What is trustinstaller.exe? How to fix your high CPU usage?

What is TrustedInstaller.exe?

TrustedInstaller.exe is a critical system process found in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is vital for managing and enforcing file ownership and permissions, particularly for system files and folders. It is associated with the Windows Modules Installation service, which is responsible for installing, modifying, and removing Windows Updates and optional components.

What is the purpose of Trustedinstaller.exe?

TrustedInstaller.exe is designed to safeguard essential system files and prevent unauthorized modification that could compromise the stability and security of the operating system. By default, TrustedInstaller.exe has full control over system files and directories, ensuring that only trusted and authorized system processes can make changes to them.

High CPU, disk and memory usage caused by TrustedInstaller.exe

Although TrustedInstaller.exe is a critical system process, it can sometimes cause problems. A problem is high CPU or disk usage, which can cause system slowdowns or crashes. This usually occurs when the process is installing or updating Windows components. However, if the excessive use of resources continues for a long period of time or occurs frequently, it may suggest an underlying problem that needs attention.

On certain occasions, malware it could try to imitate TrustedInstaller.exe to hide its actions. If you notice any suspicious behavior, such as unexpected network traffic or system disturbances attributed to TrustedInstaller.exe, it is crucial to perform a thorough malware scan using reputable security software. This step will help safeguard the security of your system.

1. How to determine if TrustedInstaller.exe is a virus or legit

As discussed above, malware can mimic TrustedInstall.exe to hide its actions, to determine whether TrustedInstaller.exe on your system is a virus or a legitimate Windows process, you can follow these below-mentioned methods:

1.1 Check the file location

The legitimate TrustedInstaller.exe file is usually located in the “C:\Windows\service” directory. If you find it anywhere else, it could be a potential sign of malware. Here’s how to check:

  1. press the Windows+R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box
  2. In the run dialog box, type Task Manager in the text box and press the Enter key.
  3. Navigate to the details option located in the task manager as shown in the image.
  4. Now, in the list of services, Locate TrustedInstaller.exe.
  5. Right click on TrustedInstaller.exe and click Properties in the context menu.
  6. Now, in the properties window. Check if the location is “C:\Windows\service”.

If the location is different from what we have mentioned, the TrustedInstaller.exe installed on your computer is potentially a virus.

1.2 Check Digital Signature

The legitimate TrustedInstaller.exe file is signed by Microsoft. If there is no digital signature or the signature is from an unknown source, it could indicate a malicious file. Here’s how to check the digital signature:

  1. Open the Task Manager.
  2. Open the properties of the TrustedInstaller.exe.
  3. Now navigate to the digital signatures option.
  4. If the file is signed by Microsoft Windowsit is not a virus, otherwise it is possibly a virus.

1.3 Observe the behavior of the system

Observe the behavior of TrustedInstaller.exe. The legitimate TrustedInstaller.exe runs as a background process and is responsible for managing system files and updates. If you notice suspicious activity, such as high CPU or disk usage, unexpected network connections, or frequent errors related to TrustedInstaller.exe, it could be a sign of malware.

2. Remove TrustedInstaller.exe if it is a virus

If you are sure that the TrustedInstaller.exe file on your computer is malware, it is recommended to remove it. However, if you are still not sure and facing high CPU usage, you can proceed directly to method number 3. This is how you can remove TrustedInstaller.exe from your computer using a third-party antivirus:

  1. Click here to download Malwarebytes.
  2. Continue with the simple installation procedure.
  3. After the installation is complete, the application will ask you to restart your computer.
  4. Run a scan and remove any malware on your computer.

3. Fix High CPU Usage Without Deleting TrustedInstaller.exe

If you are not sure whether the TrustedInstaller.exe installed on your computer is a virus and yet you are facing high CPU usage. There are several things you can do to cure this error:

3.1 Disable Windows updates

TrustedInstaller and Windows Update are closely linked, as TrustedInstaller is a Windows service responsible for managing the installation, modification, and removal of Windows system files. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the operating system. By disabling Windows Update, you will ensure that the service does not run in the background using your computer’s resources. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Settings application pressing win + me.
  2. Click on Update and security.
  3. Select windows update from the left sidebar.
  4. Click on Change active hours.
  5. Set active hours to a time when you won’t be using your computer.

This prevents Windows Updates from interrupting your work and causing high CPU usage during those hours.

3.2 Perform a clean boot

A clean boot is a troubleshooting technique used by Windows to start your computer with only essential drivers and startup programs. This minimal configuration helps to identify and isolate any software conflicts that may be causing high CPU usage or other related issues. By starting a clean boot, you can determine if a particular program or service is responsible for the CPU usage issue.

  1. press the Windows+R keys to open the run dialog
  2. In the search box of the Run dialog box, type “msconfig” and press the enter key. This will open the system settings window.
  3. navigate to Services tab in the system settings window.
  4. Check the box that says “Hide all Microsoft services.” This will prevent you from disabling any essential services.
  5. Click on the “Disable all” button to disable all non-essential services.
  6. Then navigate to the “Start up” tab in the system settings window.
  7. Disable startup applications by right-clicking and clicking the Disable button.
  8. Save the changes and Resume your computer.

3.3 Disable the Windows Module Installation Service

When TrustedInstaller.exe encounters high CPU usage, it can be the result of several factors. A common problem occurs when the Windows Modules Installer service gets stuck in a loop or encounters conflicts, causing excessive CPU resource consumption.

Disabling the Windows Modules Installer service is not a recommended solution because it is essential for managing system components and updates. However, there are scenarios where temporarily disabling it can help diagnose and resolve high CPU usage issues caused by the service.

  1. press the Windows+R keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the run dialog.
  2. In the search box, type “services.msc”
  3. In the list of services, find the Windows Module Installation service.
  4. Right click on it and in the context menu click on Properties.
  5. In the properties, change the startup type to “Disabled”.
  6. Save the changes and restart your computer.

3.4 Allow it to update

If TrustedInstaller.exe on your computer is legitimate and consuming resources, it is usually because you have updated Windows on your computer to the latest version available. You can try leaving your computer on with an active Internet connection for a few hours.