What is McTray.exe?

The genuine McTray.exe file is a software component of McAfee Common Framework by McAfee LLC.
"McTray.exe" is the primary executable process for McAfee's Agent software. It is always a 32-bit program, located in "C:\Program Files\McAfee\Common Framework\McTray.exe" on 32-bit and "C:\Program Files(x86)\..." on 64-bit machines. Once installed it displays an "M" icon in the System Tray and offers shortcuts to McAfee software functions without opening the main user interface. When one or more McAfee products are managed on the PC by ePolicy Orchestrator on a network, the Agent (with 107 components) is essential, although it also installs on unmanaged machines and has a role in applying updates. Proper removal of the Agent requires Command Prompt execution of "frminst.exe", first navigating to the "Common Framework" subfolder, with the parameter "/forceuninstall" or "/remove=Agent" (see link). John McAfee founded McAfee Associates in 1987, (later resigning), now the world's largest dedicated security technology company, restored to standalone status as "McAfee LLC" (2017) after seven years as "Intel Security Group."

McTray stands for McAfee Security Agent System Tray Extension

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 McTray.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 McTray.exe related errors

McTray.exe file information

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

The process known as McTray Application or McAfee Security Agent Taskbar Extension belongs to software McAfee System Tray or McAfee Common Framework by McAfee (

Description: McTray.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The McTray.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files (x86)" (normally C:\Program Files (x86)\McAfee\Common Framework\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Network Associates\Common Framework\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 86,016 bytes (31% of all occurrences), 90,656 bytes and 5 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The file is a Verisign signed file. The McTray.exe file is certified by a trustworthy company. The process can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. Therefore the technical security rating is 17% dangerous; but you should also compare this rating with the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In the event of any problems with McTray.exe, you can do the following:

Recommended: Identify McTray.exe related errors

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

Mctray.exe is a process from McAfee Security Agent Taskbar Extension by McAfee, Inc. and part of McAfee Common Framework

Summary: Average user rating of McTray.exe: based on 2 votes with 1 user comment. One user thinks McTray.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless.

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Best practices for resolving McTray issues

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

McTray.exe [all]