The msiexec.exe process is a Windows Installer Component and is a safe system file. However, this file is only safe when it is installed and found within a system directory. When this file is located outside of a known system directory, it may be malicious in nature and may cause severe damage to your file drive.

File name: Msiexec.exe
Application: Microsoft Msiexec
Publisher: Microsoft
Rating: 4 stars based on 277 votes
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Possible causes of Msiexec.exe errors

These errors are frequently caused by conflicts with the file or installation profile, misuse of the file or respective directories, or a malicious attack on the system.

  • When conflicts arise on the profile or with the file, the application may be unable to transmit data between the necessary files.
  • When a file or directory is misused or damaged, the application as a whole may be unable to load.
  • Malicious attacks or infections on the system may render the entire system frozen or unable to perform any necessary computing functions.
Regardless of the cause, determining the best solution should be the first action step when noticing any system-related computer errors.

Is Msiexec.exe a dangerous file (virus, malware, spyware)?

In most cases, the file is considered to be safe. However, files do become corrupt at times and some malicious files are disguised to represent known, secure system files. When that happens, they can be very difficult to detect and remove, but using a comprehensive system scan usually detects them and allows you to safely remove them.

Known Msiexec.exe error messages

Msiexec.exe error

Common error messages users may see include:

  • File not found: Msiexec.exe
  • Cannot find file: Msiexec.exe
  • Device not recognized missing Msiexec.exe file
As the file is associated with USB connections to the computer, a keyboard, mouse, or other piece of hardware connected to the machine through a USB cable may be causing the error or may be unable to function properly due to the error.

Should I stop the Msiexec.exe task or process within the Task Manager?

Unless you have experience managing the processes and tasks on your machine, it is best to allow a system scanner or registry scanner to handle those tasks. Many of the tasks are required for performing specific operations on your machine and removing them may cause your program or entire computer to malfunction or reboot.

Should I download a new copy of the Msiexec.exe file?

The only time you should ever download a new version of a system file is when it comes through an application update or from the publisher directly. Be very cautious when downloading system files from third-party websites as they may contain additional software that you would install without knowing. This could cause an even larger issue than the error you are getting from this file!
WARNING: If you already downloaded a new file from an external site,
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Best way to fix Msiexec.exe errors

When these errors occur, verify if any new hardware or software has been added. If so, simply removing the new hardware or software may resolve the issue. If not, follow the steps below.

  1. Scan for any driver updates for new equipment. If new equipment or programs have been loaded, they may require updated drivers. Download new, secure drivers and perform a clean system restart.
  2. Download and install updates for the operating system. Regardless of the operating system version you are using, it is always considered good practice to install the latest security updates.
  3. Use anti-virus and anti-malware applications. Most virus scanners will protect your machine from basic threats. To increase your protection, use a malware scanner as well.
If the above steps fail to resolve the issue, it may be due to outdated hardware or software.

More information about Msiexec.exe

Many users are worried about this file when getting errors. Again, if this file is located in a system directory, you are likely safe. A known system location for this file is:

  • C:\Windows\System32\msiexec.exe

If the file is found in this location, your system should be safe. However, if you notice the file in a separate location, be careful and scan your system as quickly as possible. Here are possible dangerous locations:

  • C:\Users\[UserName]\msiexec.exe
  • C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Local\Temp

If you notice the file in these dangerous locations, manually delete it and restart your system. If this causes additional errors, your system has likely been infected.

This system file may cause errors with other files as well. Another file to be careful of getting errors with is rthdcpl.exe.


Lead Editor (Bio)

Allen Quinn, Editor
Hey everyone, Allen here. I've been involved in tech support roles for more than 15 years and understand the pains and frustrations associated with broken computers. It's my goal to provide you with the help and knowledge you need to get and keep your computer in working order.


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