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Definition of CLSID

A Class Identifier, or CLSID, is a globally unique identifier that identifies a COM class object. In the realm of computing, if you're working with Microsoft Windows operating systems, you're likely to encounter CLSIDs. They are crucial for enabling various software components to communicate with each other smoothly, without any conflict, by providing a unique 'identity' to each component.

Origin of CLSID

CLSIDs are part of the Component Object Model (COM), a Microsoft strategic building-block technology for component software introduced in the early 1990s. COM has been an integral part of software development on Windows, allowing developers to create modular programs that can evolve over time without requiring changes to the entire application.

Practical Application of CLSID

One of the most common practical applications of CLSID is the integration of new software components into existing applications. For example, when you install additional features or updates to software on your Windows operating system, CLSIDs ensure that these new components are properly registered and can interact with the system and other applications without disrupting functionality.

Benefits of CLSID

The use of CLSIDs provides a robust way to manage and reference the vast number of software components that can exist on a Windows system. They help maintain a standardized method of accessing and executing software components, thus ensuring compatibility and reducing the likelihood of errors. CLSIDs also play a significant role in maintaining the security and integrity of the system by managing permissions at a component level.


In Windows, a CLSID is used to uniquely identify a software component within the system. It is used by the operating system to locate and load the correct component when required.

While CLSIDs themselves are not a security risk, they can be used by malicious software to disguise itself as a legitimate component. Therefore, it's important to have proper security measures and to be cautious when dealing with unknown CLSIDs.

CLSIDs are usually found in the system registry. They can be accessed using the Windows Registry Editor or through various software development tools that interact with COM objects.


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