What is smss.exe? Should I remove it?

Differences between legit and dangerous Smss.exe file

Smss.exe is an executable for Session Manager Subsystem that belongs to Microsoft Windows operating system. Thus, this process is absolutely legitimate. However, particular cyber threats might be using the same name of the executable to hide in the system and perform malicious tasks. Thus, if you have noticed that your computer acts oddly, you should check its security. The legitimate SMSS is located at c:\windows\System32\smss.exe directory. It begins running during the startup process and additionally works for launching the winlogon.exe and csrss.exe processes, setting system variables and other activities.

Name Smss.exe
Type System file
Distribution This file belongs to Windows OS. Malicious version might be distributed via insecure installs
Symptoms Appear in the Task Manager using computer resources and working in the background
Potential danger Might be related to malware
Removal If you need to determine whether the file is safe or not, use FortectIntego. This tool might also eliminate the malicious file

Smss.exe can stop the system from responding if winlogon.exe and csrss.exe processes don’t end up as expected too. We do not recommend stopping this process if it’s located at c:\windows\System32\smss.exe because it’s required for normal PC’s functionality.

However, if you found this executable in other location, your computer is most likely to be infected with some cyber threat. The malicious smss.exe process can work as an executable file for launching parasites, loading main components of malicious programs and running a destructive payload.

The smss.exe virus may be a significant part of dangerous parasites, such as:

  • Employee Watcher,
  • DreamAd,
  • Wowcraft.b,
  • YahLog,
  • Sober.x,
  • Gammiy,
  • MDSA Sentinel X,
  • KillSec
  • and other.

These threats can use this executable for different purposes, as the file's functionality depends on a particular parasite it belongs to. You can suspect that your PC is infected with the so-called smss.exe virus if the system became sluggish, you cannot open particular files, noticed programs crashing or freezing, or receive numerous errors.

In this case, we highly advise to scan the system with FortectIntego or another anti-malware and check if this file is malicious. We have told at the beginning that this file might be legitimate. Thus, if you just remove smss.exe itself, you might cause damage to your PC.

Meanwhile, after the system scan, security software will inspect if this file is malicious and perform smss.exe removal if needed. Additionally, malware removal tool will delete all cyber threats that might be residing on the system.

Malicious executable might be dropped on the system using different strategies

The malicious SMSS file spreads obfuscated. It might be presented as a free or cracked program, fake software update, important email attachment or other safe-looking file or application. Therefore, it gets inside the system when user downloads, opens or clicks on particular content online.

To avoid this and other cyber threats, users are advised to:

  • be careful with freeware downloads and software updates;
  • avoid browsing through potentially dangerous or high-risk websites;
  • do not click on each shopping offer or security alert that pops up on the screen;
  • stay away from illegal content;
  • check information about the sender and look up for other suspicious elements before opening every email attachment.

Remove smss.exe virus correctly

Smss.exe removal has to be performed using reputable anti-malware tool, such as FortectIntego. You should try to delete this single file yourself even if you are certain that it’s malicious. This file belongs to some cyber threat that consists of numerous other files that have to be eliminated too.

Thus, the correct way to remove smss.exe virus is to use reputable security software, let it detect and delete dangerous components from the system.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.
About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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