What is mcupdate.exe?

The genuine mcupdate.exe file is a software component of McAfee Security Center by McAfee LLC.
"Mcupdate.exe" is a name used both by McAfee LLC, for their process to find and download McAfee software updates, and by Microsoft for the Windows Media Center (WMC) Store Update program, which apparently downloaded updates to information about television programs to be recorded. The McAfee process is part of the McAfee Service Center, which handles the user interface (GUI) for all McAfee cybersecurity products and resides in "C:\Program Files\\Agent\mcupdate.exe". Uninstalling one McAfee product may not remove it if other products that need it are present. Selecting "McAfee Inc" under the Control Panel uninstall applet may have unintended results. If the module is in "C:\windows\ehome\mcupdate.exe" it is the WMC Store updater. Consult Microsoft forums to deal with the problems it can cause. Although Microsoft has discontinued WMC, some find ways to install it even under Windows 10. Removal may be extremely involved because of Windows Resource Protection.

McUpdate stands for McAfee Update Launcher

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 mcupdate.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.

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Mcupdate.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with mcupdate
Mcupdate.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as McAfee Update Launcher or Windows Media Center Store Update Manager belongs to software McAfee SecurityCenter or Microsoft Windows Operating System by McAfee ( or Microsoft (

Description: Mcupdate.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Mcupdate.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files (x86)"—mostly C:\Program Files (x86)\\Agent\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 728,848 bytes (25% of all occurrences), 1,110,192 bytes, 794,824 bytes or 1,708,096 bytes. 
The mcupdate.exe file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. It is certified by a trustworthy company. It is a Verisign signed file. Mcupdate.exe is able to monitor applications and hide itself. Therefore the technical security rating is 25% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You may want to uninstall the software McAfee, Inc. using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify mcupdate.exe related errors

If mcupdate.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 4% dangerous. The file size is 198,656 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 168,448 bytes. The file is a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The mcupdate.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft.

External information from Paul Collins:

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

mcagent.exe is a process associated with McAfee Internet Security Suite. This process ensures the computer's virus definations are up to date by communicating with the McAfee VirusScan server on the network. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your antivirus program and should not be terminated.
  Elric Ward part of McAfee internet suite
After my Virus Scan 9 expired, I started to get messages that "mcupdate.exe" required me to connect to the Internet. Now, a month after installing Virus Scan Ver 10 I still get these messages. Should this happen, and if no what can I do. Thanks.
  Norman Raby  
Although it's for auto updating McAfee, it's so persistant about not being removed. I don't like software that reinstalls itself.
  J. Michrina  
It comes up when I turn on computer & blocks out my lower task bar.
constantly create problem and does not cooperate with another programs as Java for example
The only problems with this is when it updates while you play cpu chewing games.
  Matthew P  
To stop it! Press start! Control panel! Performance! Administrative Tools! Services! Find the McAfee Updater! R Click! Choose Properties! See ENABLED with a down ARROW! Click Arrow! Choose Disable! Click OK! Close! Restart computer!
  D. Stone  
On Windows Vista, It's the Media Center Store Updater.
Needed for McAfee VirusScan
I'm running Vista without any McAfee products and I have this occasionally running
  Damian Leroux  
mcupdate.exe is also Microsoft Media Center's updater on Vista, located in C:\Windows
  B. V. Aphraid  
Vista application "Windows Media Center Store Update Manager" in \Windows\ehome. (Runs even if you never use Media Center.)
I once had Norton (Symantec)..Now I have Microsoft OneCare...I have never had Macafee...I know there is Trojan activity on my Vista Computers. I welcome UAC because it alerts me security is high. I found a folder that wouldn't allow me, the owner and administrator to look at its contents. I couldn't change permissions. Even though I was already listed as owner I couldn't take ownership and I couldn't give it away so I couldn't increase my permissions. The curious thing is that it is a Windows Temp file.
  Binatackd ndintlikt  
I have the program "Process Explorer" and while I was watching a movie my network and CPU usage spiked up high wich caused my movie to lag, that was the reason i found out about it. When i looked at the discription it had given it said that it was used by windows home entertainment centre (definetly not McAfee). Does one of you have an explanation for this?
  R. Tobi  
Part of Vista Media Center, stored in C:\Windows\ehome. Runs as a Network Service. File description says: "Windows Media Center Store Update Manager"
Updater for Windows Media Center. It is located in c:\windows\ehome
  Jan du Plessies  
This has nothing to do with McAffee, it's Windows Media Centre Store Update, and you should not delete it.
It is the updater for windows media store. It was highlighted by Norton when it wanted internet access. Norton's recommendation is to let it run. Found in C:/windows/ehome
  Jimmie Clark  
this update also pinged my firewall, only i don't have mcafee. it was in my windows/ehome trying to call outbound. ehome has no file associated with mcupdate,exe. somebody's trying to be sneaky, luckily i caught it, but you guys be careful and read those "annoying vista firewall popups". they'll save you an ENORMOUS headache.
mcupdate.exe is an autoupdater for Windows Media Center Store. It endeavors to contact the internet without my permission and gets me kicked out of video games every time it tries to contact the internet. I don't have Mcafee on my computer so I can't be associated with that program.
Like one user said, it appears on my Vista machine at Windows\eHome and runs whether I use the Media Center or not (I never do). I'd love to know a way to disable it. Norton Antivirus treats it as a danger. At least it's bothersome.
  Mike Rediker  
i have never mcafee on my pc- why write its from mcafee? its from M$
  teutonischer berggeist  
Windows Media Center update process
Comodo reported it wanted to control all my parent pograms and I do not have McAfee installed. I don't trust any program that tries to usurp my authority as Administrator and reinstalls itself. Vista updates should be used with caution.
Re: Vista mcupdate.exe Windows Media Center Store Update Manager (Checks for Media Center updates). If shown running in Windows Task Manager, End Process. Then, disable it in Task Scheduler Task Schedule Library Microsoft Windows Media Center. I didn't mind it running, but my Symantec firewall would pop-up three times before it would accept my OK to continue.
  Ron aka LanWanMan, Ocala, FL USA  
media center store update file
  noob man  
It is a Microsoft Media Center Updater in Windows/ehome folder.
  Rehmat Ullah  
Potential for confusion since this filename is used for two entirely different purposes: Windows Media Center Update and McAfee Update.
  Richard Russell  
as there is written o.O if its in a subfolder of c:/microsoft hten its from wmc, else (dont remember where it was then) its from mcdonalds antivirus - whatever it shouldnt be deleted if you need the program
  sataan1337   (further information)
i believe its for microsoft meda center ( vista windows 7 ) as i dont have mac afee or norton in my opinion they both arent worth messing with ! if you want security and like to know what is going on and what is installing and updating on your computer ? get comodo internet security premium its free and full of powerfull options and far supases anything norton or macafee can do !
  ian / afordable computer repair  
it is using tons of CPU and memory and I can see its running in the Resource Monitor but when I do a full search for Mcupdate.exe its not on my drive

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of mcupdate.exe: based on 33 votes with 32 user comments. 17 users think mcupdate.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 5 users suspect danger. 3 users think mcupdate.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 8 users don't grade mcupdate.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving mcupdate issues

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

mcupdate.exe [all]