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How to Remove the MSASCuiL.exe Virus in 3 Easy Steps

Sam Boyd Sam Boyd
Updated on: December 1, 2022

Short on time? Here’s how to remove the MSASCuiL.exe virus:

  • 1. Scan Device — Run a full system scan of your device using a high-quality antivirus — Norton is my favorite.
  • 2. Remove Virus — Once the scan is complete, let the antivirus remove all instances of the MSASCuiL.exe virus infection and any other files related to it.
  • 3. Stay Protected — Protect yourself from further infections with a high-quality internet security package like Norton, which offers flawless malware detection, a wide range of extra internet security tools, and good customer support. It’s affordable too, and you can try it risk-free for 60 days.

MSASCuiL.exe is the name of a legitimate Windows process used to display the Windows Defender (Windows’ built-in antivirus) icon in the taskbar. However, hackers like to hijack the names of legitimate files and processes, like MSASCuiL.exe, to disguise viruses and make them harder to detect.

Removing the MSASCuiL.exe virus is a simple process, but you have to be careful — there’s a lot of bad advice out there. If you attempt a manual removal (by going into the computer’s command line) you might accidentally erase essential system files. Doing so can cause permanent damage to your computer’s operating system, and it might even stop it from functioning.

The safest way to remove the MSASCuiL.exe virus from your system is by downloading an antivirus. A good antivirus scanner will remove any traces of the virus from your system, quarantine compromised files, and use real-time virus scanning to prevent you from getting another malware infection.

Norton 360 can do all this and much more. It offers protection for up to 5 devices, and on top of its flawless malware protection, it also has some of the best extra features on the market, like parental controls, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN. You can get an affordable Norton plan for just $9.99 / year, and there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee on all purchases.

Risk-Free for 60 Days — Try Norton Now 

Preliminary Step: Checking for a MSASCuiL.exe Infection

Remember: Even if you have completed the manual checks and everything looks ok, you should still use an antivirus to get a second opinion!

If MSASCuiL.exe is currently running in your system processes and it’s located outside of its usual folder (C:\Program Files\Windows Defender — Note: Substitute “C:\” for your primary drive), then there’s a very good chance the file is dangerous. You are at even more risk if MSASCuiL.exe is located in the “Windows” or “System32” folder.

If the file is in the correct location, to confirm it’s not malicious, you can check its file size. Right-click on the suspicious MSASCuiL.exe and click Properties at the bottom of the drop-down list.

Preliminary Step: Checking for a MSASCuiL.exe Infection

On the window that appears, look at the listing next to “Size” in the General tab.

If the file size is between 483,840 bytes and 631,808 bytes, then chances are the file is not malicious.

Preliminary Step: Checking for a MSASCuiL.exe Infection

If anything looks different, chances are you’ve got an active infection.

Step 1. Identify the MSASCuiL.exe Infection With Your Antivirus (And Don’t Make The Problem Worse!)

IMPORTANT: Never connect your cell phone, tablet, or any other external device to an infected computer. If you do, there’s a risk that the virus will replicate itself onto your other devices.

Once you’ve downloaded a reliable antivirus, you need to run a full disk scan to locate and remove the virus and all related files from your computer. It’s really important to do this even if you think you know where the suspicious .exe file is located, because it might have replicated into other areas of your computer.

A full disk scan will detect, quarantine, and remove every copy of the MSASCuil.exe virus from your computer. What’s more, it will ensure that it isn’t infected with any other malware, like spyware or worms that frequently run undetected.

It’s really important to run the full system scan until it completes. Don’t be tempted to just cancel the scan when you see the virus appear on the infected file list, because there might well be other copies of it lurking elsewhere on your system that the antivirus is yet to pick up.

A full disk scan can take anywhere from 1–4 hours, depending on which antivirus you’re using. It takes time for the antivirus to analyze every single file and process on your device, so be patient.

When the full scan is complete, the antivirus will give you an alert. Great news! Now the MSASCuiL.exe virus and every other piece of malware on your system has been safely identified and quarantined.

