What are PickerHost.exe error messages and how to remove them?

January 28, 2019 |

greater than 8 minutes

We have to assume you ended up on this page because you received an error message of this form or a notification (with one of the following key terms):

  • The file PickerHost.exe is missing or corrupt.
  • Something wrong with PickerHost.exe.
  • exe is not running
  • exe runtime error
  • Cannot find PickerHost.exe.
  • exe windows error
  • Error starting program: PickerHost.exe
  • This process has failed to start because the PickerHost.exe configuration is incorrect
  • High CPU usage PickerHost.exe
  • Faulting Application Path: PickerHost.exe

PickerHost.exe is a system program file. It typically resides in the %SYSTEM% folder on system disks. As far as we can tell, the file first appeared in Windows 8. You can also find it in newer versions of Windows like Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

Files that have the .exe extension are usually executable files. PickerHost.exe is no different. Windows can run executable files, which typically contain a specific set of instructions or code needed to carry out operations for programs.

Why is PickerHost.exe missing?

System files like PickerHost.exe sometimes go missing in unexplainable events. A rogue program on your computer might have deleted the PickerHost.exe file on your disk without your express permission or knowledge. Perhaps, you were the user who authorized its removal mistakenly (or unknowingly). It is difficult to say.

Certain classes of malicious programs are notorious for deleting essential system files. Therefore, the activities of viruses and malware (if they exist) on your device might have something to do with the PickerHost.exe file disappearing.

The file actually might not be gone entirely. It might have been moved from one folder to another, but since Windows is unlikely to know the new directory housing the file, an error comes up to tell you that something is wrong.

What is PickerHost.exe runtime error?

By definition, runtime errors are errors that occur while a program is running or they are the kind of errors that come up during a program’s execution. From this, it is easy to infer that PickerHost.exe runtime errors typically come during the execution of PickerHost.exe (an executable).

Users hardly ever set out to run PickerHost.exe on their devices. Windows (being your operating system) runs the file on your behalf. Windows might run PickerHost.exe while your system is starting up, or it might execute the file when your computer is stable.

The vast majority of PickerHost.exe runtime error messages are a result of Windows being unable to locate the file to execute it. Other times, the PickerHost.exe file might be corrupted, which means Windows cannot run it properly.

Certain consequences are associated with the disappearance of the PickerHost.exe file. Windows might become unable to start up, or it might struggle to load program files and processes. When Windows is unable to start up due to an error, users generally find it difficult to resolve the error in view.

Interestingly, users are sometimes entirely blameless in regards to PickerHost.exe error messages and problems. The error is known to come up due to bugs in Windows code. In that case, poor programming on Microsoft’s part is at fault.

Issues with the PickerHost.exe file might also be a consequence of other events (some of which are beyond your control). Software conflicts, for example, which typically involve disagreements and inconsistencies in operations between one or more applications, plug-ins, extensions, and so on.

How to get rid of Pickerhost.exe error messages?

Given the reason you ended up on this page, it is time we moved on to show you how to resolve PickerHost.exe errors and fix related problems. You have to go through the solutions below in the order we have outlined them.

  1. Use System Restore:

Earlier, we described some events where the PickerHost.exe file goes missing. We also reflected on some scenarios where the same file might become corrupted. We, however, understood the uncertainty associated with the proposed possibilities—It is far too difficult to figure out what exactly went wrong with the PickerHost.exe file.

Therefore, your best chance at resolving the problem involves you returning your PC to an old state (one where the events leading up the error or issue are yet to occur). With the System Restore app on Windows, you can take your computer back in time easily. Follow the instructions below:

  • Hit the Windows button on your computer’s keyboard. The Windows Start menu screen will come up. Type Restore into the text field available to perform a quick search.

Click on the first result you see (the System Restore app or Create a restore point) or hit the Enter key to run it.

Windows might display a small dialog box, where you have to click on the Yes button to confirm this operation. You might also have to type in the password for the Administrator account on your device.

  • The System Restore Wizard should be up by now. At this point, you must follow the on-screen instructions to complete the operations. The steps from here on vary for different iterations of Windows, so we have decided to leave them out and let you figure them out yourself.
  • Generally, Windows will ask you to choose a specific restore point from the available ones. We recommend that you go with the oldest one (if possible). This way, you get to ensure that your PC gets restored to a period where the factors, programs, or issues that cause PickerHost.exe errors are non-existent.
  • If you are running a recent version of Windows (like Windows 8.1 or Windows 10), you can click on the Scan for affected programs button to find out which applications might suffer significant changes.
  • Once you are done choosing your preferred parameters, click on the Yes button. System Restore will initiate the necessary operations, and the restoration process will commence.

If everything goes well, your system will eventually restart. Afterward, you can check if the issues affecting the PickerHost.exe file are still in play.

