When your computer boots up, regardless of what operating system you are using, other processes that are necessary for the running of your computer are also launched. However, there are some processes that are set to launch during startup that you don’t really need to run when the operating system loads. These processes just run in the background and consume your computer resources without actually doing anything else.
GoogleUpdate.exe is one of those processes that are programmed to start when the Windows operating system starts up. This process is a component of the Google Updater software that scans for updates for Google products and services. When you turn on your computer, you’ll notice that it is one of the processes that are also loaded during startup. Because of this, it is often mistaken as malware by some Windows users.
What is GoogleUpdate.exe?
The GoogleUpdate.exe file is an important component of the Google Updater software developed by Google. It runs the Google Updater, a package management system designed to download, install, remove and automatically update Google applications, such as the Google Chrome browser, Google Maps, Google Photos, and others. Once you install these apps on your computer, they also download the googleupdate.exe, googleupdater.exe, or other Google Update files.
The file is usually found in these directories:
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- %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe
- C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Update
Googleupdate.exe files are technically located in the Update folder located within the Google app’s installation directory. You may also notice some files named GoogleUpdateBroker, GoogleUpdateHelper, GoogleUpdateCore, and GoogleUpdateOnDemand, which are all the same Google Update files.
Googleupdate.exe is not a critical system file so it is safe to quit the process or remove the app from your computer. Take note, however, that this may affect the Google apps that rely on it for updates. You can still update your Google apps after removing the GoogleUpdate.exe, but you will have to do it manually.
What Are Google Update Files?
Google Update files enable apps on your computer to communicate with the Google server to automatically scan, download, and install new updates the moment they become available. These Google Update files will try to access the internet all the time even without your permission. The regular scanning and downloading of update files can slow down your internet connection or interfere with other important downloads, causing more hassle to the user.
The problem is, you can’t remove Google Update files without deleting the parent app first. When you delete googleupdate.exe without uninstalling the apps using it, you might encounter errors or performance issues when using those applications.
Is GoogleUpdate.exe Safe?
The googleupdate.exe process was designed to run in the background even when the parent app is not running. So it is normal to see the app running in the background even when you’re not using any applications or tools. Is GoogleUpdate.exe spyware or a virus? Well, GoogleUpdate.exe is a legitimate Windows process. However, it is also possible for malware to imitate this process to avoid detection.
How do you know whether the GoogleUpdate.exe process on your computer is legitimate or not? The first clue is the file location. We mentioned above the folder where the GoogleUpdate.exe file is usually located, so when the file location of the running process on Task Manager is different from the directory above, there is a possibility that it is malicious. If you see the GoogleUpdate.exe process running when you know you have not installed any Google product or services on your computer, then it is most probably malware.
Aside from these facts, you also need to consider the symptoms you are experiencing on your computer. If you notice that your computer is more sluggish than usual or you see irritating ads popping out everywhere, you’ve got something more serious in your hands.
How to Disable or Remove GoogleUpdate.exe Process?
As mentioned earlier, the GoogleUpdate.exe process is not a core Windows system process, so you can remove it anytime without causing your computer to fail. However, removing Google Update files without uninstalling the parent app can cause more problems for your computer.
If you really want to remove Google Update files from your computer, here is the proper way to do it:
- Use the search feature next to the Start menu in the Windows Taskbar to find and remove all instances of the Google Update files. Type in googleupdate in the search bar and delete all entries.
- Open Task Manager by right-click any vacant space from the Taskbar. In the Task Manager window, choose the Startup tab.
- Choose the Google Update Core, then click Disable.
- Launch Windows Task Scheduler and choose the Task Scheduler Library from the left menu. You can simply search for task scheduler in the Windows search box to find and open the Task Scheduler tool.
- Right-click on any Google Update tasks that you find, then select Delete.
- Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog, then type in regedit.
- Click OK to open the Windows Registry Editor.
- Type in the following subkey in the field at the top of the window, then press Enter:
- Right-click on Google Update from the right-side menu, and select Delete.
- Click Yes to confirm.
- Close the Registry Editor.
- Use a PC cleaner app to clean up all related files.
- Reboot your computer.
The steps above should safely remove the Google Update files from your computer. However, if you suspect that the Googleupdater.exe process on your computer is malicious, you need to run your anti-malware software and follow our malware removal guide to make sure that all traces of it are deleted from your computer. Otherwise, the malware will just keep on coming back to reinfect your computer. You can refer to the guide below (insert malware guide) for the complete steps to remove the Googleupdater.exe virus from your computer.