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 aim.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.
The process known as AOL Instant Messenger or AOL Instant Messenger (SM) belongs to software AOL Instant Messenger or AIM Ad Hack or AIMutation or Earthlink Instant Messenger by America Online (www.aol.com) or AOL (www.aol.com).
Description: Aim.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The aim.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\ (generally C:\Program Files\AIM\).
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 67,160 bytes (41% of all occurrences), 67,112 bytes and 6 more variants.
The program has a visible window. The file is not a Windows system file. The program can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. The file is a Verisign signed file. The aim.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The application listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\RunServices, MACHINE\Run, DEFAULT\Run). Therefore the technical security rating is 7% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify aim.exe related errors
If aim.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, the security rating is 76% dangerous. The file size is 1,323,520 bytes (61% of all occurrences), 626,688 bytes or 583,680 bytes. The file is a file with no information about its developer. The application starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\RunServices, MACHINE\Run, DEFAULT\Run). The aim.exe file is not a Windows system file. The program has no visible window. It is an unknown file in the Windows folder. Aim.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, hide itself and monitor applications.
External information from Paul Collins:
Important: Some malware camouflages itself as aim.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example WORM_RBOT.GEW (detected by TrendMicro), and Backdoor:Win32/Rbot.gen or Backdoor:Win32/Sdbot (detected by Microsoft). Therefore, you should check the aim.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.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with aim. 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 aim.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.