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Mghtml.exe is part of one of McAfee's anti-virus tools. It's often a target of virus attacks.

What is mghtml.exe?

It's apparently part of one of McAfee's anti-virus or security tools. It's targeted and killed by several viruses in order to make it difficult to repair or perform an anti-virus scan.

Article C2137 - July 24, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

July 28, 2004 1:56 PM

MGHTML.EXE is a trojan,a bad one ,probly got in my computer thru spam killer-e-mail,it cancels access and functionality of Mcafee system by crawling thru your dll files,not allowing access to mcafee site or fixs..also has MSKDETCT.EXE and MSKSRVR.EXE as helpers..which dll effected are urlmon.dll,,wininet.dll,, aka virus:avkill.b and troj/killavq..two days with mcafee did not remove,cost me $39.00 7-8 hrs on phone and dat file not downloadable. I myself had to restore dll files from system and than run adware full custom setting,use windows "set up" only ,restart again .First time mcafee let me down! DONT OPEN MAIL YOU DONT KNOW !! Tom

July 29, 2004 4:14 AM

Thomas: Are you shure about what you wrote?

I bought the McAfee Internet Protection Kit - and it works...

The File mghtml.exe shows the same icon as the McAfee-Security Tool and would be the one as described the 24.07.04...

Best regards Urban

The Magical Unicorn
August 3, 2004 4:01 PM

It just means that its time to pay for McAfee. You had a trial membership and now you have to pay to use it.

August 4, 2004 1:10 PM

mghtml.exe the path is c:\program files\\Shared\mghtml.exe

Mafee Privacy Service has alerted me that this program is trying to access a guarded file which is C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\owner\LOCAL SETTINGS\APPLICATION DATA\IDENTITIES\{19B0D28F-7239-4CFE-9CC8-5D61A71709A0}\MICROSOFT\OUTLOOK EXPRESS\FOLDERS.DBX

you can easy block it from access to your files, my friend has mAfee aswell and didnt complain, as hes one of the bests...

if i have anymore problems you will know it.

August 14, 2004 11:22 PM

I have McAfee, and am a paying customer. On a daily act, I like to see what's being processed in my task manager, and noticed a change, one new file that was running, and I've never seen it in the past... "MGHTML.EXE"... must be virus or something because, something was turning on and off my McAfee Firewall as well. I'm heeding Thomas post on it being a trojan, and have deleted, if something happens, i'll reinstall. :)

Cheers to all!

August 27, 2004 12:13 AM

You people are idiots... mghtml.exe is PART of McAfee not a trogan... get your facts straight morons... you could cause someone a HUGE goose chase!

August 30, 2004 4:59 AM

now,now john. no need for that sort of language.helpful comments would be better.been in the pub,had you? since you guys don't know what this is it must be best if you do not allow access to the guarded file that it requests. Have you let it through,john and if you did ,what was the effect?

August 30, 2004 9:31 AM

mghtml.exe IS a part of mcAffee,
its the "mc affee security dialog"
try to delete the file and then to get into your mcAffee security center.
it wont work BECAUSE mghtml.exe "is" the SECURITY CENTER , or the .exe-file in which it is contained...

if there are ANY other questions pls read the FAQ at


September 22, 2004 12:42 PM

This mghtml.exe has just come across to me...
and I am been experiencing the same problems of
some of you...
In conclusion, is it or is it not a virus?
I have just purchased McAfee from a computer store and I searched on the CD itself for 'mghtml.exe' and it wasn't there...
Ok.. you may say that other exe may create it at the installation process?
May be!!!

I'll investigate more...


September 22, 2004 1:33 PM

It's me again!!!

...Probably John wasn't that wrong...!

If you browse the McAfee Internet Security Suite..
You wouldn't find any mghtml.exe but...

there are a few zip files that if unzipped...
...ola` the mghtml.exe is there!

there are also some files.

So it is part of McAfee A/V package.
But the question is:
Is out there a file called mghtml.exe which is a

For the time being, I wouldn't delete the file from the system just yet.
I hope that helps!


