What is msn.exe?

The genuine msn.exe file is a software component of MSN Explorer by Microsoft.
Adding several features to Microsoft Internet Explorer, MSN Explorer was added to Windows in 2001 with the introduction of Windows XP. MSN Explorer packaged multiple services together including email and messaging on top of the Internet Explorer application.

MsN stands for Microsoft Network

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 msn.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 msn.exe related errors

Msn.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with msn
Msn.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as win or apo5 or MSN Explorer belongs to software Microsoft® MSN® Communications System by Microsoft (

Description: Msn.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Msn.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\—for example C:\win\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 412,160 bytes (40% of all occurrences), 468,480 bytes and 11 more variants. 
There is no file information. Msn.exe is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, MACHINE\Run). The program is not visible. Msn.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 69% dangerous, but you should also take into account the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify msn.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware also uses the file name msn.exe, for example WORM_MACOUTE.SMJ1 or TROJ_STRICTOR_DD300599.UVPA (detected by TrendMicro), and W32.Pholdicon or Trojan.Gen (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the msn.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 the main file of Flita virus. It uses removable media to spread and can severely damage the system. You have to delete this executable immediately. It can be found in folder C:\Windows\System. File msn.exe is related to trojan Cosol Trojan.
It is an excellent browser
I had it as my email service but lost access when MSN upgraded. I have now upgraded my Windows XP but still cannot gain access to my MSN mailbox. I love the browser and the mail service, but my experience of the last two weeks tells me their customer service is non-existent
It's running in our company and infects systems over network share with an trojan
It's part of the Verizon with MSN Premium package
  Longtime MSN user  
It is the main program file for the popular MSN Explorer. It can be used to directly access the Address Book, or the Mail Composer of the MSN client, and even the Calendar and Favorites Manager.
  Jane   (further information)
it uses my CPU 100% after a while. I saw it like a process in task manager but I didn't located as a program on the hard drive. After stopping the process the computer apparentlly works normal.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of msn.exe: based on 11 votes with 7 user comments. 3 users think msn.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 3 users think msn.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. One user is not sure about it.

Do you have additional information?

Best practices for resolving msn issues

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

msn.exe [all]