What is NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe?

The genuine NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe file is a software component of Adobe Flash Player by Adobe Systems.
NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is an executable file that belongs to Adobe Flash Player, a freeware software program used for viewing audio and video created on the Adobe Flash platform. This process checks whether the current Adobe Flash Player version is updated. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. The Adobe Flash Player was originally developed by FutureWave and released in 1996. The player currently has a very large user base with more than 90% penetration on internet connected personal computers. Adobe Flash Player comes in a plugin version for Internet browsers in order to support Internet Flash media in various formats such as XML, JSON, AMF, SWF, MP3, FLV, PNG, JPEG, and GIF. Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American software giant that develops software products for web design, video editing, web hosting, image editing, servers, as well as formats such as Flash and PDF. The company was established in 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnockin and is currently headquartered in San Jose, California.

NPSWF32_FlashUtil stands for Adobe Network Protocol Shockwave Flash 32-bit and Flash Player Utility

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 NPSWF32_FlashUtil.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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NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with NPSWF32_FlashUtil
NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Adobe Flash Player Helper (version 9.0 r124, 10.0 r32, 10.0 r12, 9.0 r28, 10.0 r42, 10.0 r45) belongs to software Flash Player Helper or Adobe Flash Player Plugin or Adobe Flash Player (version 11 ActiveX) by Adobe Systems (

Description: NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 218,496 bytes (28% of all occurrences), 257,440 bytes, 235,936 bytes, 256,280 bytes or 240,544 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is a Verisign signed file. The NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. It is not a Windows system file. The software can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: RunOnce, DEFAULT\Runonce). Therefore the technical security rating is 0% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you have any problems with NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe, you may also completely remove Adobe Flash Player Plugin or Adobe Flash Player ActiveX (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe related errors

If NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 11% dangerous. The file size is 218,496 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 190,696 bytes or 190,072 bytes. NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is a Verisign signed file. It is certified by a trustworthy company. The NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe file is not a Windows system file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: RunOnce, DEFAULT\Runonce).

Uninstalling this variant: If you have any problems with NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe, you may also completely remove Opera (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the NPSWF32_FlashUtil.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

The original file (0% dangerous) is located at C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash
  Renato Oliveira  
I did but install the update, but it keeps starting on my machine. Both RunOnce folers are empty.
  James Calfee  
NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is part of Flash Player Helper developed by Adobe Systems, Inc..

Summary: Average user rating of NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe: based on 3 votes with 3 user comments. One user thinks NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving NPSWF32_FlashUtil issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with NPSWF32_FlashUtil. 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 NPSWF32_FlashUtil.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.

Other processes

NPSWF32_FlashUtil.exe [all]