September 27, 2004 12:26 PM

whatever it is, it sure slows down my pc. reaction time for keystrokes, refresh rate of monitor, everything just crawls while McAfee is running and when checking the task manager, I see the CPU usage fluctuates between McShield.exe and mghtml.exe sometimes up to 90% usage for one or the other back and forth...sure wonder if it is a virus or trojan horse

October 2, 2004 2:30 AM

I have Scan my computer to see If I have a spam or ad-ware I found theresult telling me that I have a spy-ware called Administ.pwl, which is represent the password for my computer I have Macfee installed but Hey? scan and Scan never find any thing, and also this Mghtml.exe is is a Macfee programe.
It's pop up and say Aguard file,but guard for who,if you are using the same product silly guard?.
so wwhat every body think in my case?.
thanks for any reply.

October 6, 2004 3:35 AM

Well, mghtml.exe is a file which comes with McAfee, there is no question about that. If you're wondering if there is a trojan or spyware-thing which uses the same name, then checking the filesize is a good idea.

Here, \\Shared\mghtml.exe is 151 552 bytes large.

October 31, 2004 4:56 PM

Just a little bit of information for you it may be obvious and you may already know this butth mghtml.exe program only runns when you are actually physically performing a virus scan. During this time you PC will run slower. Best advice is if you are using mcafee is to scam for the virus when you not trying to search the web send emails etc and there shouldnt be a problem

November 11, 2004 6:43 PM

it only shows up when i run a scan, so I am certain it is just a normal thing for the McAfee virus scan. Its natural for a scan to slow things down, so its not realy anything to worry about.

November 12, 2004 1:21 PM

This is indeed part of VS (virus scan). I am sure a cracker can change this file to something bad. Mcafee is EXTREMELY BAD WITH TROJAINS! I tried a trojain tester that ran in memory and what does mcafee do. NOTHING! So I got TDS (trojain defense Center or somethin) And right away it was like BAM BAM BAM BAM TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN TROJAIN. After i scanned it found over 100 traces so i am using avg and TDS now. I found out mcafee wouldn't work another time when i got a message that had a virus in it the would run as like a HTML file or something and wtf buddy viruses r made by ppl who r jealous about that other ppl can make comps and stuff but they do get a lo of corporations money but STILL!

November 15, 2004 8:46 AM

This process doesn't just run when you do a virus scan. I found it just whiling away the time running 92% for about 3 minutes. I noticed this before I used my computer on the internet. It seems to me that over the years, Noton / McAfee have gone haywire and done worse to my computer than any virus or ad-ware ever has.

November 22, 2004 2:47 AM

Just uninstalled McAfee Virus Scan then Zone Alarm reports mghtml.exe is trying to contact the Internet. From reading the threads I assume this is nothing serious, on the other hand why would an unstalled program be on my computer?

December 8, 2004 9:18 AM

hello everybody . this matter(mghtml.exe) really attracted my attention because everybody asking if it a virus or not . after a little bit research i found why this application run in background.first ,if u use a firewall, it is possible this application appears .second, when u change ur internet securty , it appears too.mostly when u increase the security level to "high" (from Internet options->security->internet),it is an higher possiblity to see this application running. and finally ,if u r infected by a virus ,that is another possiblity that i cant help u :(

January 1, 2005 1:40 PM

or disable it in the msconfig utility....

February 17, 2005 7:24 PM

well boys and girls i read everything you said and i don't care my girlfriends pc messed up with norton and only acccessed the internet when i uninstalled it and now this mghtml file is stopping internet access to, when end task on it bingo internet conmnection if it is part of mcafee why would it block my intenet access. seems really strange to me im going to hunt it down and remove it permantly

March 10, 2005 9:43 PM

mghtml - mghtml.exe - Process Information

[copyrighted information from another site removed. - Leo]

March 23, 2005 9:25 PM

My question is, just what is mghtml.exe DOING that it NEEDS to use 94%??


April 7, 2005 6:01 AM

Hey I'd just like to add for any of u worried by this file that if u set ur internet security and privacy to medium it goes away. thx

May 2, 2005 7:37 AM

I believe, after most of the experiences I have encountered over the past few weeks, most of the things that people are claiming about mghtml.exe are true. Sometimes a person will go to a website from a search engine, looking for a download or product to order online. If your system is not protected, you get some stuff you don't want. If it is protected and your settings are weak, you get it. If it is protected and your settings are too strong for what you are looking for, you get frustrated. Ads are killing the internet experience we were all looking for. The file, mghtml.exe is a part of the McAfee Online Scan service. I believe that this file can become corrupted and a recovery can be difficult. Uninstall McAfee Security Services AFTER uninstalling McAfee Online ViruScan. Then delete the files in root:\Program Files\McAfee and ...\Network Associates.
As for my one-minute-for-a-window-to-open problem, complete system recovery only. Done. This is a GREAT site for info due to the broad aspect of knowledge converging into one location. Sometimes a few folks get lippy, but they only display these comments to feel important. Heckling back and forth is bound to happen due to differences of opinion, but this is still a GREAT site. Thanks, Leo.

