What is msnmsgr.exe?

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 msnmsgr.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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Msnmsgr.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with msnmsgr
Msnmsgr.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger belongs to software Windows Live Messenger or Windows Live Essentials or MSN Messenger by Microsoft (

Description: Msnmsgr.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file msnmsgr.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files (x86)" (usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Messenger\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 3,872,080 bytes (46% of all occurrences), 4,280,184 bytes and 12 more variants. 
It is not a Windows system file. You can uninstall this program in the Control Panel. The file has a digital signature. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, RunOnce). Msnmsgr.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 22% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you still experience problems with msnmsgr.exe, you may also visit the [1][2] website or completely remove Windows Live Messenger or Windows Live Essentials (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify msnmsgr.exe related errors

If msnmsgr.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32, the security rating is 52% dangerous. The file size is 5,001,216 bytes. The program has a visible window. The process starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: Run, DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, RunOnce). Msnmsgr.exe is not a Windows core file. Msnmsgr.exe is able to monitor applications.

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

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as msnmsgr.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Win32:VBMod (detected by Avast), and Worm.Generic.241949 (detected by BitDefender). Therefore, you should check the msnmsgr.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

Windows Live Messenger/MSN Messenger is a Microsoft software, so DUH, it isn't bad at all.
I Do NOT Use MSN Messenger At All, I Don't Even Have An Account & This File Keeps Popping Up Trying To Get Me To Install It. It's Most Likely A Virus, Since Everytime I Close It, It Comes Right Back.
can be dangerous if installing random plugins and file transfer
shows on computor as system error
  David Langdale  
task mgr showed it as a component of auridrion (malware)
If you are sensible and do not click on suspicious links on chat while using this program, you'll be fine. However it's really not that hard for hackers to wreak havoc.
This is the process of Microsoft Windows Messenger
msn messenger
  ashley parsons  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of msnmsgr.exe: based on 123 votes with 9 reviews. 43 users think msnmsgr.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 15 users think it's probably harmless. 33 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 10 users suspect danger. 22 users think msnmsgr.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 15 users don't grade msnmsgr.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving msnmsgr issues

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

msnmsgr.exe [all]