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 mstsc.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 mstsc.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Mstsc.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 677,888 bytes (46% of all occurrences), 1,033,728 bytes, 407,552 bytes, 1,033,216 bytes or 1,034,240 bytes.
Mstsc.exe is a Windows core system file. The mstsc.exe file is a Microsoft signed file. The application listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. Therefore the technical security rating is 1% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify mstsc.exe related errors
Is mstsc.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true mstsc.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Remote Desktop Connection".
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 example Mal/Generic-A (detected by Sophos), and Trojan:Win32/Rodecap.A (detected by Microsoft).
To ensure that no rogue mstsc.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.
How to recognize suspicious variants?
If mstsc.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 81,920 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 86,016 bytes, 98,304 bytes, 57,344 bytes or 77,824 bytes. It is a file with no information about its developer. The program is not visible. The file is not a Windows core file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: win.ini, Run).
If mstsc.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 74% dangerous. The file size is 91,136 bytes (25% of all occurrences), 93,184 bytes, 98,304 bytes or 61,440 bytes. It is a file with no information about its developer. The program has no visible window. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: win.ini, Run). It is not a Windows core file.
If mstsc.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder, the security rating is 72% dangerous. The file size is 81,920 bytes.
If mstsc.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 33% dangerous. The file size is 98,304 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 399,872 bytes.
If mstsc.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 98% dangerous. The file size is 89,088 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 81,920 bytes.
Important: Some malware disguises itself as mstsc.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the mstsc.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 mstsc. 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 mstsc.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.