The topic of this guide is the Winrmsrv.exe virus that created a huge wave of concern in recent times. Many Windows users have complained that their firewall is blocking some incoming connections from Winrmsrv.exe. That is strange because a process like Winmsrv.exe usually doesn’t ask for firewall access. The truth is that Winrmsrv.exe can be harmful.
So, if this virus has already infected your system, then you have to understand how to beat it. In most cases, Trojan viruses like Winrmsrv.exe are well known for their effectiveness. They are also quite difficult to get rid of because they generate several other copies that will recover after partial removal.
In this post, we will show you how to remove Winrmsrv.exe both manually and automatically. Some of the strategies that we will share will also help you clean your system from other unwanted components that might affect its performance. But before we proceed with the removal of the Winrmsrv.exe virus, it is better to familiarize yourself with information about the Trojan to avoid similar future infections.
What is Winrmsrv.exe?
You are probably asking yourself: Is Winrmsrv.exe a virus? Well, Winrmsrv.exe is a legitimate Windows process. The executable file is a Microsoft-designed process, and it usually resides in the C:\Windows\system32\ folder. For the most part, this file is harmless, but it can be targeted by malware. In that case, it can be classified as a Trojan Horse, which is famous for causing severe damages in many unexpected ways.
Unfortunately, for Winrmsrv.exe, the exact target is still a mystery; there are too many damages that a threat like this can do to your system. While there are different malware entities associated with Winrmsrv.exe, experts believe that it is a Trojan horse that operates as a cryptojacker on the affected system. So, if you encounter the firewall prompt, you should disallow the connection immediately.
Type: It can be a Trojan/cryptominer or a legitimate Windows system file.
Danger Level: High because hackers usually use such Trojans as a backdoor for ransomware.
Distribution Method: You are likely to get this Trojan from malicious sites and social networks that offer pirated software. It can also be distributed via booby-trapped email attachments and malicious hyperlinks.
Symptoms: The legitimate version from Microsoft shouldn’t be a problem. But the malware version is usually a component of crypto-mining activities. So, you may experience a slowdown of computer operation, high CPU usage of some background processes, system crashes, and BSoDs, among others.
Effects: It can change system settings, launch damaged registry files, crash your computer, disable security programs, delete crucial files, and block system updates.
Removal: You can remove the malware using a robust anti-malware program or eliminate its files manually.
How Winrmsrv.exe Got into Your Computer?
Software bundling and phishing are the most common ways for malware to find their way into computers. It could be that you opened a fake email that appears to be from legitimate companies like Microsoft or government institutions like the FBI and the police.
Regarding bundling, Winrmsrv.exe can be packed with legitimate software by hackers, then distributed to unsuspecting customers.
The Winrmsrv.exe virus could also infect your PC by exploiting the security vulnerabilities of your browser or one of its extensions. In this case, Winrmsrv.exe would be injected into a web page. The moment you visit the malicious site, the virus will make its way into your computer.
If you get any error message related to the Winrmsrv.exe process that resembles any of the following, then it’s likely to be the virus:
- (Winrmsrv.exe) has encountered a problem and will close shortly.
- (Winrmsrv.exe) has stopped working, or this program is not responding.
- (Winrmsrv.exe) is not a valid Windows 32 application error.
- (Winrmsrv.exe) Application Error: Click OK to terminate the program.
The major problem is that Winrmsrv.exe works in the background, so it might not appear as a window. In short, it hides its existence from your naked eyes. What is even worse is that the virus may disable your Windows defense system – for instance, uninstalling your antivirus to enable it to download other malicious programs in the background. The malware may also damage critical Windows files, resulting in app malfunctioning and system crashes, among other issues. So, get rid of the Winrmsrv.exe virus as soon as you discover it.
How to Remove Winrmsrv.exe from Your Computer?
Before you start the termination or removal of the Winrmsrv.exe process, it is necessary to point out that you shouldn’t do so if the file is from Microsoft, meaning that it is legitimate. If you go ahead with the removal, you may affect your normal Windows operation. You might experience system errors, instability, crashes, lag, and other similar issues.
If you are in doubt, just confirm that the file is digitally signed and is within the Windows32 folder. Here is how to check it:
- Right-click on the Winrmsrv.exe file, then choose Properties.
- Next, navigate to the General tab, then check if the file’s location is C:\Windows\System32.
- Now, move to the Digital Signatures tab, then click on the provided signature and choose Details.
- After that, choose View Certificate.
If there is no entry under the Signature list, then your Winrmsrv.exe is likely to be a virus. As touched on earlier, hackers can use Microsoft’s name to trick users into believing that it is a legitimate file.
