What is cmd.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 cmd.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 cmd.exe related errors

Cmd.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with cmd
Cmd.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Command Processor or Stub belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or wyflEMBhddchRY by Microsoft (

Description: The original cmd.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Cmd.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 302,592 bytes (26% of all occurrences), 388,608 bytes and 35 more variants. 
It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 13% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If problems with JDs Auto Speed Tester or Autodesk DWF Viewer come up, you can also safely remove the program using the uninstall program of (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify cmd.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is cmd.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true cmd.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Windows Command Processor". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are e.g. FakeAlert-AB (detected by McAfee), and Trojan.Generic.2911752 (detected by F-Secure).
To ensure that no rogue cmd.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

Important: Some malware disguises itself as cmd.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the cmd.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

I think it has to do with running different screen resolutions temporarily. (I closed my laptop and when I opened it up again the resolution was smaller than normal. So small in fact, that I had to scroll to see all of the screen. I noticed that this program was running while this was happening. I closed my laptop, opened it up again and the glitch fixed itself and was back to normal. cmd.exe process was still there. I'm not positive if it has to do with resolution, but that's all that I can tell.
this file about ms-dos in windows in run
  amarkamaj   (further information)
ms-dos command prompt
it keeps popping up everytime the internet is connected, after infected
combat error caused by cmd
  p kuchiba  
It started to trigger after infection by svcipa.exe in a drive by. Zone Alarm alerted me about that and i dealt with it but now cmd.exe keeps triggering when opening apps etc which is very annoying but it seems to be a signed MicroSoft file not malware although it didn't start playing up until after the drive by infection. I have decided to use Winrar to archive it and delete the file after archive creation, this way it cannot do anything while Rar'd and i can replace it if necessary. more info about what triggered this in link.
It is a very professional comand program to have quicker access to "exe" stuff
This is an MS-DOS style command interpreter which was used before the days of Windows when everything was text based. It's kept in Windows for backward compatibility and is totally harmless. That said, viruses using it can cause damage as can malicious applications using it - but the file itself is not a virus.
  Old Dosser  
If you see this process running but no console window it visible, then it may be executing a batch script (.bat extension) which may do anything, either useful or dangerous. Use a program like Process Explorer to determine which process started cmd.exe and (through the command line) what script (if any) it is running. Then see that batch file to determine what that specific instance of cmd.exe does. Also check through netstat that cmd.exe's I/O is not redirected to a network connection, because if it does, then this connection can be used to remotely control your computer, which is dangerous.
Laptop was very slow and when I checked resource allocation I found that cmd.exe was using 90% of resources. I stopped application running and performance improved hugely. There seems to be no other effect on screen.
I think it is dangerous- It popped up in my process task bar and I would have to delete about 20 od them at a time out of my task manager. I would hear the hard drive working really hard like it was downloading something really big, when I would hit Ctrl-Alt-Del there would be 20 or 30 and still adding them in. I would start ending process on them till the last one and when I got the last one my hard drive would quit spinning and it would go from 97 processes to 63 or so.
  Jackie waldrop  
it is the same thing as command prompt... it is not dangerous
Cmd.exe is what windows uses as its Back-Up plan when it is taking longer to complete an operation. Yes, normally you do not see this. This is ok. You do not need to worry about your computer still being infected. Cmd.exe is known as MS-DOS or Command Prompt, which is located in Programs Accessories. It is called MS-DOS in Microsoft operating systems of Windows XP and under. It is called Command Prompt in Windows Vista and up. AGAIN: you do not need to worry about cmd.exe
It's the windows command prompt
  Ryan   (further information)
I think it's good and you need it, and if it's not where it should be, get rid of it.
As people have said, CMD.exe is the windows command prompt. But it is a tool like any other, and can be used by malware to execute malicious commands.
I think it is related with floppy disk drive.
MS-DOS Command Prompt
connection with games
it keeps my cpu usage high and my pc become very heat
When I turn my laptop on, I see a window, at the top reads CMD.exe. I don't remember how it reads inside the box but I'm being told its requiring me to enter a command. Nothing I've been told to enter will change things. It won't allow me to do anything else. I can open Windows in safe mode but can't do much else. I can't even access the internet.
In Win integriert...
It's command prompt
to clean the virus in my blackberry
it started popping up recently, in a context where my laptop got infected by several viruses susch as MyStartsearch, IStartseach, MyBrowser, etc: a MS-Dos command like window pops up during booting bearing the tittle "C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe", and in the box this information: "Réussite: la valeur spécifiée a été enregistrée" ("Success: the specified value had been registered"), and then disappears

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of cmd.exe: based on 41 votes with 25 user comments. 28 users think cmd.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 7 users suspect danger. 3 users think cmd.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 9 users don't grade cmd.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving cmd issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with cmd. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon 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 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the cmd.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity 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. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

cmd.exe [all]