What is scan32.exe?

The genuine scan32.exe file is a software component of VirusScan Enterprise by McAfee.
This process is the on-demand scanner of McAfee VirusScan Enterprise. Any prescheduled or manually started scan through the McAfee console initiates scan32.exe. Throughout the scan, the process will continue to run in the background. In network environments, VirusScan Enterprise is routinely deployed from the NcAfee ePolicy Orchestrator server. McAfee is a subsidiary of Intel.

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 scan32.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 scan32.exe related errors

Scan32.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with scan32
Scan32.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as VirusScan On-Demand Scanner belongs to software McAfee VirusScan Enterprise or McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise by McAfee ( or Network Associates (

Description: Scan32.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The scan32.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 25,936 bytes (37% of all occurrences), 13,648 bytes, 25,920 bytes or 9,728 bytes. 
Scan32.exe is not a Windows core file. The program is not visible. Scan32.exe is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. Therefore the technical security rating is 21% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: The software vendor offers the option to completely remove McAfee AntiSpyware Enterprise or McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify scan32.exe related errors

If scan32.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\, the security rating is 100% dangerous. The file size is 3,072 bytes. It is a file with no information about its developer. The program is not visible. The program uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. Scan32.exe is not a Windows system file.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as scan32.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the scan32.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

taking high cpu and memory
It is part of AuditWizard from Layton Technology. It doesn't show up as installed software because the exe is all that runs on the client to inventory the hardware and software and report the info to an AuditWizard central server.
  Jared   (further information)
scan32.exe is part of the McAfee virus scanner.
  Steve C  
Its a part of McAfee Antivirus
scan32.exe is McAffee disk scanner program. It's looking for viruses...
  G. Jones  
scan32.exe is a process belonging to McAfee VirusScan Enterprise
It belongs to Network associates McAfee antivirus and performs the on access acan. removing it will leave you exposed to internet malware
  Joe Beckett  
it clogs up the cpu usage, but you can end the process without any harm to the computer via the task manager
McAfee Antivirus
MC Afee Process
  Christoph B  
Its a schedule MCAfee Antivirus task. have a look at McAfee console to see when its scheduled
  alan s  
It is McAfee running. It is a resource hog and can cause performance issues/lock ups for low resource computers and impatient users.
  Matt R.  
Nearly brings MS Access and Outlook to a halt. Runs for most of the day. Adversely affects production time.
  Mollie H  
It runs on our college computers and I've spent 20 minutes trying to log onto a site but both PCs have crashed because it's using anywhere from 10% to 50% of the CPU resources.
  Frank Sonata  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of scan32.exe: based on 24 votes with 15 user comments. 15 users think scan32.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 2 users think scan32.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade scan32.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving scan32 issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with scan32. 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 scan32.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

scan32.exe [all]