How to remove the Nail virus

Most antivirus programs identify Nail.exe as malware—e.g. Microsoft identifies it as Adware:Win32/ABetterInternet.G, and TrendMicro identifies it as ADW_ABETTERINT.B or ADW_BETTERNET.L.

The free file information forum can help you find out how to remove it. If you have additional information about this file, please leave a comment or a suggestion for other users.

Click to Run a Free Virus Scan for the Nail.exe malware

Nail.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with Nail
Nail.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Nail Application belongs to software Nail Application by unknown.

Description: Nail.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Nail.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 52,736 bytes (80% of all occurrences) or 74,752 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. The application has no file description. The software starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Winlogon\Shell). It is not a Windows system file. Nail.exe is able to monitor applications. Nail.exe appears to be a compressed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 47% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify Nail.exe related errors

Important: You should check the Nail.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. If Nail Application has changed your browser's search engine and start page, you can recover your browser's default settings as follows:

Reset default browser settings for Internet-Explorer ▾
  1. In Internet Explorer, press the key combination Alt + X to open the Tools menu.
  2. Click Internet options.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Reset... button.
  5. Enable the Delete personal settings option.
This will reset your Internet Explorer to its default settings. Your browser will start with the familiar start page and search engine—without popups, ads, cookies, but all browser add-ons are deleted too [1]. Make cleaning up your browser and your computer simpler and safer with Security Task Manager.