In November, 2004, the US Government passed a law banning the installation of software onto a PC without the user's knowledge. Let's fight back!!

May 24, 2005 1:00 PM


May 27, 2005 7:01 PM

"It's apparently part of one of McAfee's anti-virus or security tools." That would be an ok thing.

Robin Wolstenholme
June 1, 2005 2:02 AM

This is just the GUI (Graphical User Interface) that pops up.

It is like mini-browser, like Internet Explorer that is used to display the status reports etc - like "Scanning for viruses"

That is why it is called mgHTML.exe

You do m need it, if you are running McAfee becasue it is part of the software (which is made up of several different programs)

It is using alot of processor time because it updates the progress that you can see eg. Virus scaning 56%. If it didn't it would be quicker, but the humble user would think itwas doing nothing.

They have to find a balance between showing you it is doing something and actually scanning.

Hope that helps.

June 3, 2005 2:49 PM

Hello everyone,

I've been reading the comments, and it seems that a lot of people are unfamiliar with this particular entry. If is a function of McAfee VirusScan, and is nothing to worry about.

If you are a McAfee user, the next time your VirusScan is scanning (either scheduled or manually), open your Windows Task Manager (control+alt+delete) during the scan, and check under "processes". You will see that mghtml.exe is using nearly all of your processor. This is fairly standard whenever an application is scanning your computer's hard drive, memory, files, etc. Then, check your processes through Task Manager again once the scan is complete and you will notice that mghtml.exe is no longer present or listed under TM's currently running processes.

So it's nothing to worry about, it is something that is you are a McAfee VirusScan subscriber you actually WANT! It is simply the engine that is scanning for the viruses that many are confusing and worried that it is.

John Trow
July 9, 2005 8:39 AM

I noticed mghtml running on my system several hours after a virus scan had completed. I exited McAfee SecurityCenter and re-launched it, and mghtml went away. Apparently it had terminated but not closed. Not a problem.

July 20, 2005 5:59 PM

whenever I run VirusScan, I receive an error message about half an hour into the from mghtml,and the scan is suspended. As soon as I close the dialog box (mghtml error box) the scan is cancelled. Can some one advise me on what to do about this

August 18, 2005 12:13 AM

after reading all of the comments, some of which seemed a bit nasty, the question remains: why is mghtml.exe still using 60% or more of my CPU time even though I ran the virus scan three days ago, not today? i can understand that it uses lots of time while i am running the scan, and i deliberately let the machine just do its thing during the process, but that was THREE DAYS AGO. Today I discovered that mghtml.exe is using a huge amount of CPU time, and the viruses that were supposedly quarantined by McA are all now actively running on my wife's account instead of mine, thank you very much. So I have two reasons to be frustrated: a part of McA is acting like a virus by using up all of my CPU processing power and time, and it didn't really do its job very well. So if McAfee isn't really doing what it is supposed to do, and is also robbing CPU cycles at an absurd rate, then why should I consider this program to be any better than a virus? The result is almost the same: I can out-type anything in this or any other text entry window (and i am not fast typist), and it takes minutes to open a new window when i need one! So has anyone from McAfee bothered to respond to this issue? It seems to me that they would know if this means that their program is functioning improperly. (btw, the size of my mghtml.exe file is 139264 bytes, not 150k as someone above indicated. Does this indicate that I have a hacked version, or was the quoted number incorrect?)

August 19, 2005 10:58 AM

Hi guys,

as far as I can see, the mghtml.exe should be only running, if the McAffee Security Center is opend. If scanning is enabled but the Center is closed the task shouldn´t be active any longer.

September 22, 2005 11:53 PM

I'd like to add this tidbit: mghtml.exe runs when the your computer first boots up, then connects to mcafee's website (note: this action will cause a noticable delay if the website is busy). It does several things, the most obvious is to check the version of mcafee software you have, the expiration date and then to display targeted advertisements to intice you to upgrade or renew your subscription. As far as I can tell there is no way to prevent this via security settings or via the mcafee software. Uninstalling the software is the only way to stop this from happening.

