What is ssms.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 ssms.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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Ssms.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ssms
Ssms.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as SSMS - SQL Server Management Studio or ssm belongs to software myvirus or Microsoft SQL Server (version 2008 Management) by Microsoft ( or Admiral Overseas Employmen or sd.

Description: Ssms.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file ssms.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 116,224 bytes (28% of all occurrences), 13,312 bytes and 4 more variants. 
There is no information about the author of the file. The ssms.exe file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The file is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunServices, Userinit). Ssms.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, hide itself and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 78% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify ssms.exe related errors

Important: Some malware also uses the file name ssms.exe, for example Trojan.Win32.Agent.axpp or Backdoor.Win32.Rbot.aftu (detected by Kaspersky), and TROJ_FARFLI.FA or WORM_RBOT.SMA (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the ssms.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

different to smss.exe, could be sasser virus/worm
  Darren O'Brien   (further information)
A worm with its own SMTP engine
  Antti Iiskola   (further information)
connects to a MDaemon mail server via port 5900
  Kyle Byrnes  
Sql Server 2005/2008 Management Studio
  Dave Mertens  
i had this on my PC and its evil
This file is used by SQL Server 2008, If you do not have SQL server 2008 then investigate further
It's SQL Server Management Studio!
  Nick   (further information)
SQL Server Management Studio 2008  
caused all computers on my network to loose connection withTCP SYN FLOOD showing in router log.
SQL Server Management Console
  J. McKenzie  
ssms.exe is also the filename for MS Sql Server Management Studio. Not dangerous in this case. Check with process explorer.
  mike d  
SQL Server Management Sudio, Either SQL 2005 or SQL 2008
  afterburn   (further information)
Is Microsoft Sql Server Management Studio
Note: SSMS.exe is also SQL Server Management Studio 2008
  ben   (further information)
ssms is the process for Microsoft SQL Server Manager Studio (SQL2008)
  David Radley   (further information)
SQL Server 2008 Managment studio IDE is ssms.exe if you have the management tools installed
  Chris James   (further information)
It's not the sasser virus as Darren suggested
This is Microsoft SQL Server Managenment Studio
  Dwain Pattillo  
Do not confuse this file with the windws file SMSS.EXE. The File SSMS.EXE is names so similar to the windows file name to make you think its the windows file, its a virus/worm that connects to a mdeamon server via port 5900
  Kyle Byrnes   (further information)
Used by Sql Server Management Studio 2008
  Nature Boy  
SSMS could be Sql Server Management Studio 2008. Must be in the IDE folder of your SQL SERVER 2008.
This program is used SQL Server 2008
Sql Server 2008 management studio
Could be SQL Server Mgmt studio or malware posing as smss.exe
ssms.exe is used by SQL server
It's Sql Server Management Server
  Alex   (further information)
it's a trojan
  Sudir Babu  
Sql Server 2005/2008 Management Studio
Seems used by SQL server Management Studio 2008. When I close this, smss.exe will be removed from task list
A sql server 2008 file I ended the process and sql server management studio 2008 shut down. So i would say keep it open IF you have a open instance of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
avast antivrus picked it up as a trojan.
SQL Server Management Studio 2008
  Iainn   (further information)
Sql Server 2008 management studio
  David Waters   (further information)
Sql Server 2005/2008 Management Studio
SQL Server Manegment Studio or BIDS
Bring up Windows Task Manager, under Processes, right click ssms.exe, select Properies, General. If location is IDE under Microsoft SQL Server you are Ok.
  Rob R  
  Olivier Goovaerts  
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio.
  Kevin Herrick  
it's SQL Server Management Studio
SQL Server 2008 Management Studio
If you're running SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) it's legit, otherwise, run for the hills
Should only see it running when SQL Server Management Studio is running
The Ssms utility opens SQL Server Management Studio
  pieterp   (further information)
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
  Morten Seifert  
SQL Server Management Studio, by Microsoft. Sometimes doubles in the process list when accidentally opening the application twice and one will stay running even if you close all the windows and takes up a lot of processor when this happens. Harmless, but shouldn't be open if all windows are closed.
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
  Abraham Atencio  
This is the Microsoft's SQL server Management Studio. This is a necessary component for all database usage on servers and client applications for development and administration.
  Tony DiLeonardo   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ssms.exe: based on 48 votes with 47 user comments. 30 users think ssms.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 11 users think ssms.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade ssms.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving ssms issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with ssms. 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 repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, 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 ssms.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

ssms.exe [all]