What is hl.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 hl.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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Hl.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with hl
Hl.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Half-Life Launcher belongs to software Steam Half-Life Launcher or Half-Life Launcher or Counter-Strike (version 1.6 v23b) by Valve (

Description: Hl.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The hl.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 86,077 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 81,920 bytes or 103,936 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. The hl.exe file is not a Windows core file. Hl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 23% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: The software publisher Cs-mod provides direct support ( You could uninstall Counter-Strike or Steam from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

Recommended: Identify hl.exe related errors

If hl.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 44% dangerous. The file size is 102,912 bytes. The program has a visible window. The process can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. There is no file information. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run). Hl.exe is not a Windows core file.

Uninstalling this variant: The software publisher Game-play provides direct support ( You could uninstall Counter-Strike from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

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

Well most likely it's one of your games from Sierra. Definiteley not dangerous.
  Kev   (further information)
not dangerous at all, its a game from SteamValve.
  Matlo   (further information)
hl.exe is a part of the Half Life series of computer games, and is a main executable of the series.
Its a game CS 1.6

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of hl.exe: based on 7 votes with 4 user comments. 5 users think hl.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving hl issues

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

hl.exe [all]