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What is mshta.exe?

Mshta.exe is a executable file (a program) within Windows. The filename extension .exe denotes an executable file. You should only run executable files from publishers you trust, because executable files can potentially change your computer settings or harm your computer. The free file information forum can help you determine if mshta.exe is a virus, trojan, spyware, or adware that you can remove, or a file belonging to a Windows system or to an application you can trust.


Mshta.exe file information

The process known as Microsoft® HTML Application host or ab0bb9e3b144cac60965e5440a4ee583 belongs to software Windows Internet Explorer or Microsoft Windows Operating System or MediaTickets by OIN or Yazzle by OIN or ab0bb9e3b144cac60965e5440a4ee583 by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) or SWIS.

Description: Mshta.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. mshta.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 7/XP are 45,568 bytes (43% of all occurrences), 29,184 bytes and 7 more variants. http://www.file.net/process/mshta.exe.html 
Mshta.exe is a Windows system file. The file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 7% dangerous, however also read the users reviews.
In case of any problems with mshta.exe, you can uninstall the software Tweak UI or Security Update for Microsoft using the "Add or Remove Programs" function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs).

Recommended: Identify mshta.exe related errors

If mshta.exe is located in the Windows Temp folder, the security rating is 26% dangerous. The file size is 458,829 bytes. The program has a visible window. The program has no file description. The process starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders, HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run). It is not a Windows system file. mshta.exe seems to be a compressed file.

If mshta.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 0% dangerous. The file size is 47,104 bytes. Mshta.exe is a Windows core system file. The program has a visible window. The mshta.exe file is a Microsoft signed file.

If mshta.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Documents and Settings", the security rating is 58% dangerous. The file size is 29,184 bytes.

Important: Some malware disguises itself as mshta.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the mshta.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.



Score

User Comments

it's multiplying its instances and couses RAM loss :-
  mac  
it just pops up like ever 3 minutes and it comes back when u quarantine it or whatever you try
  Morgan Womack  
If it appeared out of nowhere, it's likely malicious
  KD  
microsoft screwed my computer
   
add/remove programs
  landau  
it messes up my IE
  Nivek  
Microsoft Operating System File
  Not a dumbass   (further information)
Unless mshta.exe is not found within the SYSTEM32 folder of your XP/2000 based system YOU SHOULD NOT DELETE IT. This file is used by your OS to read HTA files it is non essential but deleting will screw your system up. If you find an instance of this file outside the system32 folder then it is an imposter, mshta.exe will only run in the system32 folder.
  Cep  
pop ups every second
  leezy  
Microsoft (R) HTML Application host
   
It shows up as a suspicious script error in my user account
  Don Alder  
mshta.exe is a part of Microsoft Windows Operating System which is needed to execute .HTA files.
  Walt  
It's legit if running from System32
  hate mac  
MSHTA is not dangerous, check microsoft website on html applications, i use it to make web based apps and its fine!
  Jay  
mshta.exe appears each time i run AVG Free Virus scan
  JMarling  
nothing, but it does not allow me to get into the add and remove programs on control panel
  malinda mansbridge  
Winsock LSP files
   
If MSHTA.exe is the file reported as having a problem when a program crashes (check the report findings for the problem file name(s)) and a virus is found on your system then you can determine with a high degree of certainty that mshta.exe is masked and is in fact a virus. The prerequisites to removing the are checking the file location and size. However, if the file is located in the System32 folder and the size is correct, leave it alone. Trend Micros free system scan called Housecall will find and remove the virus.
  Ed Olivares, UPS Tech Support.  
My FW tagged it as a malicious script
  Kenny  
Because of mshta.exe the system takes very much time to boot.
  CGeek  
used for user accounts on Windows XP Home Edition
  Someone  
I am having problems with 2 user accounts on my computer. Both accounts, when you try top open control panel windows finds an error and closes down. Which means i can't get into control panel to do anything like start a new user or whatever. When i tried to get into control panel through safe mode. It opened but then it was frozen by an internet explorer script error. The process for this ie script error was mshta.exe. Now im not sure what to do... Does anyone know?
  paul  
among the running processes
  csapoattila  
mshta.exe asked for permission then 2 seconds later i got trojan downloader through ie 6,running xp home,avg,ashampoo firewall
  chris johnson  
It is a valid windows program, used to open .hta files. However, some trojan viruses use it to open corrupted .hta files. This file should not be deleted, but if you have a problem, do a virus scan and search for the virus causing this to open. Here is a link to a virus info page that uses this.
  DJester   (further information)
Runs multiple versions of itself, linked with other misc. .exe files prior to SP3 and malware updates, still continues to relaunch and recreate itself even after delete, will turn off windows firewall if you do not install SP3
  Grat  
The process called mshta.exe, is used within Windows to allow the running of HTML Applications (.HTA Files). Mshta.exe is not required for Windows to work correctly. If you find that it is causing problems from your system, you should terminate it
  Geoffry   (further information)
Its malicious. it multiplies like wildfire. those who posted that its harmless are probably in on it. if you have it, get rid of it!
  bob  
this app is used to run hta (html) files. mshta is not the virus, its the program running the virus! Something is calling mshta.exe with a file that is exeuting the code that is actually the virus. I use mshta.exe witin my corprate net for a number of custom web based applictions. If you are having problems with it, then you need to find what is calling it. Oh, and fyi: the files mshta runs don't have to end with hta! Read up on viruses that use mshta as the delivery platform
  Kaos Kidd  
Process name: Microsoft HTML Application Host
  Christina H. DELL Tech Support   (further information)
It pops up far too frequently / acts like a spy / zone alarms gives notice to dis-allow, so we certainly can live without it.
  GregM  
MS Windows XP - Initiates and executes when User Accounts Utility is invoked from Control Panel
  Palin is a moron  
don't get rid of it; this file is part of the default windows package and allows users to run .hta files.
   
