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.
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 (25% of all occurrences), 388,608 bytes and 32 more variants.
It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 15% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify cmd.exe related errors
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. Virus.Win32.Virut.ce (detected by Kaspersky), and FakeAlert-AB (detected by McAfee).
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?
If cmd.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 7% dangerous. The file size is 302,592 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 202,240 bytes and 6 more variants. The program is not visible. The cmd.exe file is a Microsoft signed file.
If cmd.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 28% dangerous. The file size is 388,608 bytes (40% of all occurrences), 401,920 bytes, 399,360 bytes or 20,480 bytes. The program is not visible. The cmd.exe file is not a Windows system file. Cmd.exe is a Microsoft signed file.
If cmd.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 58% dangerous. The file size is 17,408 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 25,604 bytes or 36,868 bytes.
If cmd.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 77% dangerous. The file size is 86,016 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 16,384 bytes or 16,896 bytes.
If cmd.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32, the security rating is 100% dangerous. The file size is 696,000 bytes.
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.
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 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 cmd.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.