What is READREG.exe?

The genuine READREG.exe file is a software component of ReadReg Application by Creative Technology.
A background process required to play certain Soundblaster audio files, this application starts with Windows and runs in the background. Installed with a variety of Creative and Soundblaster applications and drivers, this process reads specific formats of audio into memory for playback. If it is removed or uninstalled, certain features of your Creative sound card will cease working properly. Located in Singapore, Creative Technology was founded in 1981. Creative's business revolves around the production and distribution of a variety of sound and video boards and software.

ReadReg stands for ReadReg MFC Application

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 READREG.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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READREG.exe file information

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

The process known as ReadReg MFC Application belongs to software ReadReg Application by Creative Technology (

Description: READREG.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. READREG.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 38,400 bytes (97% of all occurrences) or 42,496 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunOnce, Run). The READREG.exe file is not a Windows core file. The READREG.exe file is a Microsoft signed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 6% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify READREG.exe related errors

If READREG.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 28% dangerous. The file size is 180,224 bytes (44% of all occurrences), 176,128 bytes or 35,840 bytes. The program has a visible window. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunOnce, Run). It is not a Windows system file. READREG.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs.

Important: Some malware disguises itself as READREG.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the READREG.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

disables audio drivers
  Sean Smith  
It's a Creative Labs file used to add/remove audio cards and drivers. Apparently it can be corrupted easily and is often used as a cover for trojans.
It has completely removed all sound from my computer. I have Wondows XP Pro and My computer was working fine untill I rebooted and all of a sudden as my desktop was loading, a screen popped up indicating that "ReadReg Application is installing, please wait." Then immediately after that, I was unable to play any music with plays, but there is no sound. Does anyone know how to remove it? I have downloaded AVG anti-virus and I scanned my computer, but it does not seem to identify any virus... Help!
  Ryan's mom- California  
my avg program id'ed readreg.exe as a trojan and removed it.
Generic Trojan as identified by AVG
  Stratos Ioannidis  
needed for sb live
IT'S FINE. LEAVE IT ALONE. I just installed Sound Blaster Audigy on a new install of Windows, and it started appearing. Clearly from the comments here it's a VALID FILE used for Sound Blaster. Delete it at your peril. You can see from the attached link that readreg.exe is a component of the Sound Blaster Audigy install files.
  AyeRoxor   (further information)
It is a part of Creative Soundblaster soundcards, if you have Creative Audio on your system and disable this process then you will not have any sound.
  Mike   (further information)
It belongs to Creative Sound Cards I have EMU sound card and kaspersky put it in low trusted but i moved it to trusted and have had no trouble what so ever
Kept my computer from booting.
READREG.exe is from creative Audigy. My The reason for the sound problems is that an old sound card running windows 10 is not compatible. I made the mistake myself with my I5 6600k skylake running windows 10 put the 2001 sound card in and had problems. CURE.. Go to Device manager system sounds, Find Audigy device and uninstall device. Go to your task manager startup , Disable REDREG."NOTE" I had to reinstall REALTECK HD AUDIO, no more problems.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of READREG.exe: based on 15 votes with 12 user comments. 7 users think READREG.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users think READREG.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade READREG.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving READREG issues

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

READREG.exe [all]