Most antivirus programs identify taskmanager.exe as malware—e.g. Symantec identifies it as W32.Spybot.Worm, and TrendMicro identifies it as WORM_SPYBOT.ABK.
The taskmanager.exe file is a software component of Mediaware Task Manager by Mediaware.
A collection of basic system tools, the Media Task Manager gathers the information from three separate software programs and relays information to the user. The Task Manager package includes a Process Explorer (monitors open processes), a Startup Explorer (monitors and reports on programs that start with Windows), and a Launcher program (a hotkey utility for easily launching other applications). It is a free application and there is little support associated with the product.
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Description: Taskmanager.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The taskmanager.exe file is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 357,728 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 13,179,660 bytes or 1,269,760 bytes.
There is no file information. It is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The program has no visible window. Taskmanager.exe is not a Windows core file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunServices, Run). Taskmanager.exe is able to monitor applications, record keyboard and mouse inputs, hide itself and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 87% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify taskmanager.exe related errors
If taskmanager.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 4% dangerous. The file size is 188,416 bytes. The program has a visible window. The program can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. The software listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. The file is not a Windows system file.
If taskmanager.exe is located in C:\, the security rating is 28% dangerous. The file size is 10,240 bytes. The program has a visible window. There is no description of the program. The file is not a Windows system file.
If taskmanager.exe is located in a not identifiable folder, the security rating is 36% dangerous. The file size is 10,240 bytes.
External information from Paul Collins:
Important: You should check the taskmanager.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.
The following programs have also been shown useful for a deeper analysis: Security Task Manager examines the active taskmanager process on your computer and clearly tells you what it is doing. Malwarebytes' well-known anti-malware tool tells you if the taskmanager.exe on your computer displays annoying ads, slowing it down. This type of unwanted adware program is not considered by some antivirus software to be a virus and is therefore not marked for cleanup.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding PC trouble. 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.