What is setup.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 setup.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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Setup.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with setup
Setup.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Suite Integration Toolkit Executable or Setup program or Arrowhead Setup or Setup Installer or InstallShield® Setup Launcher or Setup Launcher ( SETUP.EXE) or Setup Launcher or Google Chrome or Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper or 32-bit Setup Launcher or Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 SP1, 3.0) or PackageForTheWeb Stub or Setup Application or Adobe Bootstrapper for Single Installation or Windows NT Setup Executable or Conexant Universal Device Install/Uninstall (version x86 Application) or Setup MFC Application or Sdiwjiq Ynkvtgg Atxymh or ATI CIM Application Launcher Module or Download Manager or SuperDAT Stub

belongs to software InstallShield or Microsoft .NET Framework (version 3.5 SP1, 4 Extended) or Microsoft Visual Studio (version 2008, 2005, 2010) or Neuber GmbH / Setup or Google Chrome or Software Installation or Outlook Express or Setup Application or Microsoft Office Professional Edition (version 2003) or bbccogo or install or HP Deskjet Preloaded Printer Drivers or VirusScan Enterprise or hphprld.exe or PackageForTheWeb Stub or Project1 or BitComet or makers or ATI Graphics Accelerators or yyyyyyyyyyy or Install or Logitech MouseWare or Microsoft Windows Operating System or SetupClickHere or Sdiwjiq Ynkvtgg Atxymh or stub or stub.shark or Download Manager or Bootstrapper Small or Microsoft Office Single Image (version 2010) or Windows® Installer Bootstraper or iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

by Microsoft ( or InstallShield Software ( or Neuber Software ( or InstallShield Corporation or Macrovision ( or Mi or Google ( or w00t or ( or A. & M. Neuber Software ( or Adobe Systems ( or Hewlett-Packard Company ( or Sonic Solutions ( or Netopsystems or Conexant Systems ( or ATI Technologies ( or McAfee ( or AirInstaller or Sdiwjiq Software or Acresso Software ( or Symantec ( or Softwin ( or Microcorps or Avira GmbH (

Description: Setup.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Setup.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 32,768 bytes (9% of all occurrences), 116,880 bytes and 66 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunOnce, Run, DEFAULT\Run, User Shell Folders, RunOnce, MACHINE\User Shell Folders, DEFAULT\Runonce, MACHINE\RunOnceEx, MACHINE\RunServicesOnce). Setup.exe is able to monitor applications, record keyboard and mouse inputs and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 33% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify setup.exe related errors

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

Important: Some malware also uses the file name setup.exe, for example (detected by Kaspersky), and Trojan.Generic.KDV.151955 or Trojan.WhenU.H (detected by F-Secure). Therefore, you should check the setup.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

to launch a program/software
It is an installer, but it can be a virus.
Probably, it took 25-30 CPU for some reason just close it using task manager
On my task manager under "Mem Usage" I found this at more than 260,000 K. I was not attempting to download anything at the time. It took several attempts to kill it.
  Michael Hardy  
Setup.exe is also used in Windows Setups, as well as installing download software from the internet, the Setup.exe should always be scanned, because it can extract malware. As well as slow down the performance, since it uses most of the machines CPU on it.
It seems to be related to game programs or poker programs. It just arranges files, runs for a minute or two. It does 'consume' the system for the time being.
Installer of program. If it is from known source its not a virus.
I got this along with another weird thing when Toontown was super slow. I'm not sure what it is, but my Avast hasn't been detecting things lately...
  I'm Only 10  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of setup.exe: based on 62 votes with 9 reviews. 25 users think setup.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 7 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger. 20 users think setup.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 12 users don't grade setup.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving setup issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with setup. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic 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 resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

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

Other processes

setup.exe [all]