What is ekrn.exe?

The genuine ekrn.exe file is a software component of ESET Smart Security by ESET.
ESET Smart Security is an Internet Security Suite that protects computers against malicious programs. Ekrn.exe runs a core kernel driver associated with the ESET Smart Security. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. ESET Smart Security provides a collection of security services for Windows, Mac and Android devices. The product offers an antivirus scanner, a PUA (potentially unwanted applications) shield, a personal firewall, anti-phishing and anti-ransomware technology, cloud protection technology, machine learning algorithms, parental protection, and more. ESET is a Russian company that develops and markets anti-virus and anti-malware software for home and corporate users. It was founded in 1992 by Rudolf Hrubý, Peter Paško and Miroslav Trnka, and named after the Egyptian goddess of health, marriage and love. The company operates in over 180 different countries and briefly earned the title of most successful company in Slovakia from 2008 to 2010. The company is currently headquartered in Bratislava, Slovakia.

EKrn stands for ESET Kernel Service

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 ekrn.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for ekrn.exe related errors

Ekrn.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ekrn
Ekrn.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as ESET Service or Eset Service belongs to software ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus or ESET Internet Security or ESET Endpoint Security or NOD32 v3.x FiX (version 1.1 by TemDono) or ESET Security or Eset-NOD32: Fix Dasumo by ESET (

Description: Ekrn.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file ekrn.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\ or in a subfolder of the user's profile folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 468,224 bytes (15% of all occurrences), 810,144 bytes and 49 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. It is not a Windows system file. The file is a Verisign signed file. The ekrn.exe file is digitally signed. The application listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. The application can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. Ekrn.exe is able to hide itself and monitor applications. 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 ekrn.exe, you may also uninstall the software ESET NOD32 Antivirus or ESET Smart Security using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify ekrn.exe related errors

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

antivirus nd 32
Restart the pc and keep pressing F8, then chose safemode, log in to the computer, go to start, all prgrams and then eset and then unistall.
  Ben   (further information)
it is eset business edition too
  Mark Jr.  
Kernel of ESET Nod32 antivirus
  Adrian   (further information)
sunbelt firewall message: denied Eset NOD32 Antivirus ekrn.exe injected dangerous code in outlook express msmni.exe at address 0x017F0214
Nod 32 Anti Virus
Antivirsu Software
Process explorer says its part of NOD32 antivirus
  Mountain Goat  
nod32 antivirus
is not a virus. is a node 32 (eset) scaning program
  1 user  
Cannot delete Eset from C:\ Program Files due to ekrn.exe remains, even after reboot.. Control Panel, Add-remove will not remove Eset, even though it's been (mostly) removed from the reg. Any info would be appreciated.
part of eset nod 32 antivirus program
It's the exe file of the anti virus system Nod32 and it takes up the CPU usage up to 200%. Access to process is denied.
echtzeit überfrüfungsmodul
nod is normally an antie virus program that runs lighter then most but today it is grabing all my comps resorses so I guess I have to reinstall it
It appears to be a file created by and essential for ESET NOD32 Antivirus program, which is a valid anti-malware / spyware program. It only appeared on my computer once I installed NOD32. A valid instance of this program is likely to be found in C:\Program Files\ESET\ESET NOD32 Antivirus
This process is the kernel of the ESET anti-virus real-time scanner.
50% CPU usage

  Ash Grennan   (further information)
It will check the files.(Invisible scanning)
It's the nod 32 kernel engine.
ekrn.exe is a legitimate process of Eset Smart Security or NOD32 and is involved with downloading updates, checking for information e.t.c DO NOT STOP/DELETE
  Null Expulsion   (further information)
The ekrn.exe process belongs to the ESET NOD32 Antivirus and the ESET Smart Security Suite Kernel Service.
its something to do with nod 32 antivirus
постоянно отправляет через порты инфу, что естественно по возможности блокирую. и это напрягает
NOD32 executeable
Eset smart security file. found it in "C:\Programmer\ESET\ESET Smart Security"
Ekrn is the kernel of ESET Smart Securty Antivirus and it is the core part of ESET
I believe ekrn.exe is part of the IBM ITCAM application and necessary for its server.
Part of manuel scan process of ESET Nod32 antivirus
antivirus process
  wewt   (further information)
ekrn sometimes eats up 100% of my CPU usage for minutes. It's like a hangup of the computer.
Belongs to ESET anti virus, do not uninstall
  Sigurd Hall  
Used occasionally by ESET Antivirus. Most the time this software does not hog the system.
  SHenry   (further information)
AntiVirus and Firewall software. Best of its kind. Only uses a very small footprint. Is not resource intensive.
Its a ESET SmartSecurity / NOD 32 process by the looks of it.
NOD 32 Systemfile, stopping it wont help much unless you uninstall Nod32 :)
Yes, nod32 uses CPU. Your car uses gas. Does that mean you get rid of your car? nod32 is a light weight AV. Use it or get a virus!
I think ekrn.exe is not a mare web proxy and a mail filter, it seems that eset corporation does a huge effort in not stopping that process, besides I picked up a parallel upload when I was using my live mail.. i consider it a dangerous spyware... funny you pay to get rid of it. and you get a whole new more dangerous one..
I uninstalled nod32 and ekrn.exe went with it. now my cpu speed is normal. I hate when they say something is better just for it to suck all your resources dry. I wouldn't recommend nod32 unless you have 2 gigs of ram or more.
Nod32 Antivirus
Uses about 80%+ of my bandwith, sucking all the adsl out of me.
RAM drainer. Part of nod32.
we have ESET and after installing a Belking router we end up with a mesage that keep poping up every 90 seconds that say ekrn.exe error so we had to remove the Belkin software and everyting whent back to normal. it was frustrating
Just ESET Service,ESET NOD32 Antivirus modul
  Ardiakz   (further information)
Ekrn.exe are a system program for nod32. (This say on ZoneAlarm.)
Kernel Application for NOD32 Virus Scanner
is a part of eset antivirus which considered safe
Nothing. It showed up when I installed Smart Security 6.
ekrn.exe make my mobile broadband package waste 1 GB bandwidth Every Day
ESET Smart Security / ESET NOD32 Antivirus
  Aswath Krishnamoorthy   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ekrn.exe: based on 73 votes with 51 user comments. 46 users think ekrn.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 7 users think it's probably harmless. 9 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 7 users suspect danger. 4 users think ekrn.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade ekrn.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving ekrn issues

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

ekrn.exe [all]