User Comments

spyware, annoying spyware
this file will flash my computer if it still here
apparently this is a pretty mean virus
Nail.exe is a compotent of Direct Revenue's spyware program 'aurora'. Advice is to remove it with the assistance of a site such as geekstogo or spyware warrior, which you might want to look up on Yahoo or Google. Please note, that unless you are an extremely skilled user, do not try to remove this yourself, unless you intend to format your hard-drive. It has this annoying function where it tends to render itself undeletable, and rename itself every time you delete it. There are many removal approaches, but whatever you do, DO NOT use the mypctuneup provided by Direct Revenue. Do some research.
  Mabus   (further information) (further information)
this file is a exe file for annoying add/spy ware from the ARORA/Direct-Revenue company it has been linked to over 1 million pc users biggest problems. This company is currently about to be involved in several class action lawsuits because of the invasive nature of this program, as it is almost impossible to completely exterminate from ones system. I myself have been at it for days.
  Brian Kirkland   (further information)
Adaware would not get rid of it. It replaces itself and runs under the system account. remove the permissions on the file and give just yourself rights to the file and then create a dummy file and replace it. Then reboot and the trojen will error on bootup. Then you can remove the reg settings and adaware can clean up the other entries for you.
  Kevin Nichols  
Horrible, Takes over your computer. Makes you want to kill yourself makes you want to buy a new computer. Class Action Law Suit..I am IN.
Triggers pop-up ads (Aurora); triggered by link to internet (IE or Firefox)
At this stage very little, appears to be very aggressive adware/spyware
  Mike Gardiner  
Cannot seem to be removed or quarantined, Keeps coming back
reproduces itself so cant be deleted manually
program is a hijacker cuases aurora pop ups
  Dismar   (further information)
part of the AbetterInternet spyware package
Part of Spyware program
It is by Direct Revenue
  Stephen Murphy  
better.internet adware
winnt error
Nail.exe actually comes from a company called Direct revenue. It is a kind of adware. It can be removed using "MyPCTuneup," a free software uninstall file. I think it actually prevents the nail virus from infecting you again. Also some helpful tips can be found by googling "nail.exe" and reading the forums that come up. That's where i found out about MyPCTuneup, and it works!
Nail.exe is a is a hijacker which means it will intermittently change your Internet Explorer settings / Desktop to the link of it’s author’s sponsors. This program is usually installed through consent, however is sometimes packaged as another product. It is a registered security risk and should be removed immediately
  jaybe   (further information)
An online virus scanner and Norton Internet Security 2005 recognizes Nail.exe as a virus. Everytime you delete it (from C:\windows) and it's counterpart (from C:\windows\prefetch) it alway comes back. There appears to be some other source file that regenerates it.
  Jhevon   (further information)
Runs as a layer on top of explorer, doesn't show in taskmgr, but downloads additional spyware, hijacks start pages, etc. You must boot to safe mode command prompt only to delete it with hijackthis.
I now have a blue screen of death specifically due to this. One of its many extensions happens to have been created almost at the exact second of my first Blue Screen of Death.
  Nat Miller  
I know I'm annoyed by the fact that I keep getting pop-ups. I know that is very difficult to get rid of. There should be someway to make this form of advertising illegal.
Any file that is impossible to delete must be dangerous. I believe it is associated with Aroura adware that I found almost impossible to get rid of.
  Joe Bigora  
on start up get "Windows cannot find C:Windows/nail.exe" how do I get rid of this? I think I got rid of the file but I am stuck with this????
could not remove with adaware se, spynuker, noadware. Had to format harddrive. This is so nasty. It even disabled my Norton software.
  Terry Parker Jr  
Aggrivating as the dickens. Would like to take the person that does this and slit his bag and run his legs through the holes.
comes with btdownloadgui.exe - be carefull where you get your'e Bittorrent client - always go for the one @ sourceforge
its spyware, and a nasty one at that! i had to totally restore my whole computer caz of it!
This is a component of Aurora, and it is one very difficult parasite to remove!
  David Turner  
probably planted by assholes like you that push your software to get it out!
after deleting and empting recycle bin, it comes back to C:/windows
Here is info I found about this file. Definitely spyware.
  Sean Morrison   (further information)
Trojan in c:\windows and is usualy with other malware
Aurora Spyware, executable will rewrite after delete.
Ad-aware picked it up and can't delete the damn thing
  Nikko Landnar  
it's an internet hijacker that's hard to get rid off
virus and related spyware attatched to it
that it always comes up when i log on
Malware that is very hard to remove
it wrecking my enjoyment of the net
It spawns pop ups on your computer
Not much Slows down the computer
This trash should be illegal
self-replicating spyware
i have it coming back
aurora malware
the easy way to delete is to remove is to run hijackthis and writedown the last name it created don't delete anything yet the next step is to take the powercord off the pc while it still runing a hard shutdown then restart on safemode with command and delete both files nail.exe and the last autoname usually under c:%windir%system32
im pretty sure its the virus that is not letting me open all my programs. as i cannot open anything with the .exe target.
I have not been able to delete this file with ad-aware. Also this virus got thru while updated Norton was running. Has a recycler and keeps reinstalling itself with popups in the extreme and apropomedia wants to modify browser.
Go to Start Run. Type in 'nail.exe /Removeall. It might be RemoveAll if Removeall doesn't work.
Sets itself up as your Windows shell (alongside Explorer), so it runs even in Safe Mode. It's dual processes watch for deletion and will replace it. We remove it at work by overwriting NAIL.EXE with a dummy text file so it can't run, reboot and delete. Took two days to figure out.
Rengenerates itself with randomly named .exe files