Risk-Free for 60 Days — Try Norton Now 

Step 2. Remove the MSASCuiL.exe Infection and Delete Any Other Infected Files

Now your antivirus has identified and quarantined all the malware on your device,you’ll get the option to delete it. If you’re a more advanced user, you can look through the quarantined files to make sure there are no false positives before you delete anything. However, if you’re a less technical user, it’s fine to just trust the antivirus — if a reliable product like Norton has identified something as malware, it’s probably not something you want to keep on your computer. If you do have any concerns about deleting a particular quarantined file, you can always contact your antivirus’s customer support team to check.

Once you’ve deleted all the infected files, it’s time to restart your computer. After restarting, you should run a second full disk scan. This is to make absolutely sure that every trace of the MSASCuiL.exe infection has been fully removed. Hopefully the second scan will be much quicker — antiviruses like Norton can remember which files they’ve already scanned, which speeds the process up for subsequent scans.

As with the first scan, you need to let your antivirus complete the second scan. Once it’s done, and you’ve reviewed and deleted all the compromised files that were quarantined, you can rest easy that your device is 100% malware-free! However, there are thousands of malware files still out there just waiting for the opportunity to infect your device, so it’s important to move onto step 3 before your online security is compromised again.

Risk-Free for 60 Days — Try Norton Now 

Step 3. Keep Your Device From Getting Re-Infected

Since the MSASCuiL.exe virus has infected you once already, you’re now well aware of how easy it is for a computer to get infected with malware. There are new threats every day, and hackers are always looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit.

With the range of threats to your online security steadily increasing and getting ever more sophisticated, how can you keep your devices and your personal data safe? Here are several practical steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting caught out again:

  • Keep Your Software, OS, and Drivers Up-To-Date

Hackers are good at finding vulnerabilities in software and exploiting them. When developers become aware of these vulnerabilities, they patch them up with software updates. So if you don’t keep your software up-to-date, your chances of falling victim to malware threats increase greatly.

But it can be difficult to keep track of which of your programs need updating — after all, most of us are running multiple devices, apps and programs all the time. Avira has a great tool to make the task of updating your software much simpler. It’s able to scan your PC for out-of-date software and then update it automatically, which is super convenient.

In addition to keeping your software and operating system up-to-date, you need to make sure your drivers are regularly updated too. As an operating system ages, developers stop supporting it, so its vulnerabilities no longer get patched, meaning the older your operating system gets, the more vulnerable it is.

The good news is that most operating systems and programs have an auto-update option. You should go to your settings and choose this option wherever possible to ensure your devices and system drivers are kept up-to-date.

  • Don’t Download Suspicious Files

If you’re not totally sure what a file is and where it comes from, don’t download it to your device. Often, malware will be disguised as apparently genuine free software or attached to emails that are made to look legitimate.

What’s great about antiviruses like Norton is that they’re able to scan your emails and identify any suspicious files, as well as scanning anything you try to download before it can cause any harm to your device. That said, while good antiviruses are great at protecting you from threats, it’s still important to use your common sense and never open anything you’re not sure about.

  • Secure Your Wireless Network

Before you go online, you need to make sure the wireless network you’re going to use is secure. Using a firewall is important, but you should definitely also ensure your Wi-Fi connection is password-protected.

To check whether your Wi-Fi is secured, look at your network list — any Wi-Fi connections that aren’t password-protected will have a warning sign next to them.

Step 3. Keep Your Device From Getting Re-Infected

Anyone can connect to a Wi-Fi network that isn’t password-protected, so they’re way more vulnerable. But that said, hackers can infiltrate secured networks too, which is why having a really strong password is vital.

Often, people don’t give much thought to their Wi-Fi password, and go with a default and easy-to-guess password like “password”. This is a really bad idea, as it makes a hacker’s job very easy — hackers break into networks with weak passwords every single day.

With that in mind, it’s time to set a really strong password for your Wi-Fi network. A safe password needs to be at least 15 characters long and use a random mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. A good password manager like 1Password can help you generate unguessable passwords, and can store them too so you don’t need to worry about forgetting.

Once you’ve chosen or generated a really strong password for your Wi-Fi router, head to your router’s settings on a web browser and follow the instructions you’re given. You should have details on how to do this in the manual that came with your router, but if not, you can try typing the router’s model number into Google.

