What Is TrustedInstaller.exe and Should You Disable It?

TrustedInstaller is a part of the Windows Resource Protection (WRP) technology of Windows OS. It plays a major role in protecting your system from unauthorized changes, managing updates, installations, and a lot more. 

take ownership from trustedinstaller

However, cybercriminals are notorious for abusing the TrustedInstaller.exe since it performs a lot of important functions. Too many cases have been witnessed where the TrustedInstaller process has been hijacked or replaced by malware. This can pose a huge threat to the computer’s workings. If you suspect that the TrustedInstaller.exe process has been acting up in your computer, this article will help you out!

Let’s take a look at what the trustedinstaller process is, how important it is, and why we need it at all. Then, we’ll jump into methods to get rid of a corrupt TrustedInstaller process. 

What is the TrustedInstaller.exe process?

TrustedInstaller.exe is a process of the Windows Modules Installer service and a core component of Windows Resource Protection. It is included in every version of Windows since Windows Vista. It allows you to install, remove, and modify the Windows Updates and other system components. The trustedinstaller.exe process is found at C:\Windows\servicing\ and runs under the Local System Account. 

This process is prone to get corrupted and that might give you an error message. There have been a lot of cases where the trustedinstaller process was entirely corrupted by malware. Sometimes, after installing Windows Updates, you might encounter the TrustedInstaller.exe consuming a huge proportion of resources in the Task Manager. 

Is it possible to disable TrustedInstaller.exe?

There are several ways to disable or delete TrustedInstaller.exe. But, it is not recommended because TrustedInstaller.exe is a protected system resource. Disabling this service might lead to the Windows Updates failing to install. 

It is a legit component of Windows, so you shouldn’t uninstall or attempt to modify it in either way. Otherwise, certain Windows functions won’t work and that might escalate to serious issues.

Taking Ownership of Files From TrustedInstaller

Step 1. Navigate to the file or folder whose permissions you need to change. 

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Step 2. Right-click on the file and click on Properties.

right click on files and folders and click on Properties

Step 3. Then, go to the Security tab and click on the Advanced button located at the bottom.

click on security tab followed by Advanced to get permissions

Step 4. Next, click on the Owner tab. Here you will find the name of the current owner that might be TrustedInstaller.

Step 5. Click on the Edit or Change button and select the new owner. 

click on change beside trustedinstaller

The new owner could be your account or the Administrators group. In case your account is the Administrator’s account, pick Administrators

Step 6. Else, you can also uncheck the box next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects. Do this if you plan on deleting more than one file.

Step 7. Click OK and the new owner will be the account you selected.

change permissions to take ownership of files and folders

Note: If you need to delete the entire folder that contains subfolders as well, click on Permissions. Then, click on Change Permissions. Next, choose Administrators or the account you wish to use. Now, check the box next to Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object.

Keep in mind that you cannot alter the permissions until you are done with changing the owner of the folder, the subfolders, and the files. 

Step 8. Select OK. Once you are back in the Windows Explorer screen, right-click on the folder or file and click on Properties

Step 9. Next, click on Security. Instead of choosing Advanced, now you need to click on Edit.

Step 10. You’ll be shown a list. Choose a username in the list for which you want to change the permissions. This should be the same as the current owner. 

In case the username you are looking for is not present in the given list, click on Add and type in the name. Click on OK.

How To Access Advanced Security Settings for a Registry Key?

If you need to restore TrustedInstaller as the owner of a registry key, open the Registry Editor.

Step 1. Press the Windows key + R and open the Run dialog box. Next, type: regedit and hit the Enter button. Or click on OK.

Step 2. In case the User Account Control dialog box shows up, click Yes to continue. This dialog box might not appear if your User Account Control settings dictate so.

Step 3. Now, go to the registry key that you need to restore ownership for. To get there quickly, just enter the path to the registry key in the box underneath the menu bar. Then, hit the Enter button.

Step 4. Right-click on the registry key and click on Permissions.

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How To Get Rid Of TrustedInstaller Corruption Issues?

