What is openvpn.exe?

The genuine openvpn.exe file is a software component of Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree.
Openvpn.exe is an executable file that is part of Hotspot Shield, a security program that lets users browse anonymously protect their personal information. This process is responsible for launching the Open Virtual Private Network that encapsulates the user in an impenetrable tunnel while connected to a public WiFi network. This file is not a critical Windows component and can be removed if known to create problems. Hotspot Shield protects user identity, browsing location, browsing history, and provides complete anonymity over the Internet. The program provides a bypass around Internet censorship and restrictions letting users access to blocked websites. It also secures computers on WiFi networks and protects them from hackers and malicious programs trying to steal information. ExpatShield lets users hide their IP address and makes content available only in certain countries accessible from anywhere in the world. AnchorFree is an American company that develops and distributes virtual private networks (VPNs) for safe web browsing. It offers software based on the freemium model - free to download and use but with advertising. Paid versions contain no ads. The company was founded by David Gorodyansky in 2005. AnchorFree currently has over 20 million monthly subscribers. It is headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA.

OpenVPN stands for OpenVPN Daemon

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 openvpn.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for openvpn.exe related errors

Openvpn.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with openvpn
Openvpn.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as OpenVPN Daemon or pia_manager

belongs to software Hotspot Shield or Avast Premier or ExpressVPN or Avast Internet Security or HMA! Pro VPN or SurfEasy VPN or Avast Free Antivirus or ROAM VPN Service (version 2.1.4-01)

by The OpenVPN Project ( or AnchorFree ( or ExpressVPN.

Description: Openvpn.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Openvpn.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\Windows. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 690,176 bytes (12% of all occurrences), 510,464 bytes and 53 more variants. 
There is no information about the author of the file. The program has no visible window. The file is not a Windows system file. Therefore the technical security rating is 54% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to completely remove CyberGhost 5 or Hotspot Shield (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program), ask the software vendor,, for advice or update the program.

Recommended: Identify openvpn.exe related errors

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

Part of the OpenVPN ssl-based vpn system
  Bert   (further information)
  Fredrik Bergström   (further information)
this is Virtual private network service
  Aishisu   (further information)
a Internet Anoymer client!!
part of Shot Shot Sheild, OpenVPN tunnel protocol
Main program of OpenVPN
  Holly Schöne   (further information)
This is a great piece of software. What astounds me is the fact that it has a 74 rating. It should be zero.
  Bob Fontana   (further information)
Also main part of Hotspot Shield, an internet anonymiser, protector etc
  Lee Sheran   (further information)
Netlimiter tells me that this process uploaded 500Mb!

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of openvpn.exe: based on 16 votes with 10 user comments. 12 users think openvpn.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 2 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger.

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Best practices for resolving openvpn issues

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

openvpn.exe [all]