Microsoft HTML Application Host file, or mshta.exe, is used for executing HTML applications (.hta files).
While it is true that this is not a critical process, care should be taken not to delete the file accidentally. Removing this file from your computer may make Windows unstable and lead to various errors.
Where the file is located
The default location of the mshta.exe file is X:\Windows\System32. The file is known to exist in 26,624, 29,184, 24,046, 30,720, and 45,568 byte sizes.
Note: â€˜Xâ€™ denotes the drive on which Windows is installed. By default, it is the C: drive.
The genuine mshta.exe file is a Microsoft signed file. However, please note that malware programs often use processes bearing the same or similar names as genuine processes.
How to identify that the process running on your computer is genuine
The genuine mshta.exe file resides only in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. If the file is located in any other location then it is an imposter.
So, use the built-in Search utility to ensure that only the genuine file is residing on your computer. To do this, refer to the steps listed below:
- Click Start.
- Click Search.
- Click All files and folders.
- Type mshta.exe in the All or part of the file name box.
- Select Local Hard Drives in the Look In drop-down menu box.
- Click Search. All the instances of the mshta.exe file residing on your computer along with their path will appear in the right-pane.
- Check the results to see if the mshta.exe file listed is located in the correct folder, that is, C:\Windows\System32.
If the file is located in some other location, immediately reboot Windows in Safe Mode and run virus scans to delete the malware. Windows XP users can use the following steps to reboot Windows in Safe Mode:
- Close all running applications.
- Restart Windows.
- Press and hold the F8 key as Windows reloads.
- In the Advanced Boot Option Menu, select Safe Mode, and then click Enter.
Mshta.exe error in Windows 2000
When you click the built-in Add/Remove Programs utility on a computer running Windows 2000 Professional, you will receive the following error:
Mshta.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows.
To resolve this issue, perform the following steps:
- Click Start, and then click Run.
- In the Open dialog box, type the following command and press Enter.
sfc / scannow
Note: Windows will prompt you to insert the Windows 2000 Professional CD. So keep it handy before you run the command.