Modern Setup Host, also known as SetupHost.exe, is a core component of the Windows Operating System. It’s a system process which prepares your computer for updates and facilitates the system setup when you upgrade your OS newer version (i.e. Windows 11 20H1 to 20H2 or Win10 to Win11).

What Is Modern Setup Host?

Here are some key points about Modern Setup Host:

  • You’ll find it on any Windows computer, regardless of the version or build, since Windows 8
  • The most common use of the Modern Setup Host is to prepare your computer to install Windows updates
  • Modern Setup Host runs automatically when you’re installing a minor or major Windows update
  • SetupHost.exe (Modern Setup Host) should not be deleted because without it you may be unable to update your PC to the latest operating system.
  • You’ll find the Modern Setup Host file in the C:/$Windows.~BT/Sources folder of your computer’s local disk.
  • It is a self-initiating executable setup file; you cannot start it manually unless there’s a Windows update ready to be installed.

modern setup host in task manager

Is the Modern Setup Host File Safe?

  • Microsoft is the developer of the Modern Setup Host file, so it’s safe to have it on your computer.
  • However, a virus or malware can disguise itself as the setuphost.exe file on your PC.
  • Downloading the setup file from unofficial sources or third-party websites put you at the risk of installing a virus-ridden Modern Setup Host on your computer.

If you notice high CPU usage by Modern Setup Host, it’s usually because it’s in the midst of an update. However, if the CPU utilization remains high even after the update is complete, you might need to troubleshoot. Some common solutions include running the Windows Update Troubleshooter and resetting Windows Update by:

  1. Stopping the Windows Update Service
  2. Deleting C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution folder
  3. Stopping the Windows Update Service


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