What is usnsvc.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 usnsvc.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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Usnsvc.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with usnsvc
Usnsvc.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Messenger Sharing USN Journal Reader Service belongs to software Windows Live Messenger or Messenger by Microsoft (

Description: Usnsvc.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file usnsvc.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 98,328 bytes (68% of all occurrences), 97,136 bytes, 98,840 bytes, 39,936 bytes or 98,672 bytes. 
The program is not visible. It is not a Windows system file. The usnsvc.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The program can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. Therefore the technical security rating is 22% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you are having problems with usnsvc.exe, you can consult Live’s Customer Service, check the vendor’s website for a newer version or uninstall the associated program (Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program > Windows Live Messenger).

Recommended: Identify usnsvc.exe related errors

Important: Some malware also uses the file name usnsvc.exe, for example W32.Spybot.Worm (detected by Symantec), and WORM_SDBOT.BFS (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the usnsvc.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

MSN Messenger
It's a part of MSN Messenger. "Messenger Sharing USN Journal Reader service"
Processus de Windows Live Messenger (MSN 8)
Part of MSN Messanger and Windows Live Messanger
French MSN Virus. Comming from N039_jpg (folder with a command file)
  Kristian Høsøien Hau  
it causes MSN messenger to freeze up and other annoying bugs. personal experience ending its process stopped msn live from freezing up mid sentance.
Part of Windows messenger it seems, terminated with no issues to messenger
Can also appear under C:\Windows directory... This is NOT the MSUSN Journal service. This executable establishes a connection to and restarts when killed. Nod32 failed to detect this, but file has been submitted for analysis
  James B  
eigendlich garnichts
Runs on a clean, sandboxed, install of Windows Live Messenger, all scans find nothing, and antiviruses find no suspicious activity. Just make sure it's on the proper directory.
Win32/Nosrawec.A this a Keylogger. and working application data directoryy
my antivirus program detected this after i got hacked(with a keylogger program) so i think this must have been the keylogger program

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of usnsvc.exe: based on 18 votes with 12 user comments. 6 users think usnsvc.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 5 users think usnsvc.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving usnsvc issues

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

usnsvc.exe [all]