What is Acs.exe?

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ACS stands for Atheros Configuration Service (ACS). It’s an essential part of the driver set for WLAN cards or USB adapters, which helps provide desktop computers with wireless capabilities.

Acs.exe is what launches the ACS program. This means the acs.exe process has to be installed alongside the Atheros Wireless LAN to provide additional configuration options.

However, acs.exe is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled at the user’s discretion. For instance, you can disable it if it creates problems in your system.

Is acs.exe a Legit File?

The acs.exe process is normally active on a computer known to have wireless capability. In addition, it usually runs once at a given time. Its presence on a system that doesn’t have the wireless capability or its multiple presence can indicate malware in disguise.

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Furthermore, acs.exe has the .exe extension on its filename, which indicates it is an executable file. And executable files are notorious for causing harm to computers. That said, you need to determine whether the acs.exe on your system is safe or a virus (Trojan) that you should remove.

If you have the acs.exe process running on your PC, you might want to check its CPU usage. There have been cases where it was reported to use up to 100% of the CPU power. But there hasn’t been any known cause of this heavy use of system resources.

Should Acs.exe be Removed?

It is not advised to remove a safe executable (.exe) file without any valid reason because that may affect the optimal performance of any of its associated programs in the system.

The acs.exe file may not have a distinct purpose on your PC, but that doesn’t mean that you can remove it. Unless you find that the process is causing problems on your system, we recommend that you don’t remove it.

However, if you no longer use Atheros Wireless LAN, you can uninstall the ACS software. Note that uninstalling the ACS program will also uninstall the acs.exe file.

Acs.exe File Information

To check if an executable file is a virus or a legitimate Windows process, you need to check its location and follow its path.

The acs.exe file is located in your system’s hard drive. Its specific location is the C:\Windows\System32 folder. It has varying file sizes on Windows with the common file sizes on Windows 10/11/8/7/XP being 36,864 bytes (28% of all incidences), 499,796 bytes, among other 14 more variants.

Acs.exe is a background process using the ACS services name. The program has no author information and is not visible. It is not a Windows core file, which makes it also non-essential for the Windows OS.

Being an unknown file in the Windows Explorer folder, acs.exe can hide from detection and visualization. This feature makes it have a high technical security risk with a rating of up to 71% or even beyond.

Important Information!

The location of the acs.exe file determines its risk level, for example:

  • If it is located in the “C:\Program Files” folder, it has a security rating of 22% dangerouswith a file size of 3,452,792 bytes. This is no need to worry.
  • If its location is a subfolder of “C:\Program Files,” then it has a security rating of 31% dangerous. The file size is between 3,408,736 bytes (often 10% of all reported occurrences) and 36,864 bytes, and it can monitor other applications.
  • If it’s located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, then it has a security rating of up to 52% dangerous, sometimes more. The average file size is between 499,796 bytes (often 36% of all reported occurrences) and 499,797 bytes, sometimes up to 503,512 bytes. The program will not have file information, is not a Windows system file, and is not visible. It can also monitor other applications. This file is dangerous and should be removed.

Note: Some malware can camouflage as acs.exe. You should inspect the acs.exe process on your computer to verify whether it is a threat or not.

The best way to diagnose suspicious files such as acs.exe is to conduct a complete system analysis using quality anti-malware tools such as Spy Hunter, Malwarebytes, or Security Task Manager. The anti-malware programs will be able to identify whether the file is malicious, delete it, and all its associated registries.

How to Avoid Malware Infections

Having a clean and tidy PC can help you avoid problems with malware infections and other unknown files like acs.exe. You need to do the following to keep your PC clean:

  • Regularly perform malware scans.
  • Clean your hard disk (hard drive) using cleanmgr or sfc/scannow.
  • Update your drivers regularly.
  • Uninstall the applications and programs that you no longer use.
  • Monitor auto-start programs (using MSConfig).
  • Enable automatic Windows Updates to ensure that your Windows security processes are updated.


The acs.exe is not an essential Windows process, but that doesn’t mean you should remove it. Unless it starts causing glitches on your PC, you can ignore it because, in most cases, it is not a virus. But ensure you conduct regular malware scan to discard malware entities that may disguise themselves as acs.exe. If you face any similar problem related to acs.exe, leave us feedback in the comments section.

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1 year ago

Somehow, this popped up on my cellphone and has been causing major problems. Please help.

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