What is ehtray.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 ehtray.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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Ehtray.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ehtray
Ehtray.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Media Center Tray Applet or Windows Media Center belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: Ehtray.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Ehtray.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 125,952 bytes (34% of all occurrences), 64,512 bytes and 10 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. The software starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run, User Shell Folders, MACHINE\User Shell Folders). The ehtray.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 14% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify ehtray.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

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

My computer started back up on its own after i put it in sleep mode just short of exactly 2am. went to check the running processes and ehtray.exe was using the processor on and off for around 20sec then terminated itself. Not sure what I just witnessed but it seems suspect...
  Sean R  
Trojan-GameThief.Win32.Nilage.ipj has infected ehtray.exe
From what I have read about it online after visiting many sites via Google Search, I came to conslusion that it IS SAFE & not harmful to your PC in anyway! It is also a part of Windows Media Center. There is no reason to remove it or disable it. Also, if you disable it- most of the time the "Volume Control Buttons" on your Keyboard will be Disabled. My Norton 360- 2011 Pro. rates it as a "Green Level" SAFE File & says that Millions+ of users have this file on their computers & it is NOT a risk at all. The link I attached to the "Link" field goes to Google & is a search for "ehtray.exe".
  Greg G   (further information)
Shows an On-Screen Volume Display (Green Bar). For/from XP Media Center Edition. Non-essential and can be removed.
Like Alagarath says... Among other things, it does appear to control the on-screen volume display on my HPDV6000/MediaCtr. I removed it from Startup resulting in no on-screen display. I read Alagarath's post here, re-added this exe at start-up, and my on-screen works again. I also see from these posts the cause of the screensaver freezes.
Tray bar process for the Microsoft Media Center. (Desktop Audio Volume Indicator and Remote Control)
  Raymond   (further information)
For error messages: If you've changed the drive letter of your "Recorded TV" folder, ehtray.exe will give errors until you correct it in Media Center (Setup-TV-Recordings)
For HTPC essential
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ehtray.exe: based on 29 votes with 9 reviews. 6 users think ehtray.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. 13 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger. One user thinks ehtray.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. 17 users don't grade ehtray.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving ehtray issues

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

ehtray.exe [all]