What is User.exe

USER

File description

User.exe with description USER is a process file from an unknown company belonging to an unknown product.
The file is digitally signed from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
We do not recommend removing digitally signed files from Microsoft Windows Component Publisher

What is user.exe?
This is was a core component of the operating system in Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and ME. It is responsible for many aspects of the operating system.

On modern versions of Windows, user.exe exists solely as a dummy file for Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME 16-bit compatibility. You should never see user.exe actually running in the Task Manager. Despite its obsolescence, you should not delete it, as it is required for 16-bit applications to run. Furthermore, as it is a system file, it is possible that Windows would complain and leave you unable to install some future updates if you were to delete it.

Dangers of user
As this executable was a part of Windows for many years and many versions and thus users are familiar with it, it is common for virus writers and spyware vendors to disguise their malware as the genuine one.

Some malicious files may have the same name as this process but be stored somewhere other than in %SystemRoot%\System32. Other malware may use a name that appears similar to that of the legitimate one but with slight differences in spelling or with appended digits. The following malware is known to disguise itself as user.exe:
  • W32/Kedebe-F (%SystemRoot%\System32)
    • This is a mass-mailing worm that spreads itself through its own SMTP server, as well as by copying itself to open network shares.
This process should not run on Windows NT-based (2000, XP, Vista, etc.). The presence of any instances of this process in the Task Manager is a strong indicator of a malware infection.

Common problems
  • On modern systems, this is just a dummy executable. Any errors you might encounter with this process are most likely related to faulty 16-bit programs or broken backwards compatibility.

Automatic startup locations

001 Running Processes
002 Autorun registry entries local machine
003 Autorun registry entries Current User
004 All users startup startmenu
008 Autorun registry entries Default user
009 Autorun registry entries SYSTEM user
035 Active Setup Installed Components
136 Local Machine Runonce (+subkeys)

Digital signatures found for this file

    Certificate 
1 Microsoft Windows Component Publisher - Microsoft Timestamping Service
1 Hudson Software - Comodo Time Stamping Signer

MD5 security rating in our database

14 files (Not yet rated and not signed)
1 files (Not yet rated and digitally signed)
2 files (Safe and digitally signed)
Some versions of this filename have not yet been checked for safety.
Warning: Some malware might rename itself to user.exe. Always make sure that your file is from a verified publisher.

User ratings for this file

File rating: Average rating of user.exe: by 17 files and users.

Application errors

Fix user.exe application error:  Run a FREE registry scan

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