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What’s vswhere.exe (Visual Studio Locator)? Is it safe or a virus?

vswhere.exe is a command-line tool by Microsoft Corporation that helps locate installed instances of Visual Studio on a Windows system.

It can be used to search for and return information about Visual Studio installations, including the installation directory, product version, and edition. This tool is particularly useful for developers and IT professionals who need to manage multiple versions of Visual Studio across different machines.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about vswhere.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes vswhere.exe (Visual Studio Locator)?

We’ve found Microsoft Corporation should be the publisher of vswhere.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is vswhere.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the vswhere.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find vswhere.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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