What is smax4pnp.exe?

The genuine smax4pnp.exe file is a software component of SoundMAX by Analog Devices.
Smax4pnp.exe is an executable file that belongs to Analog Devices SoundMax, an onboard soundcard that comes installed on many motherboards chipsets manufactured by various electronic equipment manufacturers. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. Analog Devices is an American company that develops solutions in data conversion and signal processing technology. The company manufactures analog, mixed-signal and DSP (digital signal processing) that are widely used in electronic equipment. Analog Devices was founded by Ray Stata and Matthew Lorber, two MIT graduates, in 1965 and is currently headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, USA.

SMAX4PnP stands for SoundMAX (version 4) Plug-n-Play 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 smax4pnp.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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Smax4pnp.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with smax4pnp
Smax4pnp.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as SMax4PNP MFC Application belongs to software SMax4PNP Application or My Book Device Driver or HP Backup and Recovery or NVIDIA ForceWare Network or IBM Software Package Installer or Dell Image Preparation Tool by Analog Devices (

Description: Smax4pnp.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Smax4pnp.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in the user's "Documents" folder or in a subfolder of the user's profile folder—generally C:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMAX\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 1,388,544 bytes (21% of all occurrences), 1,404,928 bytes and 36 more variants. 
Smax4pnp.exe is not a Windows core file. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run, MACHINE\User Shell Folders). The program is not visible. The file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Smax4pnp.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 34% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: The software vendor offers the option to uninstall SoundMAX Audio software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7), consult Analog’s Customer Service or make sure that you have installed the latest version.

Recommended: Identify smax4pnp.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as smax4pnp.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the smax4pnp.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

when put in run box , the whole search box dissappears
Consider as not dangerous but what have I found out was this smax4pnp.exe eat up my internet quota!!! Slowing down my internet speed because of this app downloading something in the background. How do I know ? I checked my broadband status statistics and found out my pc internet speed is running at 300kb/s +- when idle, it should be 0 to few bytes when not downloading anything. So I decided to disable it in the startup menu then restart to take the effect to see if I was right or not. Wow, everything is just back to normal, fast surfing speed, fast download!!!
unless it's corrupted it's 100% safe. if not, reinstall your audio drivers
audio device for my dell og8310 motherboard, Advanced System Care tells me on system startup it chews 15.15% cpu usage and recommendation is to 'delay' it. Better still i can disable it as my nvidia graphics card has built in audio
  mark alexander ufo  
I need it for my old computer dimension 4600 yo! its the sound driver for sound max
Good for rep. music listen and recording
I believe it was installed with a monitor I got
Soundmax driver for ASUS mobos, not needed if you don't use it
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of smax4pnp.exe: based on 77 votes with 9 reviews. 42 users think smax4pnp.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 8 users think it's probably harmless. 17 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 5 users suspect danger. 5 users think smax4pnp.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 15 users don't grade smax4pnp.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving smax4pnp issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with smax4pnp. 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 smax4pnp.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

smax4pnp.exe [all]