October 5, 2005 9:27 PM

I am having trouble with mghtml. When I hit the "send" button on my outlook express mail, I get a message indicating there is an illegal operation and it identifies mghtml.

October 20, 2005 2:08 PM

Hey, Cyan, (I's hard to tell what name goes with what post in here) you might want to run an online virus scan, or download McAfee's Stinger and run that from safe mode. Sounds like something may have taken over your McAfee and is using it to propogate instead of eliminate virii. Don't get irked at McAfee though; It happens to the best of them.

November 29, 2005 3:53 PM

What can you do if you've lost your mghtml.exe file?

November 29, 2005 8:38 PM

Well, since it's part of McAfee, as the article states, I'd start by reinstalling that.

December 14, 2005 5:38 PM

hey thanks! i was ready to pull that file right out of my computer. have a happy holiday season!

December 26, 2005 2:55 PM

I am having trouble with my Mcafee also. A screen comes up saying MGHTML caused a problem in(unknown) and will close. I click on the close button and it shuts down the virus scan which had come to a standstill anyhow but didn't finish the scan. How can I be protected if it isn't completed? What is being done by AOL? I am very unsatisfied with the live help by AOL as their tech help is so slow and not knowledgable on the MGHTML problem. I may have tee'd off 3 of them today. I tried everything the sugested and it didn't help. Someone help me as I am disgusted with AOL. JIMBO

December 28, 2005 8:31 AM

MGHTML.EXE is used to check the compatibility of McAfee products with the Internet Explorer Version.

December 30, 2005 7:56 AM

There are different places files called MGHTML reside, one is a prefetch for Windows, the others are part of the McAfee folders. The curious one was in the prefetch that McAfee prevented from accessing a guarded file. I am sending a note to McAfee about the file. Some of the MGHTML files have .pf as the extension.

January 6, 2006 7:51 AM

I was wondering what the mghtml.exe was and why when I hit ctrl+alt+del it showed on (xp) computer running at 100% while doing a scan. After seeing the comments listed - I just wanted to say thanks, as you are all very helpful!

January 19, 2006 4:05 AM

The first way around this problem is to NOT use AOL.

Use an ISP like comcast or wow, and if you *must* keep your screen names from aol, you can log onto aol via the web and not aol software. Then use a 3rd party virus scanner--even mcaffee--but not through aol.

For those who aren't aware, it's estimated that aol has the largest and most thorough database of user browsing habits in the world. The software that tracks these habits on your computer is of course the resident aol software--but as you know, this type of software is normally known as "SPYWARE".

Ironic, to say the least.

February 5, 2006 5:50 AM

I experienced mghtml and mcupdate illegal operation messages after an automatic update hung up and the computer had to be rebooted. McAfee had me manually remove virus scan from the registry and clean temp folders and remove some active x items. I reinstalled virus can and the problem still exists. Any suggestions?

February 19, 2006 3:25 PM

I had the same problem with mghtml.exe so I downloaded XoftSpySE. The same window came up a few minutes into the scan and shut down the program. It seems that some sort of virus or trojan is in the computer that takes advantage of the processes that all virus/trojan scanners use. So macafee and others need to get off their asses and try to figure it out. I'm running in safe mode and off the net until I can figure out what the hell is going on. Has anyone heard how to fix this problem yet?
Note: if you're not getting the same problem then just don't comment because you're confusing the issue. During a scan a window comes up that says "MGHTML.exe caused a problem" etc. then it shuts down if you press any option or just leave it alone.

February 28, 2006 1:49 PM

I have mghtml.exe dated 12/30/05 and have been having problems with virus scan shutting since about that time. My original file (same name) is dated 8/20/04. I believe my computer is infected and running ad aware confirms my belief. McAfee cannot get their Virus Scan to run on my computer. I've been trying to work with them since Dec. but they are stuck on stupid. I believe my computer is being used as a "bots" as I have been loosing IE connections and get back on after "repair" is made to the connection. I don't have the answer but neither does the manufacturer (McAfee), which is the sad part.

March 9, 2006 6:48 PM

mghtml.exe showed up on my system last night (3-8-06) and performace has seriously degraded. Does removing this file disable McAfee?

