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What Is SecurityHealthSystray.exe? A Virus Or Malware

If you are an advanced computer user, you may have heard of SecurityHealthSystray.exe (in short, SecurityHealthSystray) as one of the many running processes in your Windows Task Manager.  You may be wondering what exactly it does and if it is safe to keep this process running on your system. 

SecurityHealthSystray was designed by Microsoft to help scan and protect computers from viruses, malware, and other security threats by monitoring how they behave and how they affect your computer.


SecurityHealthSystray.exe is a legitimate Windows file that runs in the background and monitors security for your system, but it can also be used as a Trojan Horse to install malware onto your computer if you download and run the incorrect software from an untrusted source. 

With so many malicious people looking for ways to infect computers, it’s important to know what this executable does and how you can use it to protect yourself from viruses and malware.

 The process file size on my machine was 994 bytes when I opened up Task Manager. 

If there are no active threats detected then you will only see the System health is a good message. However, if there is any type of threat detected then the program will automatically activate, scan and remove any files containing those threats.  

It will also provide instructions on how to continue with the suggested actions. It seems like Security Health has been catching everything!  It just works so quietly in the background that you don’t even notice it.

What Is SecurityHealthSystray.exe?

SecurityHealthSystray.exe is a process that comes installed with Microsoft Windows Operating Systems for the purpose of collecting data about the safety of your system and running it through an antivirus scan to ensure that you are protected from malware and viruses. 

The executable file, also known as Microsoft Security Center, checks for various applications and services in order to know if your computer is at risk of being infected with a virus, trojan, rootkit, adware, spyware, or any other malicious program.

 If there is no internet connection, the file will be disabled by default but when there is one available, it will run a complete scan on both files and folders inside of your computer. 

One way to tell if you have this process on your machine already would be by checking for the existence of a shortcut icon next to the search bar on your taskbar. 

If it does not exist then there should be no need for concern but if you do see one then there might be something wrong with your machine. You can delete it by following these steps: 

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys all at once to open Task Manager and click the Startup tab. 
  1. Search for SecurityHealthSystray.exe and right-click on it to select Open File Location.
  1. Delete the associated folder/file (usually found in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client). 
  1.  Check again in Task Manager, this time go to Services tab and stop Security Health Service.
  1. Restart your computer. 
  1. After restarting, check for new instances of the process and repeat steps until you get rid of them all.
  1. If that doesn’t work, check back here for more information on what to do next!

You may have noticed 

SecurityHealthSystray.exe appear in Task Manager after downloading a new piece of software from the internet or even after opening some spam emails with attachments.

Is SecurityHealthSystay.exe A Virus Or Malware?

SecurityHealthSystray.exe is a suspicious program that may be malicious in nature and should not be run on your system. 

If you have this file and are not sure what it does, it’s best to run an anti-virus scan to ensure you don’t have anything unwanted on your machine and then remove the file from your system.

 It is unlikely that this process is important to Windows since it could cause major problems if misused. The process also runs invisibly without any kind of notification which can make its execution easy for attackers who want to take control of your PC remotely.

 These include users with administrator rights who might click on links embedded into emails, messages or popups.

 You’ll know the file is running when you see a green shield icon by the System Tray in your taskbar which signifies that security software is running. 

To stop the process, right-click on the shield icon and select Exit or Open Security Health to view more information about what this process is doing and how it works.

 Multiple instances of the process running will show up in your Task Manager as well as possibly taking up too much CPU power on your computer causing things like games to lag.

 Some experts recommend scanning for malware using tools like Hitman Pro before proceeding. Doing so ensures your PC is free of viruses before deleting SecurityHealthSystray.exe.

 Be careful when following online instructions to uninstall the application because they might contain other risks such as adware, spyware, and ransomware.

How To Remove SecurityHealthSystray.exe

SecurityHealthSystray.exe is a tool that shows the status of Microsoft’s security products and services, including Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and the Windows Update service.

 If you see this process running on your computer and are unsure what it does, you can stop it with Task Manager by opening Task Manager > Processes tab > right-clicking SecurityHealthSystray.exe > select ‘End Process. You can also disable it from starting up at boot by following these instructions: open Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services tab. 

Find Security Health Service in the list of services and double-click to modify its properties. Click Stop to turn off an automatic startup. Set the Startup type to Manual and then click OK.


There are many ways to protect your computer from viruses and malware, but the first step is knowing what it is you’re protecting yourself against. Even if you have an antivirus installed on your computer, there’s no harm in being aware of the files that could be harmful to your system. Stay safe out there!

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Michelle Paulsen

Michelle, a former author for renowned tech publications TechCrunch and The Verge, has established herself as a prominent figure in technology journalism. With her deep industry knowledge and experience, she excels at breaking down complex tech topics into engaging, reader-friendly articles. Known for her sharp analysis and compelling storytelling, Michelle has a proven track record of enlightening readers about the latest tech trends and innovations.

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