What is Sihclient.exe? Should I remove it?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -
Sihclient.exe

Sihclient.exe is a file that is responsible for automatic Windows updates

Sihclient.exe is an executable that runs on the Windows operating system and is created by Microsoft. The part of the name SIH stands for Silent Install Helper, which helps to handle files that deal with automatic Windows updates. By default, it is located in C:\WINDOWS\System32\SIHClient.exe and shows up in the Task Manager depending on when it is scheduled to do so. While its initial form is harmless, many users reported that their Firewall had blocked the Sihclient.exe due to it being recognized as a virus. In most cases, this diagnosis is false positive, but users should still be wary if their AV engine detected the executable as malware.

Name Sihclient.exe
Type System file
Function Responsible for handling automatic Windows updates
Potential problems Firewall can block the file
Possibility of a cyber threat Low
Detection To make sure Sihclient.exe is not a virus, scan your device using Reimage or other reputable anti-malware tool

Multiple users reported their firewall blocking the file. The problem occurred after Windows updates went life, and Firewall systems from different developers started to quarantine Sihclient.exe. In most cases, this is a false positive, as the file is signed by Microsoft. While highly unlikely, there is a chance that the executable is malicious. Attackers can disguise malware under any name, duplicate files or even replace them.

Malware is a sneaky type of infection and rarely results in a person noticing the virus straight away. Of course, there are several exceptions – for example, the infection of ransomware is apparent quickly, as files get locked and become unusable. However, check if Sihclient.exe is causing any of these symptoms:

  • Increased CPU/GPU usage
  • Crashing, non-responsive software
  • Frequent error messages
  • Sluggish operation of the machine
  • Increased amount of pop-ups and redirects
  • Program malfunction, etc.

Even if you do not experience any of these signs and your Firewall blocked Sihclient.exe file, immediately scan your computer using security software like Reimage or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner. Nevertheless, you can also pick any other reputable program of your choice.

Another alarming sign is if multiple instances of Sihclient.exe running in the Task manager. Also, the location of the file is and important indicator: anything that is not located in a sub-folder of System32 might be malware.

However, do not rush to quarantine or remove Sihclient.exe as it is useful for Windows OS. Only eliminate the file if it is initiated by malware.

Avoid malware infections – practice safe internet browsing

Malware is prevalent nowadays, and most users do not even suspect that their machines could get infected. Unfortunately for them, hackers abuse that fact and often use clever social engineering techniques to make users visit malicious websites or open executables that inject malicious payload automatically.

To avoid such consequences, users are advised to practice these safety measures:

  • Install reputable security software and keep it up date; also, schedule regular scans
  • Patch all your software as soon as security updates are out (especially dangerous is an outdated Adobe Flash)
  • Update your operating system regularly
  • Do not click on links in suspicious websites
  • Do not download “cracks” or “cheats” from file-sharing sites
  • Refrain from downloading pirated software
  • Watch out for suspicious spam emails and their attachments or links
  • Use strong passwords

Eliminate Sihclient.exe if it is related to malware

We must warn you that irresponsible Sihclient.exe removal might result in system malfunction and your updates might not correctly install or even download. Therefore, you should first make sure that the executable is definitely related to malware. To do that, reboot your PC in Safe Mode with Networking and start full system scan using Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. Additionally, do not try to remove the virus manually as wrong actions might cause your system to fail.

To conclude, legitimate Sihclient.exe is useful file used by Windows to deal with automatic updates. However, bad actors might abuse the process and inject malware under the same name.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage 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.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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