  1. Fix your system files using the SFC tool:

If the PickerHost.exe error came up due to the file being corrupted, then operations involving the System File Checker (SFC) might provide you with a decent reprieve. The System File Checker utility is commonly accessed through codes executed in an elevated Command Prompt window.

The tool works by scanning your system files to identify modified or corrupted items. The utility then moves on to replace the damaged files with decent copies. Go through these steps to use it:

  • First, you have to open a Command Prompt window with administrative rights (also known as an elevated Command Prompt window). There are many ways to do this, but the best path for your device is determined by what version of Windows it is running.
  • This method works fine on all versions of Windows:

Bring up the Windows Start menu screen by clicking on the Windows Start icon (that is often visible on your desktop screen). Type cmd into the text field present to perform a quick search for this keyword.

Right-click on the first result that shows up to see some options. Click on Run as administrator.

  • This method is a faster way of doing the same thing, but it applies only to devices running Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10:

Bring up the Power User menu by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your device’s keyboard, then moving on to tap the letter X key. From the list of programs or options displayed, select Command Prompt (Admin).

  • Once you have got the Command Prompt: Administrator program window up and running, you can type in the following code: sfc /scannow
  • Tap the Enter button. Windows should execute the code. Wait until your system completes all the operations. They might take a while, so be patient. If Windows instructs you to perform any task, please do as requested to ensure the success of the operations.
  • At the end of it all, you must verify that the PickerHost.exe problems have been resolved. If the same issues persist, we recommend you restart your PC and recheck the state of things.

If the System File Checker tool fails to do enough to get the PickerHost.exe file in order, you have to do other scans using the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) utility. Restart your system and take note of the changes that have occurred. You can also redo the scan using the SFC tool anyway and see if things improve.

  1. Update Windows on your device:

If you are still struggling to resolve the PickerHost.exe problem at this point, we have reason to believe that the issue in your case has something to do with bugs in your build of Windows. In other words, if the system restoration operations and scans using the file-repair tools fail to do enough, we can safely assume you went about trying to resolve the problem the wrong way.

To this end, the appropriate solution requires you to download and install all the available Windows updates. Microsoft is likely to have patched up the problematic bug in a specific update, but your system, apparently, is not running that update.

These instructions will guide you to check for updates:

  • Tap the Windows Start button on your computer’s keyboard. You can also click on the Windows Start icon. The destination is the same (Windows Start menu screen).

Type in and search for the following keyword: Update

  • From the results list, you have to click on Check for Updates or Windows Update. You should end up on the Windows Update menu or screen. There, you should see the Check for updates button.

Click on it.

  • We have to assume your system is currently connected to the internet. Windows will contact Microsoft servers to find out what updates your PC lacks. Your system will display the updates (the ones that apply to your device).
  • You have to download and install the updates, then allow Windows to restart. Your system is supposed to prompt you with a reboot request anyway. However, if the dialog box fails to show up, you must initiate the restart operation on your own.

A reboot is often required to round up the installation operations for an update. So, you must check if things are now fine with the PickerHost.exe file only after Windows restarts.

Other things to try to fix PickerHost.exe errors and similar issues on Windows devices

If you had no luck with the solutions we recommended above, then you might begin to ask yourself, how can I download Pickerhost.exe files?

Well, we advise against the downloading of system files from the web. The risks involved are far too great, and there is no guarantee the downloaded file will work for you. To be precise, the chances of the downloaded file resolving the problem are quite slim, which means you might end up spending a reasonable amount of time and effort on a needless venture.

  1. Do a clean boot:

You are better off doing a clean boot to see if the errors associated with the missing or corrupted PickerHost.exe file come up there. If the issues are absent in the controlled environment provided by the clean boot, you have more or less confirmed that external influences (programs or processes) are responsible for the problem.

In that case, all you have to do is test your system programs and processes until you identify the culprit.

  1. Perform scans for viruses and malware:

We included this operation as the last thing on the list because the chances of malicious programs being responsible for the issue in view are relatively wide and few. Well, if you are yet to fix the problem, it cannot hurt to perform extensive scans for viruses and malware. You have exhausted the standard fixes, after all.

Open your antivirus, go to its scan menu, then select the Full or Complete scan option. Choose all the relevant parameters that ensure your antivirus performs the most intensive scan operation it is capable of running. If you get rid of malicious items successfully, you might just stop experiencing issues with the PickerHost.exe file.


If you do not have an antivirus app installed on your computer, you can install Auslogics Anti-Malware and use this program to scan for threats. If you already performed a scan using your antivirus, you can still download and run the recommended application (especially if you are not satisfied with the results you obtained). You lose nothing by attempting to confirm things.


Share it:
Do you like this post?
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)