting your computer to make sure it restarts correctly.

If nothing works… If nothing in this guide has helped you fix COM Surrogate, please leave a comment below! I’ll do my best to help you out personally.

How Can I prevent this error from occurring again?

The best way to prevent this error from occurring again in the future is to check if your applications are compatible with modern versions of Windows.

I have provided a list below of software that is known to cause COM Surrogate errors when they are run on Windows 10/8/7, so you can avoid them until updates are released!

If the software listed below isn’t being used on your PC, then there’s no need to worry about preventing the “COM Surrogate has stopped working” error.

List of Applications that Break COM Surrogate:

VB6Run.exe – Microsoft Visual Basic 6 Runtime MSVBVM60.DLL – Visual Basic 6 runtime msvbvm50.dll – Visual Basic 5 runtime – (needed by vb6run.exe)

msvcrt.dll, msvcirt.dll, msvcp60.dll  – Visual C runtime MSVCRTD.DLL – Microsoft Libraries for Visual Studio 2K3 MSJET40.DLL – JET Engine 32-bit ODBC Driver VB6INTL.DLL – Visual Basic runtimes.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 What is COM Surrogate?

COM Surrogate is a Windows service that provides additional support for programs built with Visual Basic 6, which was initially created in 1998 and last updated in 2002.
It allows these programs to run correctly on computers running more recent versions of Windows (post-XP).

My software isn’t compatible with newer versions of Windows, but I can’t find any help online. What do I do now?

Software compatibility problems are complex issues that require different solutions depending on the program involved – it’s not possible to provide generic troubleshooting steps like those above without knowing what the problem is!
However, if you believe your program to be incompatible with modern versions of Windows, please leave a comment below so I can help you.

The steps above have stopped the “COM Surrogate has stopped working” error from occurring, but my software still doesn’t work properly. What do I do next?

Assuming your program is compatible with modern versions of Windows, try running it outside of a sandboxed environment.
Sandboxing is an additional security feature that blocks any new programs from running correctly – if your program can run successfully outside of sandboxes then it’s going to be on its own when executed inside one!
This requires some more advanced troubleshooting skills on your side, which you may not be able to accomplish on your own. If this is not an option, please leave a comment below so I can help you.

I’m getting the COM Surrogate error when I try to run an executable file, rather than in my software! What’s wrong?

A. Sometimes errors like this can occur when Windows believes that your executable is corrupted or malicious, in which case it will prevent it from running correctly.
If you think this might be the problem, try right-clicking on your executable and choosing “Properties” – if there’s an option labelled “Digital Signatures”, choose one of the options to mark it as trustworthy (usually by selecting “Signer’s Certificate has been verified”).
This should allow you to execute your program without any problems! If not, please leave a comment below so I can help you.

Can you tell me more about COM Surrogate?

Not really – Microsoft’s website is notoriously difficult to navigate, and finding information on what exactly COM Surrogate is or does without searching for it specifically is very difficult (at least for me).

 I have the latest version of my software installed, but that hasn’t fixed the COM Surrogate error! What now?

Some software has trouble working with Windows 10 because it doesn’t support older technologies – where possible, try upgrading your programs to their most recent versions. If this isn’t an option, please leave a comment so I can help you out.


I hope the information above helps you to fix your “COM Surrogate has stopped working” error message. If it doesn’t, please leave a comment below so I can help you solve the problem!

Don’t forget to tell me what program is giving you problems – that should drastically reduce the time it takes for me to help you out.

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