Part of the massive infestation of spyware/viruses/trojans/worms that I picked up by only installing* and searching on LimeWire. Should include them in the class action suit, as well.
I somehow removed "the nail," from my PC's coffin, but not the program that it came with "The Best Offers."
  Kevin   (further information)
a parasite hijacking pc resources.. direct revenue execs should be jailed
Adware virus that comes back in a second after deleting it. If I have popup blockers it doesn't bother me, but it's a virus infecting my computer and I need to get rid of it. It uses other important dll files to replace itself. Putting piece of shit viruses on your computer like this is mean.
well my smyware prgrams are all finding it such as :zone alarms spy spotter karsperkey and some more but non of them couldend delete it ! so i tryd manualy i deleted it but when comp restarted it was there again, seems to mee that its making my comp slower.
  Joosep Parts  
Open Notepad, then save document as "C:\windows\nail.exe". The virus checks to make sure the file exists, but not that it's a valid file. Save over the existing one, reboot, then delete.
  J H  
I have this as well. I finally got rid of it (I went to windows task manager and restricted it from going) from there i deleted it from my control panel (which by itself, wont work) I did one more thing and now I am at the final stage of removing it, when the popup tells you that windows cannot find "nail.exe".
very hard to locate and remove
Interrupts some system operations, computer has not run correctly since, "Cannot find nail.exe" type dialog box appears upon starting Windows.
stops you from opening files such as desk top
  The Griff  
uhhh... well i created it so you are all wrong it is completely harmless but stupid people freak out just because the name is suspicious
  Carl Hyman  
Although a real pain to get rid of (because it keeps coming back), Kaspersky Anti-Virus does a fine job of dismembering this malady (KAV is by far best anti-virus out there); get & use Counterspy (for $20) if you are serious about spyware removal.
  PCC   (further information)
i know nothing about it other than it is annyoing.
there is a fix, search for nailfix also do scans and have a VS up and running Hijack
browser hijacker. to keep nail.exe from returning, create a text file with any character in notepad, delete nail.exe, then save that text file as nail.exe before nail.exe re-creates itself, reboot, then run trend micro's Housecall from under free tools.
Installs without consent and as soon as you remove the file nail.exe from your windows directory it will put itself back. It seems the file makes a duplicate of itself with a random filename that it uses to re-install. There is currently a lawfirm seeking class action status.
The Best Offers adware. Writes itself into system shell along with Explorer. Hell to live with. Impossible to live without, because only way I'm seeing possible removal is Fdisk, format, reinstall.
I remember the night of the aurora nail.exe. Computer was virtually unusable. Direct revenue should be shot for this nasty piece of work. Get rid of this immediately, major problem and security threat! I removed thid mungrel the same way as JH (see above) overwrtting and complete system scan with ewido.If you are continually getting spyware/adware and malware and would like some help in combatting these types of issues please read my adware/spyware removal guide. It explains how to set up your computer to minimise these types of threats as well as some great programs to protect your system.
  Ev   (further information)
i used avast antivirus boot up scan-seems to have gotten rid of it
Nail.exe was the worst thing EVER to be on my system. I got it twice and had to wipe my drives TWICE! and I lost sleep trying to figure out what the hell it was.
use hijack this to find out where it resides. Slave the drive to clean PC and remove *.exe and *.dll entries. Install drive back into original PC, boot in safe mode run hijack this and remove registry entries. Clean
It's apart of windows explore, nothing to worry about
  White Fox  
not hard to remove but hard to locate....
Okay....This is how you get rid of it....Start in Safe Mode (F8 during startup). Create a text file called nail.exe (make sure you can view known extensions: Tools Folder Optoins View Take the check out of "Hide extensions for known file types"). One you have created your nail.exe file copy it to the "Windows" directory. This will over-right the current Nail.exe. Restart your computer. Delete vdcjwsc.exe from the Windows\System32 Directory if it exists. Open the registery editor Run regedit and click Edit Find. Search for Nail.exe and delete all findings. Restart and it should be fine.
this made me wanna kick someone in the face. =[
Pain in the neck, but I think I found an easier method of taking it out. Rather than delete the file (since it restores itself) open it with Notepad, select all, delete, and save. The exe is still configured to run at startup, but there's no code. Then Shift-Delete (to skip the recycle bin) the backup of Nail.exe in the Prefetch folder. After restarting the system, use Security Task Manager to remove it from the list, then use Notepad again to save a new (empty) file called Nail.exe in C:\Windows. The last step may be unnecessary, but served to indicate the file had not regenerated itself.
Can TOTALLY CORRUPT your system, including producing BSOD. File changes name/location VER HARD to pin down and eleminate. Use the removal instructions that include using HIJACK THIS!
It was indeed a pain in the neck; however, you can do one of two things remove it with the instructions on symatec's website (www . ) then scan OR just get Spybot: search and destroy; I used spybot = All Gone!
  pete   (further information)
This program is easily removed using the free antispyware software spyware terminator i highly recommend it as it removes many of these pesty files.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of Nail.exe: based on 94 votes with 84 user comments. 5 users think Nail.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 6 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 19 users suspect danger. 63 users think Nail.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade Nail.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving Nail issues

The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: Security Task Manager examines the active Nail process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known anti-malware tool tells you if the Nail.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. 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.

Other processes

Nail.exe [all]