What is enstart.exe?

The genuine enstart.exe file is a software component of EnCase Forensic by Guidance Software.
EnCase Forensic is a suite of software utilities designed for digital scientific investigation. Enstart.exe runs a process that launches the EnCase Forensic application. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. EnCase Forensic is a suite of tools developed for investigators that features data acquisition from 25 different types of devices, such as such as smartphones, tablets, and GPS; the software can be used to produce reports using the acquired data while offering customizable processing, flexible reporting, external reviews, and integrated investigative workflows. EnCase Forensic is available for the Microsoft Windows platform. Guidance Software, Inc. is an American company that develops and markets solutions in digital investigative software that are used by law-enforcement and government agencies, various corporations in the financial and insurance sectors, technology firms, defence contractors, telecom operatos, as well as pharmaceutical firms, healthcare providers, manufacturers, and various retailers. The company specializes in cyber security incident response, digital forensics, endpoint security analytics, and electronic discovery. Guidance Software was founded in 1997 and is currently headquartered in Pasadena, California, USA.

EnStart stands for EnCase Forensic Application Startup

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 enstart.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for enstart.exe related errors

Enstart.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with enstart
Enstart.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as EnCase Enterprise Agent belongs to software EnCase Enterprise Agent or enstart by Guidance Software (

Description: Enstart.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Enstart.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 921,600 bytes (15% of all occurrences), 937,984 bytes and 13 more variants. 
There is no description of the program. The program is not visible. Enstart.exe is not a Windows core file. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. It is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. Enstart.exe is able to monitor applications and hide itself. Therefore the technical security rating is 75% dangerous, but you should also take into account the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify enstart.exe related errors

If enstart.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 62% dangerous. The file size is 765,952 bytes. There is no description of the program. It is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The file is not a Windows system file. Enstart.exe is able to monitor applications.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as enstart.exe. Therefore, you should check the enstart.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

I find a larger file, 458,752 bytes, the version is 5.04, still from Guidance Software
  David Stever  
removing enstart
It's a legitimate application installed by Administrator. It belongs to an infrastructure which use to monitor and enables remote incident response, auditing, etc...
This is used by forensic software to scan a computer.
After this file appeared on my computer it started blocking important ports I needed for software development, seemingly maliciously. Everything worked again once I removed it from my system.
size: 614,400 bytes version: copyright: Guidance Software 2006
It is a tool from Guandance Software to enable spying, surveillance and monitoring of employee activity on corporate systems.
  bob   (further information)
Enstart.exe is the process that is related to the Encase Forensic tool servlet. It is used for remotely caputring hard drive images.
A network forensic software to collect information as legal evidence
  JL   (further information)
PC security management (corporate) allows for ur system to be monitored by security
"enstart.exe" is a default app name for Guidance Software's EnCase forensic enterprise client application. Normally, the name should be obfuscated, but some places may not have felt this necessary. If you're part of a large org and you see this process running, ask your IT security POC for guidance before deleting/modifying. Then again, file/app names are largely arbitrary - it is possible that it's malcode masquerading as a legitimate service.
2600 magazine, vol. 24, num. 4, page 51
An article in 2600 magazine claims that it's company-issued spyware, to track your actions.
This is installed on my company computer, so it is possible that it is corporate nanny-ware.
  Jimmy Thompson  
used by forensic software 'EnCase' to scan a computer - from Guidance Software (if working on an enterprise machine, check with your Admin)
  Adrian   (further information)
Corporate use to monitor workers.
It's a small daemon that EnCase connects to
it was non-corporate malware. it hogged 50% cpu
It's EnCase by Guidance Software - a computer forensics and fraud investigation software which usually installed by Administrators of an Enterprise Network as part of it's legal and compliance requirement
  Stephanus J Alex Taidri   (further information)
Forensic software tool Encase from Guidance Software. Can capture disk image for forensic analysis.
  Steve   (further information)
My job used it to monitor the activity of my coworkers and I. I found out by a malware scanner ending the process than came here to see what it was. If you see it cancel and delete it
Enstart isn't malicious.It is used by agencies to perform an investigation into the user or users of the computer. Normally for criminal investigation
  Ronny Headley   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of enstart.exe: based on 19 votes with 22 user comments. 4 users think enstart.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 7 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 3 users suspect danger. 4 users think enstart.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade enstart.exe ("not sure about it").

Do you have additional information?

Best practices for resolving enstart issues

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

enstart.exe [all]