What is lsass.exe?

The genuine lsass.exe file is a software component of Microsoft Windows by Microsoft Corporation.
If "lsass.exe" resides in "C:\Windows\System32", it is the Microsoft Windows Operating System's Local Security Authority Subsystem Service. Six critical Windows services involved in the computer's security management are dynamic link library (.dll) files which are called by "lsass.exe". These include "vaultsvc.dll", which controls access to credentials of users and applications; "efssvc.dll", central to storage of encrypted files on NTFS-type disk volumes; and "samsrv.dll", the Security Accounts Manager. If the real "lsass.exe" is forcibly stopped the machine is forced into a restart because the Welcome screen loses its account(s). It also cannot be uninstalled. In other locations, assume "lsass.exe" is disguised malware, which may include extremely dangerous Trojans or worms. A spyware or malware removal program may be needed to remove such files.

LSASS stands for Local Security Authority Subsystem Service

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 lsass.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 lsass.exe related errors

Lsass.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with lsass
Lsass.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Local Security Authority Process or LSA Shell (Export Version) or LSA Shell or pikachu or CNG Key Isolation, Security Accounts Manager or Windows host process (Rundll32) or Bonjour or Encrypting File System (EFS), CNG Key Isolation, Security Accounts Manager, Credential Manager

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or IPSEC Services, Protected Storage, Security Accounts Manager or CNG Key Isolation, Security Accounts Manager or CNG Key Isolation, Protected Storage, Security Accounts Manager or Encrypting File System (EFS), CNG Key Isolation, Security Accounts Manager or Project1 or CNG Key Isolation, Security Accounts Manager, Credential Manager or Encrypting File System (EFS), Security Accounts Manager

by Microsoft ( or Simply Super Software ( or qYpbf or Blackburn Laocoon or noOrg ( or Ckojz sx or Ci78JjFt5o9WNk or Todiihk.

Description: The original lsass.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Lsass.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 13,312 bytes (76% of all occurrences), 22,528 bytes and 14 more variants. 
The program is not visible. Lsass.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. The application uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. Therefore the technical security rating is 15% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify lsass.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is lsass.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true lsass.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Local Security Authority Process". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are e.g. Trojan.Win32.VB.akjd or Trojan-Dropper.Win32.VB.asju (detected by Kaspersky), and Trojan:Win32/Dursg or VirTool:Win32/VBInject.gen!FA (detected by Microsoft).
To ensure that no rogue lsass.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as lsass.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the lsass.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

lsass.exe is a pretty critical windows process that will cause forced shutdown if ended with task manager i have no idea about what happens if its missing on the computer
i have a lsass.exe program in C:\ProgramData\MicrosoftCorporation\Windows\SystemData
Lsass.exe is a process used by Microsoft's Local Security Authority Subsystem Service. This process looks after computer security by checking the details the user supplies when logging into their PC. However, some trojans or viruses hide behind the guise of processes like lsass.exe, and can have serious impact on your security. Always have an antivirus running in the background.
  CedFalz   (further information)
Safe system file if in the [Bootdrive]\[windows directory]\system32 folder. Note even the legitimate version of this file can result in a forced shutdown IF it crashes.
its a system file use for authuntication
lsass is completely safe unless operating from outside system32. In order to prevent malware from attacking/abusing it, make sure to keep windows updated.

  heqta   (further information)
The actual Windows process (System) is important. One that isn't in System is probably a virus.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of lsass.exe: based on 712 votes with 9 reviews. 264 users think lsass.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 32 users think it's probably harmless. 132 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 82 users suspect danger. 202 users think lsass.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 74 users don't grade lsass.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving lsass issues

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

lsass.exe [all]