What is LaunchU3.exe?

The genuine LaunchU3.exe file is a software component of U3Launcher by SanDisk.
LaunchU3.exe is an executable file that runs the LaunchPad program, a program manager for the Windows platform that is preinstalled on U3 Smart Drives. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. LaunchPad enables users to quickly find and manage programs and files located on their U3 Smart Drives. The program can be used to install, uninstall and update U3 programs such as Internet browsers, email clients, utility programs, business applications, photo editors and viewers, games, etc. All U3 programs can be accessed through LaunchPad. Launchpad provides password protection as well as data encryption, protecting all data on U3 Smart Drives. The SanDisk corporation is an American company that manufactures flash memory storage devices. SanDisk was established in 1988 by Sanjay Mehrotra, Dr. Eli Harari and Jack Yuan. The company produces storage devices are that sold at more than 250,000 retail outlets in over 100 countries. SanDisk is currently headquartered in Milpitas, California, USA.

LaunchU3 stands for Launches U3 LaunchPad

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 LaunchU3.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 LaunchU3.exe related errors

LaunchU3.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with LaunchU3
LaunchU3.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as U3Launcher belongs to software U3Launcher or U3 Platform by U3 (

Description: LaunchU3.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. LaunchU3.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\ProgramData"—normally C:\ProgramData\U3\U3Launcher\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 921,600 bytes (44% of all occurrences), 1,336,632 bytes or 1,368,064 bytes. 
There is no description of the program. The program has no visible window. LaunchU3.exe is not a Windows core file. The program can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. LaunchU3.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 50% dangerous, but you should also take into account the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If problems with LaunchU3.exe come up, you might want to safely remove the program using the uninstall program of U3Launcher (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program) or visit the website.

Recommended: Identify LaunchU3.exe related errors

If LaunchU3.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 33% dangerous. The file size is 1,336,632 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 1,110,016 bytes or 950,272 bytes. LaunchU3.exe is a file with no information about its developer. The program is not visible. The file is not a Windows system file. LaunchU3.exe is able to monitor applications.

Uninstalling this variant: If problems with LaunchU3.exe come up, you might want to safely remove the program using the uninstall program of U3Launcher or U3 Platform (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program) or visit the website.

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as LaunchU3.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the LaunchU3.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

U3 launcher for U3 enabled usb sticks
  Dave Farrell   (further information)
It is part of U3 USB flash drive recognition software
  Thaddeus Bejnar   (further information)
LaunchU3.exe runs on my Macintosh G4.
  Jmi Morrison  
I found it here in Vista: C\ProgramData\U3\U3Launcher
LaunchU3 came preloaded on the GeekSquad USB Flash Drive, that I purchased at Best Buy. When I inserted the drive, my computer asked if I wanted to install it. I didn't know what it was, so I began to surf the internet to find out.
  A. Tidwell  
cruzer thumb drive allows software to run from thumb
  Garth Frost   (further information)
it is good software it will scan after inserting in to the system
cruzer sandisk U3 smart micro 1.0GB
  william... bill259  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of LaunchU3.exe: based on 8 votes with 8 user comments. 3 users think LaunchU3.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users don't grade LaunchU3.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving LaunchU3 issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with LaunchU3. 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 LaunchU3.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

LaunchU3.exe [all]