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6 Ways to Fix the “Shell Infrastructure Host Has Stopped Working” Error on Windows

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Is your Windows device showing you the “Shell Infrastructure Host has stopped working” error? In most cases, this issue occurs while running apps on a Windows guest account. But why are you encountering this error, and how do you resolve it?

Before we explore the solutions, let’s first understand what the Shell Infrastructure Host is.

What Is the Shell Infrastructure Host?

The Shell Infrastructure Host is one of Windows’ critical tools. It handles several graphical elements related to the Start Menu, Action Center, desktop background slideshows, and more. This tool runs in the background and is named SiHost.exe in the Task Manager.

So, when you bump into the Shell Infrastructure Host error, it likely means the SiHost.exe process has crashed. While the cause for this issue is unclear, the problem likely stems from corrupted or missing system files.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can resolve this problem.

1. Log in to Windows as an Administrator

Person logging in on a PC

For most users, this error usually pops up while using a guest account. So, a quick fix would be to try and log on to your system as the administrator.

If you’re logged on to a guest account, here’s how you can switch to an administrator account:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open the Security options window.
  2. Select Switch User and then follow the on-screen instructions to log in to an Administrator account.

If you’re using someone else’s PC, you could request them to give you administrator access.

2. Create a New Guest Account

Do you prefer not to log in to the system as an administrator? If so, then you can create a new guest account. And if you decide to delete the problematic guest account, make sure to copy or backup your important files first.

Otherwise, here’s how you can create a new guest account on Windows:

  1. Navigate to Win Start Menu > PC Settings > Accounts.
  2. Click Other people on the left-hand side pane.
  3. Next, click on Add someone else to this PC on the right-hand side pane.

Creating a Microsoft Account on Windows

In the next window, click I don’t have this person’s sign-in information. Next, follow these steps to complete setting up the account:

  1. Click Get a new email address and enter your details.
  2. Create a password, fill in your date of birth, and select your country of residence.
  3. Click Next when you finish and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

3. Reinstall or Repair the Microsoft Visual C++ Programs

Your PC is dependent on the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library packages to function properly. When these packages are missing or corrupted, then you’ll likely bump into various system-related issues. In this case, repairing or reinstalling the Microsoft Visual C++ programs could resolve this problem.

Let’s take a look at how you can repair the Microsoft Visual C++ programs:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open the Programs and Features window.
  3. Right-click on each Microsoft Visual C++ program and then select Change.
Reinstalling or Repairing the Microsoft Visual C++ Programs

In the next window, click the Repair button. From there, follow the on-screen instructions and restart your PC when you finish.

Clicking the repair button on a Visual C++ Program

If the issue persists, reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ programs by following these steps:

  1. Open the Programs and Features window as per the previous steps.
  2. Right-click on each Microsoft Visual C++ program and click the Uninstall button.
  3. When you finish, reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ programs from the Microsoft Website.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

4. Configure Your PC’s Startup Settings

The Shell Infrastructure error is likely to pop up depending on how you’ve configured your PC’s startup settings. In this case, we’ll take a look at how the Normal startup and Selective startup settings could help.

First, let’s configure the Normal startup settings. This should load all the device drivers and services whenever you restart your PC.

Now, here’s how you can configure the Normal startup settings:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter to open the System Configuration window.
  3. Navigate to the General tab and select the Normal startup option.
  4. Press Apply and then Press OK.
Configuring the Normal Startup settings

Otherwise, you can configure the Selective startup settings. This should allow you to choose the services you want the system to load whenever your PC boots up.

Here’s how you can configure the Selective startup settings:

  1. Open the System Configuration window as per the previous steps.
  2. Navigate to the General tab and select the Selective startup option.
  3. Next, check the Load system services and the Load startup items boxes below this option.
  4. Click Apply and then click OK to save these changes. Restart your PC when you finish.

Configuring the Selective Startup settings

If the issue persists, here's what you can do:

  1. Open the System Configuration window as per the previous options.
  2. Select the Selective startup option and then check all the boxes below this option.
  3. Click Apply and then click OK.

5. Run Windows’ Troubleshooters

Windows built-in troubleshooters could also help you tackle this issue. If this error is due to system maintenance issues, then the System Maintenance troubleshooter could help. But if the issue is due to hardware-related issues, then you can use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

To get started, let’s take a look at how you can run the System Maintenance troubleshooter:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.
  2. Type msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic and press Enter to open the System Maintenace troubleshooter.
  3. Click the Advanced option and then check the Apply repairs automatically box.
  4. Click Next and follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the process.

Running the System Maintenance Troubleshooter on Windows

If the issue persists, run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to Win Start Menu > PC Settings > Update & Security and then select the Troubleshoot option.
  2. Click the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter on the right-hand side pane and press the Run the troubleshooter button.
Running the Windows Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Follow the on-screen instructions and then restart your PC.

6. Use the SFC Tool

In case this issue is caused by corrupted system files, then the System File Scanner (SFC) tool could help. This tool allows you to find and repair all your PC corrupted files in a few quick steps.

Let’s take a look at how you can run an SFC scan:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run command dialog box.
  2. Type CMD and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

sfc /scannow

When the process is complete, restart your PC and check if this resolves the issue.

Easily Tackle the Windows Shell Infrastructure Host Error

Don’t let the Shell Infrastructure Host error stop you from running your apps. Simply apply any of the fixes we’ve recommended and you should be good to go. And if your third-party apps still run into issues, there are other tonnes of workarounds that you can explore.

admin

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