It causes a pop up on my desktop or overlapping my current browser every 3mins without fail.
  Norvin  
As said below, it's a windows process, but can be used to open viruses. I know it opens when you access user accounts in XP home. Close it if it seems to be hogging memory and it's not one of your regular processes, feel free to close it.
  Techn00b  
used for user accounts on Windows XP Home Edition
  jocko  
I have 41 mshta.exe running in my task manager right now. I'm pretty sure anyone who tells me this is a good thing is slightly dense or someone wanting it to be there. Any real help would be much appreciated.
  Concerned User  
It pops up every 5 seconds or so, and refuses to go away no matter how many times I click it off. Its in some japanese words and it just popped out of nowhere and refuses to go away. Only got rid of it temporarily when I went to task manager end process of mshta.exe, but came back the moment I re-logged on.
  natasha  
Pulled a copy from C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 directory and overwrote instances found in other folders and my problems cleared up NOT a recommended solution for non-advanced users but it worked for me with no issues as of yet.
   
Do NOT delete mshta.exe, it is a component of your Operating System. Go into control panel Performance and Maintenance Scheduled Tasks. If you are having multiple instances of mshta.exe, then there will be probably about 100 "At" programs scheduled to run at hourly intervals (At1, At29, etc.). DELETE ALL OF THESE. This will stop mshta.exe from running. I tried deleting mshta.exe first, and it tore my OS apart, only delete the things that are making it run in Scheduled Tasks.
  Sara  
One mshta.exe instance opens for each tab you open in your browser(s). So 14 borwsers or browser tabs will give you 14 mshta in your Task manager. Essential Windows file for handling html.
  Fish  
After about 10 minutes of playing an online java-based game, I had about 13 mshta.exe's running on my task manager. I don't think that my system requires that many to run it, besides the fact that I've never had more than one running at a time, if any.
  Irritated Gamer  
if you are having multiple instances running in task manager check your schedualed tasks folder for items listed with names like at1 and remove them this may help.
  Jay  
I understand this to be a genuine microsoft app, but watch for malicious use by trojans - recently had a case where I couldn't clear an infection, finally discovered 20+ scheduled tasks in task scheduler using mshta to presumably download trojans/malware from various websites.
  PaulS  
I was just hit by the Thinkpoint trojan via weatherbug, after finally getting rid of it naw mshta.exe is popping up and locking up the PC, I will post how to stop it when I figure it out
  Stoney  
I agree with that its part of MS, but Malware/spyware/virus uses it as a means to re-infect your pc after you rid it by accessing the web on a SCHEDULED basis(i.e every Xmins). Thats why the antivirus/firewall programs pick it up. To stop further infection, disable your internet(to stop it from re-infecting ur pc), run your antivirus just make sure your have a clean pc(skip if clean) , goto CONTROL PANEL -- SCHEDULED TAKS , you will notice a load of tasks that get run MSHTA.exe that points to a http address that downloads malware. Delete those tasks and the problem should go away.
  Huy Phan  
its so many copy . make my PC slow !
  ali 07 saad  
The multiple instances are caused by scheduled jobs (in my case), which suspect to be installed by spyware (or kind). delete whose tasks (c:\windows\tasks) fix the problem.
  wz700  
constantly starting copies of itself causing cpu to lag
   
it seems to have multiple files running at the same time (9000+ kb each time) that slows or stops internet aps. when I close the files, computer runs much better
  steelfloor  
It causes the advertisement to pop up even though without the Internet connection every 3 minutes. It is really disturbing. luckily I managed to get rid of it by changing it's format from mshta.exe into mshta.txt
  hamizah  
It multiplies within two hour computer use, sometimes 5-10 times. It brings RAM to a halt.
  David McConnell  
Not a Virus - Just Remove LOTS OF THEM from Scheduled Tasks in the Control Panel
  Jon Davis  
My computer AV removed it, Norton, it said that it created a file called noawmxercs.exe which then created a file called KBDGPon.dll
  Ace  
I have vista, and my AV killed a program it created. Now some of you are saying that it can be used to open viruses, and viruses often utilize it. I cannot find another instance of it except in the system32 folder. Lately, it has been spawning all kinds of things that my anti-virus picks up.
  Ace, in need of help!  
to get rid of it is easy! go to the start right click explore go under windows go to tasks an delete tasks related to mshta then go empty recycling bin an bingo..
  steve in mass  
its used to open hta files, in itself its not a virus, but viruses may use it to run;
  jacob  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of mshta.exe: based on 64 votes with 57 user comments.
28 users think mshta.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 10 users suspect danger. 18 users think mshta.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 9 users don't grade mshta.exe ("not sure about it").


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Other processes


mshta.exe [all]