What is msmsgs.exe?

The genuine msmsgs.exe file is a software component of Windows Messenger by Microsoft.
The primary executable of Windows Messenger, this application can run in the foreground or run silently in the background. It is a chat program integrated with Windows XP, that allows you to chat with other Messenger users. Windows Messengers was later replaced by Windows Live Messenger. Founded in 1975, Microsoft's flagship product is the Windows operating system, which is installed on over 90% of workstations worldwide.

MsMsgs stands for Microsoft Messages

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 msmsgs.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 msmsgs.exe related errors

Msmsgs.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with msmsgs
Msmsgs.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Messenger or Messenger or strch belongs to software Messenger or MSEssentials or Trusteer Endpoint Protection by Microsoft ( or ProIntel.

Description: The original msmsgs.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Msmsgs.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files (x86)"—generally C:\Program Files (x86)\Messenger\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 1,695,232 bytes (80% of all occurrences), 1,667,584 bytes and 7 more variants. 
There is an icon for this program on the taskbar next to the clock. The file is not a Windows system file. Msmsgs.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Msmsgs.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 12% dangerous; but you should also compare this rating with the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify msmsgs.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is msmsgs.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true msmsgs.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Windows Messenger". 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 for instance WORM_UTOTI.BD (detected by TrendMicro), and Worm:Win32/Autorun.VU (detected by Microsoft).
To ensure that no rogue msmsgs.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 camouflages itself as msmsgs.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the msmsgs.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

This is Windows Messenger, which isn't MSN Messenger. Windows Messenger is an internal Corporate/Medium Business application that works much like MSN does, but requires Active Directory and an Email server to work
  Snappa   (further information)
This is a pre fetch program for the windows Messenger service. Or its updates. NOT MSN. I believe that it is that little tiny shield on the bottom of the computer that uses that program for updates. This is set for checking windows updates. So it can give false positives in some Anti-virus software.
Have it on my computer since 3 hours ago. Deleted it. msmsgs.exe is a fake messenger that runs in background. I think it is a trojan downloader.
it run in system forever, i like to stop it but i can't
deleted the file... it's slow Cpu usage and internet connection.. it's slow internet connection for 60%.. normal download rate 100kb/s - 4mb/s.. but msmsgs.exe is working.. internet connection slows down 20% - 60%.. for example 500kb/s download, then it will drop to 100kb/s or 50 kb/s.. very dangerous.. i detect it when i end process tree msmsgs.exe..
HINT: Windows Messenger (msmsgs.exe) may be needed for Remote Desktop Help (RDP) to successfully work. SECURITY ADVICE: if RDP not used turn Remote off (Control Panel - System - Remote) and disable Windows Messenger.
  Franky   (further information)
the one for msn messenger is msnmessenger.exe
I scanned all the files I could find with msmsgs in the name with both Symantec and Malware Bytes but neither program recognized the files or folders with the files as dangerous or infected. Not sure if that means anything but I deleted them anyway just to be safe since I dont use MSN Messenger anyway.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of msmsgs.exe: based on 293 votes with 9 reviews. 85 users think msmsgs.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 22 users think it's probably harmless. 72 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 48 users suspect danger. 66 users think msmsgs.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 28 users don't grade msmsgs.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving msmsgs issues

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

msmsgs.exe [all]