What is cl.exe?

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 cl.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.

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Cl.exe file information

The process cl.exe has no company information.

Description: Cl.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Cl.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 62,464 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. The program has no file description. The software is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows system file. Therefore the technical security rating is 36% dangerous.

Recommended: Identify cl.exe related errors

If cl.exe is located in a subfolder of Windows folder for temporary files, the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 818,688 bytes. There is no file information. The program has no visible window. Cl.exe is not a Windows core file. Cl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, monitor applications and manipulate other programs.

If cl.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 72% dangerous. The file size is 9,728 bytes. There is no description of the program. It is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The program has no visible window. It is not a Windows core file.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as cl.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Win32:Adware-gen [Adw] (detected by Avast), and Application.Generic.860246 (detected by BitDefender). Therefore, you should check the cl.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.


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Best practices for resolving cl issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with cl. 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 cl.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

cl.exe [all]