March 9, 2006 9:36 PM

Read it all. It's a McAfee file no doubt. Kicked in while sending an e-mail with a 7MB attachment. Sure things slowed down a bit till it was done. So what? Can't help wondering why all the whining about CPU usage while it's running. You want an anti-virus program to work in today's nasty virus/spyware/trojan/worm internet environment. Perhaps you need some muscle in your CPU and a decent size RAM to handle it. Or maybe take a look at your available memory with all the other crap that may be running in the background. I'll bet those with CPU probs are running this on somewhat older machines (or one of those $399 specials)and have loaded up with lots of memory resident programs. Clean out your Startup directory and learn to use msconfig. Or maybe it's time to get new PC.

Personal opinions - Norton sucks, dump IE and use Firefox (most virus and trojan exploit IE holes and Bill just can't keep up), dump Outlook (same reason) and use Pegasus (also disable preview windows on any e-mail program), use ZoneAlarm (block all program server access), try Ewido (slow but catches more than AdAware and Search&Destroy, don't install anything from AOHell, use CCLeaner to periodically delete cookies, temp files, etc,
AND be a little paranoid cause PT Barnum lives!

March 19, 2006 7:12 AM

I use McAfee Internet Suite 7 and after turning on my computer, I got "Guarded File Alert" window telling me that mghtml.exe was trying to access C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\DAD\LOCAL SETTINGS\APPLICATION DATA\IDENTITIES\{243EFFCA-6F2F-4A32-8BFE-8431B73734C2}\MICROSOFT\OUTLOOK EXPRESS\DRAFTS.DBX Now if mghtml is a part of McAfee, why would the Privacy Service warn me about this? I did a virus scan and McAfee did not find any virus. I do notice however, that my computer seems a bit "sluggish" more than normal. Any tips would greatly be appreciated! Thanks - Randy

March 30, 2006 9:40 PM

This is what I have found on the file.

mghtml - mghtml.exe - Process Information
Process File: mghtml or mghtml.exe
Process Name: McAfee VirusScan Component

mghtml.exe is a process associated with the McAfee VirusScan Application. This process should not be removed to ensure that your system security is not breached

May 5, 2006 1:51 AM

Hey guys ive got the same problem with that mghtml.exe program . also i think that mcafee is conflicting with my router for some strange reason. my internet just shuts down it says that im still conected but my DNS messes up and i cant get onto anything to do with the net unless i shut the comp down and restart . it sayins in the mcafee log that belkin.home is pinging my pc ???? what does this mean ????

May 25, 2006 8:22 AM

I just googled mghtml and is a "McAfee VirusScan Component" on every site I looked at.

And on one it said "mghtml.exe is made by a Third Party..." just thought you might like to know

June 11, 2006 3:53 PM

Actually, MGHTML.exe has been reported to have been infected in some cases (including me)... Usually, MGHTML.exe is McAfee scanning automatically, with out an explorer taskbar button. But the Look2me trojan did hijack this file, causing the scan to actually infect my computer. To check for this, download a Spyware Doctor. I think the url is... ???

June 23, 2006 5:22 PM

I've just recently formated a drive, installed XP, installed various programs from disk, including the McAffe Virus App. I generally look over my processes from time to time and noticed mghtml.exe, which is what led me here. I would say it's McAffe and legit unless it managed to find its way into my system before ever having access to the net.


August 13, 2006 12:43 AM

mghtml.exe is the html dialog program of mcafee. Without this running you will not have the security center interface working properly. High memory usage does not always mean a trojan! It does use high memory but it's a must for the application.

I wonder how this discussion even started with mcafee support trying to kill this application.

David FT
September 8, 2006 1:10 PM

Yeah mghtml.exe runs from McAfee on Automatic Scan Settings. You know your once a week job when you cannot be bothered to do a manual scan.Top of the tree in my Task Manager Processes when it kicks off. High CPU. Learn to live with that. It does the trick (I Think?)I agree with the poster about the other (junk we have running on Start up etc.) Computer housekeeping means a lot more awareness these days thats why it's a good idea to check processes that come alive soon as you hit the internet. Check the forums as well...

November 1, 2006 12:21 AM

Yes mghtml does use up a lot of cpu but i've noticed this only durring system scanning. Maybe you guys have mcafee scanning your entire system in the background when you start up your computer. The default setting is McAfee scans all files,folders even subfolders and also compressed files.

Tom Madracki
March 18, 2008 1:01 PM

mghtml.exe is the program that runs when you are running the McAfee virus scan. I guess it could become infected, but when you do a virus scan, this is the exe that runs. Delete it and te virus scan won't run.

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