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 msdt.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.
Description: The original msdt.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Msdt.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\Windows.
Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 983,040 bytes (85% of all occurrences) or 955,904 bytes.
The file is a Windows core system file. The program has a visible window. The msdt.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Msdt.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 0% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify msdt.exe related errors
Is msdt.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true msdt.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard".
However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are for instance Trojan:Win64/Ropest.G (detected by Microsoft), and TROJ_GEN.R08NC0DAR15 (detected by TrendMicro).
To ensure that no rogue msdt.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.
How to recognize suspicious variants? If msdt.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 84% dangerous. The file size is 143,872 bytes. The software has no file description. The program has no visible window. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: RunOnce, User Shell Folders, Run). It is not a Windows core file. Msdt.exe is able to monitor applications and manipulate other programs.
Important: Some malware disguises itself as msdt.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the msdt.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.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with msdt. 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 doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, 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 msdt.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.