What is autoruns.exe?

The genuine autoruns.exe file is a software component of Autostart Program Viewer by Sysinternals. This executable is a Sysinternals untility that allows the user to see what programs and processes are set to start automatically with the operating system. User controls are included to modify these processes. Autoruns is commonly packaged with 72 other utilities that perform a variety of system actions for Windows. Originally called Winternals, Sysinternals was acquired by Microsoft in 2006 and is now part of Microsoft TechNet.

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 autoruns.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 autoruns.exe related errors

Autoruns.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with autoruns
Autoruns.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Autostart program viewer belongs to software Sysinternals autoruns or Autostart program viewer or Sysinternals Utilities by Sysinternals - ( or Microsoft ( or Sysinternals (

Description: Autoruns.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Autoruns.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Documents and Settings". Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 398,912 bytes (20% of all occurrences), 621,368 bytes and 13 more variants. 
The program has a visible window. The autoruns.exe file is not a Windows system file. The autoruns.exe file is digitally signed. Autoruns.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 9% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
You can uninstall Sysinternals Utilities or HijackThis, or ask Support team for help. Go to Sysinternals Utilities or HijackThis in the Windows Control Panel (Software or Programs section) to uninstall it, or go to for Customer Support.

Recommended: Identify autoruns.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as autoruns.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the autoruns.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

autoruns.exe is a process associated with Sysinternals autoruns from Sysinternals
  Robert   (further information)

Summary: Average user rating of autoruns.exe: based on 2 votes with 1 user comment. 2 users think it's probably harmless.

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Best practices for resolving autoruns issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with autoruns. 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 doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, 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 autoruns.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

autoruns.exe [all]