What is HijackThis.exe?

The genuine HijackThis.exe file is a software component of HijackThis by Trend Micro.
HijackThis.exe is an executable file that is responsible for running the HijackThis application, an open source enumerating tool for the Microsoft Windows platform. This file is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. HijackThis is a security program that scans browser and operating system settings and logs the state and condition of the system. The program can be used to selectively remove unwanted settings and files. There have been cases where the settings identified in a HijackThis log file have belonged to legitimate software, therefore it is critical to use extreme caution when choosing to removing anything using HijackThis. However, HijackThis does allow the creation of backups of files and registry items in order to prevent catastrophes. The program also comes equipped with a process manager, HOSTS file editor, and an alternate data stream scanner. Trend Micro Inc. is a Japanese company that develops and markets security software for home and corporate users. The company was founded in Los Angeles, California, USA in 1988 by Steve Chang, his wife, Jenny Chang, and her sister, Eva Chen. Soon after, the company moved to Taipei. After it acquired a Japanese software firm in 1992, it set up its main headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. In September 2014, Trend Micro announced a new partnership with Interpol with a mission to thwart cybercrimes worldwide.

HijackThis stands for HijackThis launcher

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 HijackThis.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 HijackThis.exe related errors

HijackThis.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with HijackThis
HijackThis.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as HijackThis belongs to software HijackThis by Trend Micro ( or Soeperman Enterprises (

Description: HijackThis.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. HijackThis.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of the user's profile folder or in a subfolder of the user's "Documents" folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 396,288 bytes (64% of all occurrences), 388,608 bytes, 218,112 bytes or 401,720 bytes. 
The program has a visible window. It is not a Windows system file. HijackThis.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 18% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to uninstall HijackThis from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

Recommended: Identify HijackThis.exe related errors

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

This is a piece of software that scans all your processes and RUN.INI files and alerts you to any attempted hijackings of your machine.
App for eliminating malware and spyware for the advanced user
Scans your registry for problems
Hijackthis is an app for detecting malware/spyware, etc. It is only for advanced users. Certainly NSA and others don;t like it because it can detect their stuff.
Helping task manager
  Mathieu Deguire  
used for years, essential tool to have,
The regular HijackThis app used to belong to Trend Micro. It is now opensource freeware, therefore guess - subject to hacker tactics from most websites. The real HijackThis (yes - u need to look up the RIGHT SPELLING) is good, yet the 100 bogus fake ones are BAD.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of HijackThis.exe: based on 9 votes with 7 user comments. 6 users think HijackThis.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger.

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Best practices for resolving HijackThis issues

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

HijackThis.exe [all]