What is Msiexec.exe?

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Msiexe.exe is a Windows Installer Component that is called upon to when installing new programs that use the Windows Installer package files. This is essential for the secure and stable running of your computer; hence it must not be terminated.

In this article, we’ll attempt to answer the following questions about the msiexec.exe:

  • Is msiexec.exe a virus?
  • What does msiexec.exe do?
  • Should msiexe.exe be removed?

More About the Msiexec.exe File

Because it is an important system process, many malware entities disguise themselves under the same file name to trick users into downloading it. And recently, there is adware using this process name to lure Windows users into their nefarious activities.

Is Msiexec.exe a Virus?

So, how do you spot a malicious msiexec.exe file?

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Most often, the fake msiexec.exe file hides in the C:\Users\[UserName]\msiexec.exe or C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Local\Temp folder.

To confirm if you have the fake msiexec.exe file on your PC, take the following steps:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL.
  2. Right-click on the msiexec.exe file.
  3. Select Open File Location.
  4. The legitimate file should be saved in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Alternatively, the malicious adware will also trigger a notification from the User Account Control. You will be asked whether or not you wish to proceed with running the msiexec.exe file.

Other signs to watch out for are:

  • Random advertising banners appear on every web page that you are visiting.
  • Web page texts are turning into hyperlinks.
  • Browser pop-ups appear out of nowhere, recommending fake software and app updates.
  • Your browser’s home page is changed.
  • Your browser search queries are often tracked or redirected.

How to Remove the Msiexec.exe Adware

There are many ways to remove the msiexec.exe adware. Work your way down the list until you find a method that works for you.

Method #1: Use Control Panel

The first thing you should do is probably delete the program that is causing random ads to show on your browser. For this, you will need the Control Panel.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Press the Windows button and hit Search.
  2. Into the text field, input Control Panel and hit Enter.
  3. Click Uninstall a program.
  4. Check the list of installed programs on your system. Uninstall any suspicious applications by clicking on it and hitting the Uninstall button.

Method #2: Clean up your browser

Once the adware has infiltrated your PC, it may change your browser’s default home page. It may even add arguments like http://site.address into the URL field. As a result, whenever you launch the browser, an intrusive website will be shown.

To clean up your browser and change these settings that have been hijacked by the malicious adware, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on your internet browser’s shortcut.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Navigate to the Shortcut tab.
  4. Check the target field. If it has been modified, remove the http leaving only the name of the browser.


    • Google Chrome -> Chrome.exe
    • Opera -> Opera.exe
    • Firefox -> Firefox.exe
    • Internet Explorer -> Iexplorer.exe
  1. Once done, hit OK to save changes.

Method #3: Use an anti-malware tool

If the manual removal of the adware is not an option, you can always use a trustworthy anti-malware tool. Once installed, no malware entity should be able to make it past through your computer’s defenses.

Once you have an anti-malware tool installed, make it a habit to scan for malware regularly. For better results, run a quick scan for files that are causing system and speed issues, too. Use a PC repair tool for this.

Wrapping Up

If you suspect that your computer has been infected by the msiexec.exe adware or other malware entities out there, act quickly. Do not let it wreak havoc on your system. Remove them right away and take preventive measures.

Have you come across the malicious msiexec.exe file, too? How did you remove it? Let us know in the comments!

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