How to Stop Msiexec.exe

By Jim Hagerty

Msiexec.exe is a part of the Windows Installer component, which runs when your system installs new programs. Generally, Microsoft recommends keeping the file; however, many users find it in their Task Lists and believe it slows their systems down. You can learn how to stop msiexec.exe by following a few required steps.

Disable your System Restore feature temporarily. To get to the feature (Windows XP), click on "Start"; then select "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and "System Restore." If your feature is already disabled, you will be asked to turn it back on. Leave it off. If it is running, you will be taken to a window that allows you to adjust system settings. Click on the "System Restore Settings" link at the left of the window. Under the System Restore tab, check the box that says, "Turn off System Restore on all drives."

Bring up your Windows Task List by pressing "Ctrl+Alt+Delete." If you find msiexec.exe on the Task List, select it and click on "End Process." If you do not find the file, but know it's running somewhere, you will need to search for it further.

Reboot your computer in safe mode. Bring up your Task List and locate the msiexec.exe and all files associated with it. Uninstall the files from there. When finished, reboot in regular mode. If msiexec.exe still gives you problems or is still running, download a repair tool to remove the file (see Resources).