What is rubyw.exe?

The genuine rubyw.exe file is a software component of CYGWIN32 Modified Ruby interpreter by RedHat.
"Rubyw.exe" should only be present on enterprise-owned PC's because it is a modified form of the "Ruby" open-source scripting language interpreter, made available as an executable binary only in Red Hat Software's 32-bit version of Cygwin, which does not use standard in/out/error files and thus does not "pop up" a command prompt (DOS shell) every time it executes. Red Hat specializes in open-source software for enterprise customers and Cygwin not only provides a Posix/Linux/UNIX shell to "port" such apps to a Windows machine, which is the environment needed to run Ruby, but also lets system administrators login remotely, fix problems within the shell, and run shell command scripts. Ruby itself was created for Posix/Linux/UNIX in 1995 by Yukihiro Matsumoto, blending aspects of Perl, Lisp, and other languages, and is extremely free and open-source software with multiple implementations. Uninstalling "rubyw.exe" should be done only by an administrator familiar with Red Hat Cygwin32 as it will affect administrator access to the PC.

RubyW stands for Ruby interpreter (Windows-friendly)

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 rubyw.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 rubyw.exe related errors

Rubyw.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with rubyw
Rubyw.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Ruby interpreter (GUI) (version 1.9.3p448 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3p125 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3p484 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3dev [i386-mingw32], 1.8.6 [i386-mswin32]) belongs to software Ruby interpreter (version 1.9.3p448 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3p125 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3p484 [i386-mingw32], 1.9.3dev [i386-mingw32]) by

Description: Rubyw.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Rubyw.exe is located in a subfolder of Windows folder for temporary files or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\Windows. The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 70,239 bytes. 
The program is not visible. The file is not a Windows system file. Therefore the technical security rating is 63% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you run into problems with rubyw.exe, you can also uninstall LiveConnect or Cisco WebEx Meetings from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

Recommended: Identify rubyw.exe related errors

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

Very bad virus!
  CharlesK   (further information)
It is used for the VPN named "Private Internet Access"
    (further information)
If you use Private Internet Access, it is a process used by that application.
Used for the VPN called Private Internet Access, obviously safe.
  Gavin   (further information)
It is an application for the PIA Manager, a VPN service from Private internet access. The application fetches server information from at regular intervals because that information regularly changes.
It needed for VPN "Private Internet Access". If you are concerned its disguised malware, then restrict internet access to a whitelist of PIA server IPs. Read info.
  NielsNB   (further information)
It's the main app for a VPN called "Private Internet Access". It's no virus, no black wizard and definetly no horse.
  The Real Black WIzard   (further information)
Just signed up for Private Internet Access and I've now got rubyw.exe running. I never saw it before signing up. It most likely is associated with PIA.
If you use PIA VPN it is fine
Agree - VPN
  phlibby   (further information)
Its for Private my internet access
Rubyw.exe is a ruby language interpreter for windows. It is used with applications written in ruby. If you remove it, you'll disable those applications, some of which may be ones you've installed. It is not a threat in and of itself.
As said before, this will show up if you use the VPN program "Private Internet Access." This is a valid file if you have that program.
I have it since I installed "Private Internet Access" VPN
It's for Private Internet Access VPN. Don't touch it if you want your VPN to work.
No need to worry about rubyw.exe if you have the Private Internet Access VPN.
  Kalgsto   (further information)
Used by Private Internet Access. Turn off PIA and it goes away.
Rubyw.exe is the windows ruby interpreter, and our software, runs as a packaged copy of our script + all required gems + the executable. It bootstraps from the executable, extracts a copy of ruby and all gems needed to run. Our developers are working on making it so it only does a single extraction, as we do have a number of complaints about it's re-extraction into a temp location every time it's run. As this is a ruby script, it's seen as rubyw.exe, even though it's our app running. Why does the software do this?: Our software makes network calls back to our servers in order to check and verify the ping time between your machine and our various servers. As we do not maintain all servers in a geo-location in the same datacenter, it's possible to have some datacenters be faster than others. Non-PIA IP's being contacted: This is just a rDNS error. Your application is doing a rDNS lookup, and like a phone book, rDNS has to be updated, we keep ours updated to be reasonable, and to help disguise some of the connections, if you can run this without any access to rDNS, or nameserver lookups, you'll likely see that all of these are to PIA IP addresses. Rubyw - Discussed this above. Scanning deactivation - At this time, no, this is used to help determine the best server for you to connect to within the geo-location. Proxy scanning - We do no proxy scanning, and you will only be connecting to a PIA owned server for any VPN connections that you make. We do not route customer connections anywhere but to servers under our control. Hope this helps to sort out some of the questions that you've got so far!
  Josh   (further information)
also identifies itself as Ruby interpreter (GUI), and is called by the Private Internet Access VPN application
  Michael G.  
It is safe if you have Private Internet Access as your VPN as it's a process run by it to optimize which datacenter it will use for your connection for best speed. If you have this running and don't have PIA then it's more than suspicious and likely malicious. But if you use PIA for your VPN it's innocuous even if Malwarebytes and other AV/A-malware programs flag it as dangerous. Again, it's good if you have Private Internet Access as your VPN, if you don't then it's suspicious if not outright dangerous.
It's part of (PIA) "Private Internet Access" VPN app. It's safe if you have the PIA app. If you don't have the app then you should be concerned.
  Troy   (further information)
VPN executable. Do not delete if you wish your VPN to continue working.
Ruby is an interpreted programming language that executes scripts with file extension "*.rb". ruby.exe runs ruby programs in a command line window. rubyw.exe runs a ruby program without any window visible at all. I can be used legitimately to execute code from other programs without a distracting additional window. rubyw.exe is generally installed by a windows user in a folder such as "c:\ruby193\bin" containing other ruby files, including ruby.exe, along with a number of other folders, such as "c:\ruby193\lib". If you find rubyw.exe located in some other folder it could either be a trojan masquerading as the ruby language interpreter, or it could be installed by some other program you installed to assist behind the scenes. Since ruby doesn't require registry settings, you can simply delete the file and remove it from your windows path. If you see it return after deleting it, some other program you use needs it and is restoring it or it's a trojan/virus.
  CDay   (further information)
Some non-malicious applications are written in Ruby and will crash if you kill or remove rubyw. However, you can always end the process to be safe. If something breaks restart it.
  Charles   (further information)
VPN - Private Internet Access
Runs with VPN and PIA
It is a process used with "Private Internet Access". Agreed
  Bob   (further information)
Right. It's VPN helper for PIA.
it is very safe, been using PIA Private Internet Access VPN for 3 years now, no problems, it's part of an application with your privacy in mind
  Xavier Mig  
It just popped up with my trial AVG. I researched and found it is part of my VPN - PIA. I read a question/answer chat and I'm satisfied it's OK.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of rubyw.exe: based on 30 votes with 30 user comments. 19 users think rubyw.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. One user thinks rubyw.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. 2 users don't grade rubyw.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving rubyw issues

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

rubyw.exe [all]