What is PIconStartup.exe?

The genuine PIconStartup.exe file is a software component of Intel® Management Engine Components by Intel Corporation.
The Privacy Icon Startup Utility is launched by the Privacy Icon Client. Both are Intel® Management Engine Components (in the Intel® Management and Security Status (IMSS) Application) handling the Windows OS interaction with Intel® Active Management Technology (AMT). Intel vPro technology and the Microsoft .NET Framework (2.0 or 3.5) must also be present. Otherwise the process may be disguised malware. The computer’s OEM can customize where these Components reside. AMT’s out-of-band (OOB) communication enables enterprise network system administrators to remotely diagnose, repair, or isolate a computer even when powered off. Intel allows OEMs to include the Privacy Icon so users know this is possible. (The icon’s appearance can be customized.) The IMSS Application has a new version and may change process names with each new generation, (7.x, 8.x, etc.), of AMT. Intel Corporation, founded in 1968 and headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, USA, is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer.

PIconStartup stands for Intel® Privacy Icon Startup 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 PIconStartup.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 PIconStartup.exe related errors

PIconStartup.exe file information

The process known as PIcon startup utility or PIconStartup application belongs to software Intel® Management Engine Components or PIconSta Application or Intel® Management Engine or Intel® PIconStartup by Intel (

Description: PIconStartup.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. PIconStartup.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 134,616 bytes (44% of all occurrences), 111,640 bytes and 10 more variants. 
The PIconStartup.exe file is digitally signed. The application starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The PIconStartup.exe file is not a Windows core file. Therefore the technical security rating is 15% dangerous.

Uninstalling this variant: In case you experience problems using PIconStartup.exe, you can also uninstall the associated program (Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program > Intel(R) Management Engine Components or Intel(R) Management Engine).

Recommended: Identify PIconStartup.exe related errors

If PIconStartup.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files", the security rating is 13% dangerous. The file size is 111,640 bytes (87% of all occurrences) or 104,960 bytes. The software starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows system file. The file is digitally signed. It is a Verisign signed file.

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


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Best practices for resolving PIconStartup issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with PIconStartup. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon 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 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the PIconStartup.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity 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. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

PIconStartup.exe [all]