What is root.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 root.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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Root.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with root
Root.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Phoenix Service Software or Visual Basic Command Line Compiler or CrypterStub belongs to software TSS Instrument API or Start or Microsoft Visual Studio (version 2005) by Nokia ( or Microsoft (

Description: Root.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file root.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 380,928 bytes (66% of all occurrences) or 352,256 bytes. 
You can uninstall this program in the Control Panel. The software has no file description. The program is not visible. The software listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. Root.exe is not a Windows system file. Therefore the technical security rating is 60% dangerous.

Uninstalling this variant: If you have any problems with root.exe, you may also completely remove Phoenix Service Software or TSS Instrument API (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program) or use the software publisher's support site.

Recommended: Identify root.exe related errors

If root.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 46% dangerous. The file size is 301,117 bytes. The program has a visible window. There is no description of the program. The application starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run). Root.exe is not a Windows system file. Root.exe is able to manipulate other programs. root.exe appears to be a compressed file.

If root.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 0% dangerous. The file size is 1,169,224 bytes. The program has a visible window. Root.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Root.exe is digitally signed. The application starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run). It is not a Windows core file. Root.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs.

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as root.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Trojan:Win32/Malat (detected by Microsoft), and TROJ_DROPPER.NXE (detected by TrendMicro). Therefore, you should check the root.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


Summary: Average user rating of root.exe: based on 1 vote with 1 user comment. One user thinks root.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving root issues

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

root.exe [all]