What is update.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 update.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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Update.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with update
Update.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Service Pack Setup or Windows Essencials Media Codecs Update Service or VIRUS or product updater or Gonzales Update or REEO or Symantec Smart Update or Dragon or ftptest MFC Application

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Outerinfo or MediaTickets by OIN or OIN or VIRUS or Windows Essentials Media or HandyBits File Shredder or Yazzle by OIN or HandyBits EasyCrypto Deluxe or Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition or Avira AntiVir Personal - Free or REEO or HandyBits Voice Mail or Norton Utilities (version 15) or DragonatrixXx or Project1 or AntiVir Desktop or ftptest Application

by Microsoft ( or Teknum Systems AS ( or MediaCodec.Org ( or Avira GmbH ( or Dragon Productions or REEO or Bitdefender ( or Symantec (

Description: Update.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The update.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 14,336 bytes (34% of all occurrences), 131,072 bytes and 19 more variants. 
There is no file information. The file is not a Windows core file. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 62% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify update.exe related errors

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

Important: Some malware also uses the file name update.exe, for example or Trojan.Win32.Llac.col (detected by Kaspersky), and TROJ_GEN.USEHJ21 or WORM_ROTINOM.SME (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the update.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

found with location c:\windows\syswow64\config\sysprofile\appdata with IP address identified as Google Inc. Charter Security Suite as F-Secure identified it as a possible threat trying to make internet connection.
i have a updater exe trying to run from my internet cache nothing should be trying to update from that section of a computer or even running as a separate program outside of a browser
Seems not to be dangerous, but my pc is get slower work... Cureit form dr. Web wont get that like a virus
It's dangerous! You can use a anti-virus program to get rid of it. I would recommend "mcafee internet security".or adwcleaner. In my opinion. I scan my laptop with mcafee and they got rid of "windowsupdate.exe".
Virus! Called 'not-a-virus' from my anti-virus scan. Remove at all costs!
I have it, it has 3 programs it runs on startup, it asks to let setup.exe make changes to the hard drive, it runs another updater service and setup with a bunch of numbers, Updater service
Cpu taken up. May be a trojan.
Well, I'm not sure about this program. Norton keeps saying it is safe. I installed it and then came to this page. I see that many are unsure as I am. I decided to "uninstall" it. What I found out is that it is a "hidden file." I cannot find it. I'm having issues right now with CPU usage and hard drive usage. This is the last thing I need on my pc...
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of update.exe: based on 61 votes with 9 reviews. 18 users think update.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 10 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 7 users suspect danger. 23 users think update.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 11 users don't grade update.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving update issues

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

update.exe [all]