What is ACU.exe?

The genuine ACU.exe file is a software component of Atheros Client Installation by Atheros Communications.
A network management client from Atheros, this application runs in the background and can be accessed via the system tray. It allows you to create various profiles for your wireless network card as well as configure a number of features pertaining to the hardware. Each individual profile can have different security features and SSID settings. Initially introduced by Atheros, Qualcomm purchased Atheros in 2011. Atheros is now a subsidiary known as Qualcomm Atheros.

ACU stands for Atheros Client Utility

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the ACU.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for ACU.exe related errors

ACU.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ACU
ACU.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Atheros Client Utility or TRENDnet Client Utility

belongs to software Atheros Client Installation or Atheros Driver Installation or Qualcomm Atheros Client Installation or Atheros WLAN Client or D-Link AirPremier Client or D-Link AirPremier Client Installation or 802.11g Driver and Client Applications

by Atheros Communications ( or TRENDnet International.

Description: ACU.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The ACU.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of the user's profile folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 253,952 bytes (25% of all occurrences), 450,648 bytes and 20 more variants. 
There is no description of the program. The ACU.exe file is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). Therefore the technical security rating is 51% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you want to remove the program completely, go to Control Panel ⇒ Software ⇒ Atheros Client Installation or Atheros Client Utility.

Recommended: Identify ACU.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as ACU.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the ACU.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

Konfigurationsprogramm Wireless Karte
  volker   (further information)
Atheros Client Utility may be installed under Program Files as part of support software for a wireless network adapter based on an Atheros chipset and may be marketed under any number of brand names. It will be running when your adapter is in use and should show be accessible via a 'WiFi bars'-type icon in the system tray. As such, it is probably required for normal operation of your wireless adapter, and is harmless. For support you need to contact the OEM or vendor of your device, not Atheros.
Used by Atheros Utility (W-LAN)
acu.exe seems to use up a lot of cpu usage and will be causing my pc to slow down
  avril cunliffe  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ACU.exe: based on 6 votes with 4 user comments. 4 users think ACU.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving ACU issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with ACU. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the ACU.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

ACU.exe [all]