What is mcshield.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 mcshield.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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Mcshield.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with mcshield
Mcshield.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as On-Access Scanner service or McAfee On-Access Scanner service or NT On-Access Scanner service or McAfee Scanner service

belongs to software VSCORE. or VSCORE or Anti-Malware Core or McAfee VirusScan Enterprise or VSCORE. or VirusScan or VSCORE. or McAfee On-Access Scanner or VirusScan (Enterprise, ASaP & Retail.) or VSCORE. or VSCORE. or McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise or VSCORE. or VSCORE. or McAfee McShield or McAfee Virtual Technician or VSCORE. or McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise Module or McAfee Anti-Spyware

by McAfee ( or Network Associates (

Description: Mcshield.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file mcshield.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" (common is C:\Program Files\Network Associates\VirusScan\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 144,704 bytes (61% of all occurrences), 144,960 bytes and 17 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. It is not a Windows core file. The mcshield.exe file is a Verisign signed file. It is digitally signed. Mcshield.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 24% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You may want to do the following:

Recommended: Identify mcshield.exe related errors

Important: Some malware also uses the file name mcshield.exe, for example Trojan.Win32.Scar.pdy (detected by Kaspersky), and Downloader (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the mcshield.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

glitched, cant uninstall, forever will hate mcafee, completely unsatisfied, if i could, i would sue
It just does it's job but it takes up a lot of ram
Using much too much CPU. Why can't McAfee find a solution for this after years of many, many complaint from users
Obviously a non-malignant programme but its cpu usage is way too high to be acceptable. It uses up about 50% of cpu and therefore requires constant cooling causing the cooling fan on my laptop to drain the battery life
I work at a public college, and every computer here has McAfee Viruscan Enterprise on its computers. McAfee is set to do a virus scan every computer on Thursday. Since even the fastest computers get bogged down during the scan, you could imagine what it was doing to my piece-of-crap Dell the school gave me to use. It was nearly impossible to do any work on my computer during the scans, so I complained to the IT department. They suggested I use McProfiler to monitor what processes may be responsible for the slowdown. Through task manager, I had already identified the processes that popped during the scan: mcshield.exe and scan32.exe. I wasn't sure which one was causing the slowdown, so I was hoping that McProfiler would provide an answer. It did, but not as intended. Shortly after I set McProfiler to run, I noticed that McProfiler had shut down scan32.exe and my computer became noticeably faster and less busy. The mcshield.exe process is still running in the background and uses memory, but it's not slowing down my computer at all. It may be that scan32.exe and mcshield.exe have to run together to effectively scan the computer. And since McProfiler is a McAfee product, it may be shutting down scan32.exe in an effort to not out McAfee Viruscan as the culprit behind slowing down the computer. But I honestly don't care. I just want to be able to work on my computer without being bogged down by annoying antivirus scans.
It is annoying when CPU usage reaches 100%. I found that if I try to 'End process' with Task Manager, it can't be stopped, but the CPU usage drops to below 30%, which is more acceptable, though not ideal.
Runs on my work notebook. Hate it, annoying, user-unfriendly, thinks it knows what's needed far more than the user.
it hangs/freezes my laptop windows 7 64 bit every 10day. I uninstalled and replaced with MSE. My laptop works perfect now.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of mcshield.exe: based on 169 votes with 9 reviews. 57 users think mcshield.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 9 users think it's probably harmless. 40 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 24 users suspect danger. 39 users think mcshield.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 25 users don't grade mcshield.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving mcshield issues

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

mcshield.exe [all]