What is mshta.exe? Should I remove it?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -

How does Mshta.exe file work?

Mshta.exe file is an executable file which can be found on Windows operating systems, specifically, in the C:WindowsSystem32 directory. Generally speaking, mshta.exe is a legitimate file created by Microsoft that comes with every new computer which runs on Windows by default. The file is an important system component that is responsible for opening HTA (or HTMLS) types of files. We do not recommend terminating the process if you do not want to encounter system malfunctions later on.

Nevertheless, there are situations when Mshta.exe termination and removal from the system is advisable and even crucial. One of such cases is when the computer gets infected with malware that hides under this inconspicuous file name and tries to carry out malicious processes using the malicious executable. Though virtually any cyber parasite may use Mshta.exe title to name the infectious files, there are currently several specific programs that have been causing problems for PC users.

What viruses this files is related to?

The first of them is called Chromium virus. It is a group of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) that all hijack web browsers and generate pop-up ads. They can also inject sponsored links into random web pages. Telling from its stealthy access of the computer and extensive ad injection capabilities, this PUP can be further labeled as adware.

Another virus related to a malicious version of Mshta.exe is called Amazon Assistant virus. This potentially unwanted program can also lead you to some unexpected issues, such as annoying pop-up ads and redirects to questionable websites. Beware that such redirects should be treated with carefulness as you can never know where you will find yourself. Such cases when users are targeted by aggressive drive-by downloads, or involved into various scams are not rare anymore. 

How to recognize the malicious file?

Before you begin the Mshta.exe removal, you should closely examine the file and determine whether it is a harmless system file or a malicious component. Besides, pop-up ads related to this file have been actively suggesting that users' computers are heavily infected with some nasty malware, and that they need to buy some sort of antivirus.

That does not mean you have to terminate every Mshta.exe process that you see running on your Task Manager immediately. In fact, the malware may not be related with the mshta at all, so we suggest checking the location of the file first. If you find Mshta.exe placed anywhere other than C:WindowsSystem32 folder, then you have a serious argument for its removal. You may use automatic software to locate every component of the malware and remove Mshta.exe from your PC.

How to remove Mshta.exe?

When it comes to Mshta.exe elimination, you should be very careful. Though it is likely that this executable runs a malicious process, it may as well be a legitimate system file which removal may result in system instabilities and inevitable increased vulnerability. To help you indicate the legitimacy of the file, we recommend scanning your device with some computer security tool, such as Reimage, which will automatically indicate and delete any malicious files that it finds on the system in question.

verdict - status of the file:
diagnosis required
Advice: If your computer seems sluggish, or you are suffering from unwanted advertisements and redirects to unknown websites, we highly recommend you to scan it with reputable anti-spyware program. Do some FREE scan tests and check the system for unwanted applications that might be responsible for these problems.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is a recommended tool to scan your system for possible threats and crappy software. The trial version of the product will find harmful applications in your system.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Ugnius Kiguolis
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