What is runSW.exe?

The genuine runSW.exe file is a software component of Realtek Wireless LAN Utility by Realtek.
Realtek Wireless LAN Utility is a configuration and compatibility toolkit that facilitates communication between Realtek Wireless LAN cards and the operating system. RunSW.exe runs a process that forces a USB3.0 or 2.0 connection. It may necessary while running a USB Wi-Fi adapter. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems.

Realtek Wireless LAN Utility is a free program offered by Realtek that downloads drivers that enable the operating system to work with installed hardware network interface controllers responsible for connecting the computer to the Internet or a local area network. This program supports the Microsoft Windows platform.

Realtek is a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company founded in 1987. Realtek employs over 2,000 people, most of which work in research and development. The company manufactures and sells a wide variety of products based on Integrated Circuitry throughout the world. Its products broadly cover communications networks, computer peripherals and multimedia. Realtek is currently headquartered in Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

RunSw stands for Run Switch

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 runSW.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 runSW.exe related errors

RunSW.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with runSW
RunSW.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as RunSwUSB belongs to software runSW Application by Realtek Semiconductor (

Description: RunSW.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file runSW.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 36,864 bytes (57% of all occurrences), 44,760 bytes, 48,856 bytes or 44,104 bytes. 
It is a background process, and the service name is RunSwUSB.
There is no file information. The program is not visible. The runSW.exe file is not a Windows system file. RunSW.exe is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. RunSW.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 47% dangerous; but you should also compare this rating with the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify runSW.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as runSW.exe. Therefore, you should check the runSW.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

I recently built my own computer: Intel I7, 16 GB RAM, Geforce GTX 770, Windows 7 with 256 SSD (not really worth the extra $) For a while now, my ram has been filling up to like 12-14GB. I assumed it was the programs I was running, so I closed the taxers and it only dropped by 2-3.5 GB. I checked "Show processes from all users" in Task Manager and saw runsw being the fourth biggest consumer at about 1GB, so I decided to stop the service and disable it. As soon as I did that, my RAM usage dropped from 12GB to 4GB. This program seems to be licensed to realtek and I can only assume it has something to do with nonessential audio things; either way, it uses a lot of unnecessary RAM and can be disabled without trouble as far as I can tell.
RunSWUSB leaks virtual memory and will crash a system
I came across this remark "You should keep RunSwUSB if you need to use this software to Switch USB2.0/USB3.0 for WinXP SP2+ ~ Win8" And that made sense. I installed a USB WiFi adapter with USB3 connector. The device details page in device manager has a field for this force USB2 or USB3 and Auto.
  Eric-Jan H te A  
It works in the background and consume memory and shutdown process goes very slowly. I was disabled that service in comp. management.
  John Smith, Belgrade  
Found the "memory leak" in my system. Runsw.exe was using 360,000 threads. Found it by turning on the threads column, then located the service by the same name. Stop the service, disable it, done. Committed memory immediately dropped from 90% back down to about 10%.
It runs as a service. RunSWUSB
  Curtis Maurand  
causes massive memory leaks on systems 9+gb idle on a 16gb system with nothing open. Had to nail it down with process explorer
  John Cena  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of runSW.exe: based on 7 votes with 7 user comments. 2 users think it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger.

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Best practices for resolving runSW issues

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

runSW.exe [all]