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What’s WindowsTerminal.exe? Is it safe or a virus?

If you've used the Windows PowerShell or Terminal then you've probably noticed WindowsTerminal.exe running in the Windows Task Manager. WindowsTerminal.exe is a safe process to have running on your PC, as long as you can confirm it's signed by Microsoft.

However, if the Windows Terminal is running and it seems to be doing its own thing, and you didn't launch it, then it may be time to do a Windows Security antivirus scan. The Windows Terminal probably shouldn't be launching itself...

So what exactly is the Windows Terminal and what can it do? WindowsTerminal.exe is a command-line interface program developed by Microsoft Corporation. It serves as a central location for all command-line tools and shells, providing a unified experience for developers and IT professionals. The program enables users to open multiple tabs, customize their environment, and easily switch between different shells such as PowerShell, Command Prompt, and Azure Cloud Shell.

With its user-friendly interface and powerful capabilities, WindowsTerminal.exe enhances productivity by simplifying the management of command-line tasks, making it easier to work with various tools and environments within the Windows operating system.

Did you know our SpyShelter Antispyware app can be controlled by the Windows Terminal? It can, just go to our top right "settings" menu to turn this feature on.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about WindowsTerminal.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes WindowsTerminal.exe?

We’ve found Microsoft Corporation should be the publisher of WindowsTerminal.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 WindowsTerminal.exe safe or a virus?

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

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