The “Shell infrastructure Host has stopped working” error is a known bug that Windows users have been struggling with for quite some time, especially when trying to log in to their guest accounts.
In most cases, the alert keeps popping up regardless of how many times you close the window, as long as you’re still logged in to your Guest Account. The interesting thing is that this error does not affect your main account.
Till this date, Microsoft has not released an official fix yet, but our technical team investigated this issue and have come up with various workarounds on how to fix Windows 10 Shell Infrastructure critical error.
What is Shell Infrastructure Host?
The Shell Infrastructure Host, also known as the sihost.exe process, is a core component of the Windows Operating System, which executes in the background, and can only be terminated via Task Manager.
The process is responsible for running several Windows features, including the Start menu, context menu, and Action Center, etc. This means that deleting this file would seriously affect the functionality of the Windows OS.
The genuine sihost.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
If the sihost.exe file is defective or obsolete, it can cause a myriad of problems for your PC ranging from sluggishness to error messages such as:
- Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Please close the program.
- Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working. Windows is checking for a solution to the problem…
- Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working. A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.
How to Fix ‘Shell Infrastructure Host Has Stopped Working’ in Windows 10
Solution 1: Reinstall Microsoft Redistributable Packages
According to some users, uninstalling every Microsoft Redistributable Package and then reinstalling them helped to get rid of the ‘Shell Infrastructure has stopped working’ error.
To do so:
- Press the Windows Key+R, and type appwiz.cpl in the “Run” window.
- Press “Enter” to open the “Programs and Features” window in Control Panel.
- When you scroll down through the list of installed programs, you’ll see the Microsoft Redistributable Packages appearing several times. Uninstall every single one of them by right-clicking on the program and selecting “Uninstall”.
- Once you’ve finished uninstalling all of them, restart your computer.
- Now visit Microsoft Download Center, and install the latest release of the Microsoft Redistributable Packages.
- When you’re done, restart your system and check if the “Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working” error appears once you log in to the guest account.
If you don’t see the error, it means you have resolved the issue and you should use your guest account as usual. However, if you get the alert messages again, try the next fix.
Solution 2: Create a New Guest Account
A Guest Account is useful in situations where you have to share your Windows device with someone else, and you don’t want them to have administrative privileges. This means they can’t make changes to the system, including installing and uninstalling programs, due to the limited access.
However, Guest Account is no longer available in Windows 10, but you can still create a Guest Account by following the steps outlined below:
- Go to “Start”, and open “Settings”.
- Click Accounts > Family & other users (you will see “Other Users” in some Windows editions).
- Choose the “Add someone else to this PC” option, and then select the “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information” link.
- Next, open the link that says “Add a user without a Microsoft account”.
- Enter an appropriate user name and password. If you’re using Windows 10, version 1803 and later, you’ll be asked to add security questions and answers to help you recover the password if you forget it.
- Select “Next”. This process creates a new guest account that should work without problems.
Solution 3: Perform an SFC scan
Like we mentioned above, the Shell Infrastructure Host is a critical Windows component that, if corrupted, makes it highly likely that you’ll receive the error messages whenever you log in to your guest account.
For this reason, performing an SFC scan can help resolve the issue.
- Go to “Start” and type command prompt.
- Right-click the top result, which should be “Command Prompt”, and click “Run as administrator”.
- On the “Command Prompt” window, just after the blinking cursor, type sfc /scannow, and then press “Enter”.
The scan may take a while, and the sfc.exe process will find and replace missing or corrupted system files. Restart your system, and then log in to your guest account and see if you will still receive the “Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working” error message.
Solution 4: Using System Restore
By default, Windows creates a system restore point periodically. Likewise, the Windows OS will also create a restore point when it detects major changes happening to your system, such as when Windows updates are installing.
The restore points come in handy in cases where the installation of any program goes wrong and the system malfunctions or if certain software causes unexpected changes to your system.
To restore your computer back to a point when everything was working normally, use the guide below:
- Open the “Start” menu, and type restore point.
- Choose “Create a restore point”, and then click the “System restore” button. Alternatively, press the Windows Key+R, and type rstrui.exe.
- Click “Next”, and then pick a restore point that you want to restore your computer to. Check the “Show more restore points” checkbox for more options.
- Confirm all the details, and then click “Finish”.
- Click “Yes” in the pop-up window that appears to allow the process to begin.
Windows will prepare your computer to be restored, and when it restarts, you’ll see a message confirming that your system has been successfully restored.
Since you will have undone the changes that were probably causing the “Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working” error on Windows 10, you should now be able to use your Guest Account without interruptions.
Could it be a Malware Attack?
The sihost.exe is an executable file, which means that malware developers can create malware and use the sihost.exe file name to conceal their true identities, thereby infecting your PC without detection.
The sihost.exe file should be located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, and if it isn’t, you should immediately remove it from your computer since it’s a fake file, and most probably some form of malware.
Malware is notoriously known to change or manipulate other applications, and if not promptly removed, your whole system may crash. Plus, cybercriminals can get their hands on your personal information and use it to steal your money.
Due to the stealth nature of modern malware, it’s imperative that you use an equally strong malware removal tool such as Auslogics Anti-Malware. The tool is equipped with advanced technology which makes it difficult for any type of malicious items to infiltrate your computer without detection.
The tool will scan your system with precision and quarantine any suspicious files or programs. The Auslogics Anti-Malware software operates in real-time, which means that malware will be blocked before it gets a chance to infect your files.
We hope you find this tutorial useful in fixing ‘Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working’ in Windows 10. If you have other suggestions or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.