What is vmware-usbarbitrator.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 vmware-usbarbitrator.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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Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with vmware-usbarbitrator
Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as VMware USB Arbitration Service belongs to software VMwarePlayer_x86 or VMware Workstation by VMware (

Description: Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 719,512 bytes (40% of all occurrences), 563,760 bytes, 665,200 bytes, 539,248 bytes or 721,048 bytes. 
The program is not visible. The vmware-usbarbitrator.exe file is a Verisign signed file. It is certified by a trustworthy company. It is not a Windows system file. The process can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is able to monitor applications and connect to the Internet. Therefore the technical security rating is 10% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: The software publisher Vmware provides an uninstall program (Control Panel->Software->VMwarePlayer_x86 or VMware Player).

Recommended: Identify vmware-usbarbitrator.exe related errors

If vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 8% dangerous. The file size is 563,760 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 609,904 bytes. You can uninstall this program in the Control Panel. The program is not visible. The vmware-usbarbitrator.exe file is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. The file is not a Windows system file. Vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is able to monitor applications.

Uninstalling this variant: You can uninstall VMware vSphere Client or VMware Workstation, or try to get help from the software vendor. Click on VMware vSphere Client or VMware Workstation in the Windows Control Panel (Software or Programs section) to uninstall it, or click on to visit the vendor's website.

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

7/8/15 - I had this service installed as a result of installing VMWare VSphere... it really took a hit on system resources. Disabled, as I don't need it, my system is running great again.
  Scott Wickham  
It also supports USB device passthrough from an ESX/ESXi host to a virtual machine.
  LucaFreide   (further information)

Summary: Average user rating of vmware-usbarbitrator.exe: based on 1 vote with 2 user comments. One user thinks vmware-usbarbitrator.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving vmware-usbarbitrator issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with vmware-usbarbitrator. 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 vmware-usbarbitrator.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

vmware-usbarbitrator.exe [all]