What is GoogleDesktop.exe?

The genuine GoogleDesktop.exe file is a software component of Google Desktop by Google.
GoogleDesktop.exe is an executable file that runs Google Desktop, an application created by Google with search capabilities to quickly find email messages, computer files such as music, photos and documents, and Internet history. The Google Desktop interface also displays plugins known as "Google Gadgets" in a sidebar on the desktop. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. Google Desktop was first released on October 14, 2004 and offered users interactive mini-applications conveniently located on the desktop that showed new email, weather, photos, and personalized news. Extra plugins could also be downloaded from the official website. Google Desktop was, however, discontinued in 2011 as a result of a global shift from local to cloud-based storage, as well as new operating systems providing greater search capabilities rendering the application obsolete. Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph.D. students at Stanford. Google has since grown into one of the biggest companies in the world, offering hundreds of services, including webmail (Gmail), cloud storage (Google Drive), office software (Google Docs) and social networking services (Google+). Alexa, which provides web traffic data, lists Google as the world's most visited website. Its popularity has led to huge media coverage, including a major critique of the company over copyright, censorship, and privacy issues. Google is headquartered in Googleplex, Mountain View, California, USA.

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 GoogleDesktop.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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GoogleDesktop.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with GoogleDesktop
GoogleDesktop.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Google Desktop belongs to software Google Desktop or Google Desktop Search by Google (

Description: GoogleDesktop.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The GoogleDesktop.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 30,192 bytes (31% of all occurrences), 29,744 bytes and 11 more variants. 
GoogleDesktop.exe is not a Windows core file. The program is not visible. It is a Verisign signed file. GoogleDesktop.exe is able to monitor applications, manipulate other programs and record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 30% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You may also do the following:
  1) uninstall Google Desktop from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program
  2) visit the vendor’s support site
  3) look for a new, improved version.

Recommended: Identify GoogleDesktop.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as GoogleDesktop.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the GoogleDesktop.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 have(or had) this running on my laptop(even though I'm typing away on iPod touch)
  Evan Wilson  
Is a virus auto run and block intener explorer 8 run 3 times wen windows start. To distroi go to program files find folder google delet all files is possible the dll files is not posible to remove but work de virus not run any more
disable ssl/tls
yeah it was fuly taking over my computer aye. Got some Viruses. No good for me personally
GoogleDesktop.exe pops up after i have clicked shut down my computer, then i have to click END NOW. Then the computer finally shuts down.
It is the Google Desktop Manager. It only runs when Google Desktop Search needs it. It is not essential for Windows. By default, it is set to Manual (check in the Services Control Panel application), so that it can be run when Google Desktop Search needs it.
  david gunnells   (further information)
in system for 6 months-ok
As withmost googlesearch engines its complertelysafe
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of GoogleDesktop.exe: based on 21 votes with 9 reviews. 11 users think GoogleDesktop.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 3 users think GoogleDesktop.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 4 users don't grade GoogleDesktop.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving GoogleDesktop issues

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

GoogleDesktop.exe [all]