What is imapi.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 imapi.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for imapi.exe related errors

Imapi.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with imapi
Imapi.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Image Mastering API belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: Imapi.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Imapi.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 150,528 bytes (60% of all occurrences), 150,016 bytes, 118,784 bytes, 327,638 bytes or 285,696 bytes. 
Imapi.exe is a Windows core system file. The program has no visible window. The imapi.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 13% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify imapi.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as imapi.exe, for example W32.Xpiro (detected by Symantec), and PE_EXPIRO.GG (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the imapi.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

it pops up in task manager when my outlook express wont send pictures.
  Jeff MacGregor  
when it pops up in task mngr i cant do a thing. reboot and it goes
I know it's not something I want if I cannot get any info about it
Only noticed it running on startup after that it disappeared
Process Name: imapi.exe. imapi.exe description: This is the Image Mastering API used by most of the CD burning software that runs on Windows. ... Want to learn more about imapi.exe? Want to know what is imapi.exe ...
Its a image program of some kind, seems to have installed itself?
  Bill Gates  
That its messing up my Laptop and refuses to be deleted. Pops up with drwatson in my task manager.
  Stephen Wilkins  
I loads on startup other sites said it is part of some cd burning stuff by microsoft
Manages CD recording using Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface (IMAPI). If you stop this service, your PC will be unable to burn CDs. If you disable this service, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.
It is used for CD burn drag and drop
imapi.exe is the Image Mastering Applications Programming Interface for CD burning in Windows XP.
  thoreau   (further information)
it sometimes requests access to network, i see no reason
  Childov Ghad  
Explorer freezes when this starts. I have removed it, and explorer does not freeze.
  Adam Fogle  
Needed for WMP11 cd burning
Viruses definitely mask as imapi.exe. It runs everytime I try to run explorer.exe, and explorer just exits, so I cant see start menu, or desktop icons. Pesky problem.
seems to be used for windows cd burning
It's used when ripping music to your computer, I think...
Movie maker told me to end this process and now by CD burner will not work do not delete it
it pops up on Startup, like Mike stated, but for me it comes back way after startup, and when it does, my computer completely locks up and i have to reboot
when imapi spontaneously stops, my system freezes
shut it down, burners like Nero etc.'ll work better. google IMAPI bootable/burning/startup etc.
is periodically in taskmgr., sometimes w/ games, sometimes other programs. REALLY ANNOYING! uses all clock time. i end its process tree, then am ok til next time.
Apparent conflict with HP Digital Imaging Monitor software. Takes windows 5 times longer to load on start up after I installed the HP software from my new J6450 all-in-one.
  Byron Yost  
Even without imapi.exe I can still burn cds using nero...
pops up on windows task manager each time my dvd burner drawer opens. it opens and closes continuously by itself.
I think it's for CD burning as others have said. It shows up in your processes when you just boot your PC then disappears.
Imapi can be trusted but it can be Viruses.I tried to delete it but comes back like self restore
whn i right click to end process pop up window: UNABLE TO TERMINATE PROCESS with this message; the operation could not be completed; the operation is not valid for this process! weird others saying it connected to cd burning; i have someone putting a file called thumbs in my cd datas i opened one & it was filled wit this weird symbolical crap 8,000pages!!!
Small window pop up at start up goes away and the imapi.exe goes away on task manager immediately when I access it.
  CJ Hendrix  
its definately malware. it will stop you from running malwarebytes and r kill, both of which are essential to malware removal. i ended it on a hunch, and now suddenly both will run. sneaky bastard malware designers will mask malware as anything nowadays
for dvd burner
Never had it running as a process on my Windows XP until I installed InfraRecorder, which I did because my darn Roxio keep failing to burn .iso images.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of imapi.exe: based on 36 votes with 32 user comments. 14 users think imapi.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 4 users think it's probably harmless. 6 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 6 users suspect danger. 6 users think imapi.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 10 users don't grade imapi.exe ("not sure about it").

Do you have additional information?
What do you know about imapi.exe:
How would you rate it:
Link for more info:
Your Name:

Best practices for resolving imapi issues

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

imapi.exe [all]