What is realplay.exe?

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 realplay.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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Realplay.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with realplay
Realplay.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as RealPlayer belongs to software RealPlayer (version (32-bit)) by RealNetworks (

Description: Realplay.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Realplay.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—mostly C:\Program Files\Real\RealPlayer\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 26,112 bytes (54% of all occurrences), 214,560 bytes and 13 more variants. 
It is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunServices, Run). Realplay.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 42% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to do the following:

Recommended: Identify realplay.exe related errors

If realplay.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\, the security rating is 60% dangerous. The file size is 204,845 bytes. The program has no visible window. The software listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. It is not a Windows system file. Realplay.exe is able to monitor applications.

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as realplay.exe. Therefore, you should check the realplay.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

Eats up huge amounts of CPU memory, even when I'm not using it. Considering removing the program. Had the worse time working on my computer while this thing hogged up memory.
This is an adware (similar to a virus), if it takes up a large percentage of your CPU, I strongly recommend you ask whichever anti-virus program you are using to move it to the virus vault.
  Naughty shrink  
Is sometimes listed twice in Windows Task Mgr. suspicious!
It's part of RealPlayer. It has some irritating processing leak or something. My Quad core processor is sitting at 25% all the time because of this. Try updating RealPlayer to the most recent version.
It seems that there is some error with Realplayer that causes it to in some cases randomly spike you CPU and eat up massive resources. Not sure what causes it.
CPU is on 100% because of this. Sometimes my laptop turns off itself. I think this s... is the problem.
It is a major resource hog. Get rid of it asap!
It sometime uses about 1 gHz of my CPU and makes my browser crash.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of realplay.exe: based on 21 votes with 9 reviews. 2 users think realplay.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 7 users suspect danger. 5 users think realplay.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 3 users don't grade realplay.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving realplay issues

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

realplay.exe [all]