Is ALCMTR.EXE a Malicious Process?

It is usually relatively easy to match Windows processes to the software or feature they are used for. But sometimes, you might spot a running process that you don’t recognize. ALCMTR.exe is commonly just such a process.

Here’s what the ALCMTR process does, what software creates it, and how to remove it if it’s no longer required.

What Does ALCMTR.EXE Do?

The ALCMTR.exe process is a component of the Realtek High Definition Audio Driver. Specifically, it is an event monitor for audio hardware and software on your Windows PC.

An event monitor, such as the one that generates the ALCMTR.exe process, usually runs in the background. It looks for unexpected events with the audio software and, when one is detected, sends diagnostic information to Realtek. It allows the company to collect data on errors so that future software patches and fixes can be developed.

Realtek audio components are popular for motherboard manufacturers, particularly for Intel motherboards. So you could encounter the ALCMTR.exe process even if you don’t have a standalone Realtek PCIe sound card installed inside your computer.

Viewing processes in Windows task manager

ALCMTR.exe is sometimes labeled as ALCXMNTR.exe, depending on the version of the Realtek driver you have installed. Both versions are basically the same and perform the same function. The information and instructions here apply to either version.

Processes are an essential part of the Windows OS. So, here are some Windows processes you should never kill. Simultaneously, you can also find some Windows processes to end safely to improve PC performance.

Is This Process Safe?

Generally speaking, yes, this Windows process is safe as long as it is a genuine version of the event monitor. It uses few system resources and remains idle in the process list most of the time.

Of course, malware can use the name of almost any Windows process to hide behind. If you notice the ALCMTR.exe process accessing the CPU or memory for extended periods, it could be a sign of infection.

There are several ways to check if one of the Windows processes has been hijacked by a virus. In the case of ALCMTR.exe, one of the easiest ways is to check the file location. The real .exe file should be in the Windows installation folder, usually C:WindowsSystem32. If you find it in C:Program Files, it could be a malicious file and should be scanned with your antivirus software.

The file location of alcmtr.exe

But although the genuine ALCMTR.exe is safe, it is responsible for collecting and sending user data. This has led to it sometimes being classed as spyware by Windows users and some antivirus software.

Here are some Windows processes commonly used to hide malware and viruses.

Can I Remove ALCMTR.EXE?

There are no known problems associated with removing the ALCMTR.exe file from Windows. Removing the event monitor will not adversely affect the system or audio performance.

The event monitor component of the Realtek software will be added to the Startup apps after installation. Disabling it in Settings > Apps & features > Startup will prevent the process from running. On Windows 11, you can find Startup apps in Settings > Apps >Startup.

the startup apps menu is Windows 10 settings

You can also delete the ALCMTR.exe file to remove the event monitor. Locate the process in Task Manager, right-click it, and select Open File Location. You can then select the .exe file and delete it.

If you have installed a new soundcard on your PC, it is worth checking if the Realtek software suite is even needed. Your new card might use a completely different audio driver, meaning you can remove the Realtek software entirely.

Exploring the ALCMTR.EXE Process

Identifying and understanding the processes running on your Windows PC can be necessary for security and performance. Luckily, the ALCMTR.exe process is usually safe. But if you prefer not to share event data, you can easily disable or remove the Windows process without impacting system or audio performance.

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