What is companion.exe?

The genuine companion.exe file is a software component of AOL Companion by AOL.
Companion.exe is an executable file that belongs to the AOL Companion, a program that lets users access all AOL applications installed on the computer. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. AOL Companion is a desktop tool introduced by AOL that provides quick access to AOL services through the Windows desktop. The program lets users browse the Yellow Pages, scan for weather updates, search the Internet, access maps, provides horoscopes and features chat. America Online (AOL) is an American telecommunications company that was established in 1985 by Jim Kimsey. It was originally called Quantum Computer Services and provided online services. AOL Inc. is based in New York City and develops and invests in web sites and brands. AOL distributes digital content, markets products, and offers numerous services to consumers, publishers, and advertisers.

Companion stands for Companion Module

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 companion.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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Companion.exe file information

The process known as Companion Module or AOL Companion belongs to software Companion Module or AOL Companion by America Online (

Description: Companion.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The companion.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" (typically C:\Program Files\AOL Companion\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 250,992 bytes (46% of all occurrences), 229,450 bytes, 221,258 bytes, 217,162 bytes or 13,179,660 bytes. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\User Shell Folders, Run). The file is a file with no information about its developer. Therefore the technical security rating is 30% dangerous.

Recommended: Identify companion.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

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

3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous.

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Best practices for resolving companion issues

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

companion.exe [all]