Agent.exe can originate from various different programs. Usually the executable can be tracked to InstallShield software. The InstallShield technology is a popular method used by many software publishers to establish installations for their apps that include an agent.exe process.
The executable name agent.exe is a very popular executable name which is used by a wide range of software. Applications than uses agent.exe usually have the same purpose and are responsible to facilitate the connection between a certain app and an external server.
Kevin Arrows at Appuals provides a shortlist of popular apps that use an agent.exe:
- Forte Agent
- Battle.net Update Agent
- Macrovision Software Manager
- EaseUs Todo Backup
- FLEXnet Connect
- Acresso Software Manager
- Rohos Disk
- Nuance PaperPort
- Cisco VPN Client
- Dragon Naturally Speaking
- Corel Draw
Users should keep in mind that this is just a shortlist, and there are many other apps that deploy the agent.exe executable.
The Agent executable can have different purposes, depending on which application it belongs.
If the executable is a process of InstallShield, then the agent.exe process’s purpose is to monitor InstallShield servers. Consumers regularly detect the Agent executable process in Task Manager while a particular game which deploys InstallShield is opened. Usually, the executable is normal since it is checking if consumers have updated the software. The agent.exe process is the most likely to be seen when the user is playing games developed by Blizzard, such as Diablo Overwatch, Warcraft or Starcraft.
The Agent executable also can be a process of the Forte Agent software and be responsible for news feed and inbox updated.
Potential security threats
It is possible that some third-party antivirus systems will provide false positives regarding the Agent executable. It is worth to mention that it is very likely that antivirus flagged them by mistake because the executable attempts to configure something on the hardware.
If you want to make sure that any malware does not try to hide inside a system folder to avoid security scans, check the location of agent.exe. To do so, you have to open Task Manager and locate agent.exe in the Process tab. Further, choose Open File Location by right-clicking on the executable. If the location appears C:\\Windows\\System32 or C:\\Windows, it is possible that the executable is malicious.
Should you remove agent.exe?
According to Kevin Arrows at Appuals, removing the agent.exe executable is not recommended. If you see that agent.exe takes a huge chunk of system resources, you should analyze the program which causes it, instead of removing the executable.
There are chances that high CPU consumption caused by agent.exe is due to the handling update. If you notice this issue in your system, you should deal with the application. In addition, the agent.exe could be glitched out, then you have to reinstall the original application in order to fix this issue.
Just open a Run window by pressing Windows key + R and type ‘appwiz.cpl’ to access Programs and Features. Then in Programs and Features find the application that uses agent.exe, and remove it. Once it is removed, visit the website and download the latest version.