  • Download a Secure Antivirus Program

There are so many antivirus packages available, but only a handful of them are really top quality. It’s worth spending a few bucks on a premium antivirus to benefit from all of the security protections you need to stay safe online.

My personal favorite is Norton 360 — its scanner uses artificial intelligence, advanced heuristics, and a massive malware database to provide flawless malware detection. Plus, it offers a heap of useful extra features like real-time protection and webcam protection, and all for a really reasonable price.

Norton also includes:

  • Anti-phishing protection — Protects you from online scams.
  • Password manager — Generates, stores, auto-fills and auto-saves passwords, so you can strengthen your logins and keep them secure.
  • Smart Firewall — Keeps your network safe from hackers.
  • Parental controls — Keeps your children protected with content filters, YouTube monitoring, app and screen time limits, and location tracking.
  • Virtual private network (VPN) — Hides your IP address to keep your internet usage anonymous, and comes with unlimited data on all plans.
  • System cleanup — Improves your device’s performance by clearing junk.
  • Identity theft protection (US only) — Live monitoring of your credit reports, the dark web, and breach databases to alert you to compromised accounts, plus a $1 million insurance policy.

I particularly like Norton’s anti-phishing protections, which stop you from accessing dangerous sites designed to steal your personal information, including social media login credentials and banking details. The same anti-phishing protections will stop you from accessing malicious sites which can auto-download viruses onto your PC (including the MSASCuil.exe virus).

Norton offers a range of plans, from essential antivirus protections (Norton Antivirus Plus) to feature-rich internet security suites with the extra features mentioned above (Norton 360 Deluxe is the most popular plan). All Norton plans are backed with a 60-day money-back guarantee, so you can install it, remove the MSASCuiL.exe virus, and try all of its features for 60 days before committing to a paid plan.

Risk-Free for 60 Days — Try Norton Now 

What is MSASCuiL.exe?

The typical MSASCuiL executable is a genuine and safe Windows 10 application developed by Microsoft.

It’s short for Microsoft Antivirus Security Center User Interface Logo.

Microsoft developed MSASCuiL.exe in 2015 as a component of Windows Defender — Windows’s built-in antivirus engine.

MSASCuiL.exe is responsible for displaying the Windows Defender notification icon that you see on your system’s taskbar.

In most cases, MSASCuiL.exe won’t harm your system.

However, hackers are known to disguise malicious software, such as worms and trojans, by giving them the same names as trusted files (such as MSASCuiL.exe). They do this so that experienced users and virus scanners have a hard time detecting them.

If you suspect this has happened to you, follow the above steps on how to remove MSASCuiL.exe.

How Can MSASCuiL.exe Infect My Computer?

The MSASCuiL.exe virus is pretty common, and it’s most often shared with users through scam emails.

If you don’t recognize the email’s sender, and they’re trying to convince you to download a file, then the chances are the email is malicious.

Other methods of infection include:

  • Internet File Downloads — If you don’t trust the website you’re on, don’t download any files from it.
  • Social Media Links — With social media being as prominent as it is, many fake accounts share links containing virus downloads. If you see a page that looks too good to be true, chances are it is.
  • Text Messaging Apps — A lot of applications like WhatsApp have their own web clients that users use to share files between their phones and computers. Remember, just because a text messaging application was developed for phones, that doesn’t mean it can’t spread viruses to a computer system.

Should I Disable MSASCuiL.exe?

No. If you see MSASCuiL.exe running in your task manager, that doesn’t mean your computer is infected.

MSASCuiL.exe is often a legitimate file developed by Microsoft. For it to be running in the background of your system isn’t unusual, and to disable it could cause problems regarding the functionality of Windows Defender.

When in doubt, follow this guide on how to remove MSASCuiL.exe. It will take you through all the steps necessary in detecting and removing any malicious file on your system.

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About the Author
Sam Boyd
Sam Boyd
Contributor
Updated on: December 1, 2022

About the Author

Sam Boyd is an avid tech fan with a keen interest in cybersecurity products and online safety. When he isn't researching the latest online threats, he enjoys chilling out with some video games and getting outside, exploring new parts of the world with his family.