If you couldn’t rename the files, it points to the TrustedInstaller being corrupted. This could happen due to several reasons like a recent Windows update, sudden shutdowns, or viruses. Here are some of the ways you can fix a corrupt TrustedInstaller process:

  1. Run the System File Check (SFC) Tool
  2. Run Windows System Restore

1. Run the System File Check (SFC) Tool

Sometimes, the TrustedInstaller.exe can get corrupted and in that case, you might be receiving an error message. In this case, you can consider running the System File Checker. Step 1. Type cmd in the Windows search box and right-click the result that says Command Prompt. Click on Run as administrator

run the command prompt as administrator on windows 10

Step 2. In the command prompt window, type in sfc/scannow and wait for the process to be executed. Then, restart the computer. This should repair corrupt files in the system including TrustedInstaller.exe.

run the sfc/scannow command to fix corrupt trustedinstaller

However, at times, the Windows Resource Protection service that is responsible for running the system file checker could be infected as well. If that’s the case then you’ll get an error message saying “Windows Resource Protection could not start the repair service.” If that is the problem you’re facing, you need to reset your Windows 10.

2. Run Windows System Restore

System Restore is also an integrated system tool of Windows. It can restore the computer to a previous point when it was working fine. However, you need to first have a restore point in place to opt for this solution. 

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

  1. Go to Start button > Settings
  2. Now, choose Update & Security
  3. Choose Recovery from the left panel
  4. Scroll down and click on the Advanced Startup section
  5. Click on Restart now.
  6. Click on Troubleshoot from the left margin
  7. A blue screen will show up. Navigate to Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
  8. Now, choose Enable Safe Mode With Networking

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

You need to shut down the malware processes for the method to work effectively. Follow the steps given below to do so:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Windows Task Manager.
  2. Select More details
  3. Keep scrolling till you find Background processes and look if any file is suspicious.
  4. Right-click on the suspicious process and click on the Open file location.
  5. Go back to this process and right-click on it and choose End Task
  6. Delete the contents of this folder as well.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Windows Task Manager
  2. Navigate to the Startup tab
  3. Right-click on the suspicious process and choose Disable.
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Step 4. Delete virus files

  1. Type Disk Cleanup in the Windows Search box. Press Enter.
  2. Choose the drive you need to clean. Mostly, C: is the drive likely to have malicious files because it is a default main drive
  3. Select the following files: Temporary Internet Files, Downloads, Recycle Bin, Temporary files
  4. Click on Clean up system files
  5. Look for malicious files hidden in the folders given below: 
    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%

Once done, reboot the computer in normal mode

Step 5. Reboot Via System Restore

  1. Type in system restore in the Windows search box. Then, select the best result that says Create a restore point.
click on create a restore point
  1. In the System Restore window, click on Choose a different restore point. Then, click on Next.
select choose a different restore point
choose a restore point
  1. Now, choose the restore point you want to restore the computer to. Then, select Finish.

Bottomline

You now know much more about the TrustedInstaller process. It is one of the core system files responsible for taking care of installation, updates, apps, etc. It sure is an important system process but can get corrupted at times. We have listed down all the ways that you can try out to fix the trustedinstaller corruption issue and also disable it. Hope you found this helpful!

FAQs

Is TrustedInstaller a virus?

TrustedInstaller is a legit Windows process that is included in the Windows Resource Protection system of every Windows OS version ever since Windows 7 Vista. However, it is notorious for getting infected or even getting hijacked by malware. 

How do I get rid of TrustedInstaller?

You can get rid of TrustedInstaller by taking ownership of your system files from the TrustedInstaller user account. If that is not possible, then the TrustedInstaller process is probably corrupt. In that case, you can check for viruses or even use System Restore to restore the computer to a point when everything was working fine.

How do I get permission from TrustedInstaller?

Right-click on the file for which you need to get permission from TrustedInstaller. Now select the Security tab > Advanced. Click on Change next to TrustedInstaller and then, type Administrators. Click Change Names > OK. Check out the Taking Ownership of Files section in this article for more details.

Is TrustedInstaller necessary?

Yes, TrustedInstaller is responsible for handling several complex Windows processes. It enables installation and modification of Windows Updates. Disabling it might cause problems with system files, Windows updates, and the whole system as well.