The consent.exe process. What is it and how to remove it

by Gabriel E. Hall - -

The Consent executable[1] can cause freezes and hanging periods. It also can take a huge amount of CPU[2] resources. This article will introduce you the Consent executable and will provide you information how to remove it. 

consent.exe removal

The consent.exe process belongs to User Account Control[3] and is automatically loaded when the system boots up. The executable often displays a pop-up message that asks for user permissions to provide administrative permissions to a non-Windows application. In other words, consent.exe asks for administrative permissions on behalf of a third-party software. 

Even though the process is vital in order to install of most applications, however, it should only be active while User Account Control is operating.

What kind of potential security risk can consent.exe cause?

Even though the consent.exe process is relevant, it still should be analyzed. Thus, many malicious applications and software can disguise itself as processes with administrative permissions. By doing this, they can avoid being detected by antivirus scans. 

If you want to inspect a malware Consent executable’s residing location, you have to open Task Manager, then click on the consent.exe process and select Open File Location. If it appears C:\\Windows\\System32 folder, users can assume that the process is legitimate. However, to be completely sure just click on the process and select Properties, then access the Digital Signatures tab, and check what is the name of the signer. If it is listed as Microsoft Windows, you can be sure that the file is legitimate. 

If it is not listed as Microsoft Windows and the executable originates from a different location, there are chances that you are dealing with a malware.

Should you remove the consent.exe? 

Well, without the Consent executable it will be impossible for any third-party application to start up with administrator permissions access to files and settings. That is why the executable should not be removed from the system unless it appears to be a virus. 

As the consent.exe process is vital, users should avoid to disable it. 

However, if you still decide to disable the consent.exe process, do it from the User Account Control settings page and follow the following steps. 

Fix Freezes caused by consent.exe

There are some scenarios when the consent.exe process prevents users from installing, uninstalling or launching any third-party application. If you are dealing with similar cases, check out the following two methods how to fix freezes and handing caused by the consent.exe executable. 

First Method: Repair the catalog database using the Esentutl Command

This method is only available if you boot your PC into Safe Mode

  1. Reboot your PC into Safe Mode by clicking the power button and hold Shift while selecting Restart option. 
  2. Then, access the Windows start and search for ‘cmd’, followed by right-clicking on Command Prompt and choosing Run as administrator. 
  3. Type ‘net stop cryptsvc’ in the elevated Command Prompt, then click Enter.
  4. Type ‘esentutl /p <%systemroot%>\\System32\\catroot2 {F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\\catdb’, select Enter
  5. Confirm that you should only run on corrupt databases by clicking Ok
  6. Finally, when the process is complete, type ‘net start cryptsvc’, press enter and restart the Cryptographic Services.

Second Method: Disable the User Account Control temporarily

If the first method failed, users also can bypass the consent.exe functionality. In order to do so, you have to temporarily disable the User Account Control

1. Search for ‘UAC’ or User Account Control and select Change User Account Control Settings in the Windows Start Search bar. 

2. Select Never notify slider in the User Account Control Settings window. 

3. Install or uninstall the software with the UAC disabled that previously failed to be installed or uninstalled. Then return to the User Account Control Settings and readjust the slider back to Notify

However, even if you manage to download the third-party application by disabling UAC the issue will still remain. You can also try to resolve this issue by installing the latest updates and hotfixes. 

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Antivirus software specialist

Gabriel E. Hall is an antivirus software specialist at

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