If you have confirmed that what you have on your system is the Winrmsrv.exe virus, continue with the removal instructions below:
Method 1: Remove the Winrmsrv.exe Virus Manually
Step 1: Boot Your Computer into Safe Mode
- Restart your computer into Safe Mode using any of these options.
- Once you have booted your PC into Safe Mode, remove the virus and its associated files from the operating system.
Step 2: Remove the Virus Using the Task Manager
- Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to launch the Task Manager.
- Navigate to the Processes tab. If you can see the tab, just click on the More details arrow at the bottom.
- Search for all the problematic processes like Winrmsrv.exe.
- Right-click on each of them, then choose Open File Location. Scan these files using your antivirus program.
- End all the processes that are infected, including their folders. If you aren’t sure if a component is part of the infection, just delete it. Sometimes, your antivirus may not detect all infections.
Step 3: Delete the Virus Using the Control Panel
- Press the Start and R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.
- Type appwiz.cpl into it and click OK.
- Once the Control Panel window appears, search for all suspicious entries, then uninstall them.
Step 4: Check Startup Processes
- Type msconfig into the search field and press Enter.
- Navigate to the Startup tab, then uncheck all entries that look suspicious.
- Now, press the Start and R keys simultaneously, then copy-paste this command: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts
- A new Notepad file will open. If your computer is infected, you will see a bunch of other IPs connected to your computer at the bottom of this note.
Step 5: Find Out Registry Entries Added by the Virus
- Open the Run dialog box, type Regedit into it, and then press Enter.
- Once the Registry Editor opens, press the Control and F keys together.
- Now, type the virus’ name.
- Look for all the entries with a similar name, right-click on them, and then delete.
- If nothing shows up, you can go to these directories manually, then delete the entries:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
Step 6: Remove Winrmsrv.exe from Your Browser
- Launch Google Chrome.
- Now, type chrome://settings/ into the address bar and press Enter.
- Navigate to the Extensions tab, search for Winrmsrv.exe and other suspicious plugins, and then delete them.
- Once you have done that, reset your Chrome.
- Click on the Chrome menu and select Settings.
- Scroll down until you reach the Show advanced settings section, then click on it.
- Now, scroll down to look for the Reset button, then click on it to reset your browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer, and then click on the cogwheel icon to expand the menu.
- Now, select Manage add-ons.
- Choose Toolbar, then navigate to the Extensions tab.
- Next, search for Winrmsrv.exe, and then click Disable.
- After deleting the extension, reset your browser to its default settings.
- Go to Tools > Internet options, then navigate to the Advanced section and click Reset.
- Navigate to the Reset IE settings tab, check on the Delete personal setting box, then click on the Reset button.
- Open your Firefox browser.
- Type about:addonsds into the address bar, then hit Enter.
- Now, look for Winrmsrv.exe and other related extensions, then click on the Remove button.
- Click on the menu icon and select Help > Troubleshooting information.
- Next, click on Reset Firefox, then confirm your changes.
- After that, click Finish to complete the process.
Method 2: Remove the Winrmsrv.exe Virus Automatically
Removing Winrmsrv.exe using the manual method might get you into trouble. If you are not careful, you may interfere with system files and registries, thus damaging your system.
To avoid such risks, we recommend downloading a professional repair tool like Outbyte PC Repair. It will not only scan your system for viruses and junk files, but it will also restore the damaged section of your computer. The tool will clean your registry, get rid of unwanted apps, stop unneeded processes, and remove malicious extensions.
How to Protect Yourself from the Winrmsrv.exe Virus?
To protect yourself fully from this Trojan, you should understand the tricks that cybercriminals use to deceive users into installing it. Here are the most common avenues that the virus gets into your system:
- Phishing emails: Hackers typically use already existing botnets to push phishing emails to thousands of users. In most cases, hackers insert a malicious link into emails, or a macro-embedded document is attached to the emails. Sadly, many users fall for this trick by opening the attachment or links in those emails and end up affecting their PCs with the Winrmsrv.exe virus. To avoid this problem, do not allow macros to run when asked. You should also avoid clicking on embedded links.
- Pirated software: Cracks, repacked installers, pirated software, loaders, and similar tools are often bundled with viruses. While some of these downloads might get you what you want, an additional payload is usually inserted in the background without your knowledge. So, if you don’t have an active antivirus program running, such Trojans may hide for months without being detected.
While it might claim as a legitimate program, Winrmsrv.exe can be a dangerous threat to your computer. It usually acts as an open backdoor to attackers. Once it has taken root in your system, Winrmsrv.exe can modify registry entries, steal your data like your bank details or login credentials, shut down your security programs, or even crash your system. For these reasons, you should remove it once your system displays signs of infection.
But keep in mind that you need to be cautious while attempting manual removal steps. Any small error can tamper other installed applications or even damage the hard drive. You can minimize the risk by using malware removal tools and backing up all your important files.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.