What is alg.exe?
Alg.exe or Application Layer Gateway is an executable file that belongs to the core process of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Alg.exe provides support for third-party plugins that allow network protocols to pass through the Windows Firewall. This process is not a malware or virus but a part of the core files of Windows.
Operating Systems using the alg.exe process are:
All versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
Where is the alg.exe file located and what is it used for?
Like all the core files of Windows, alg.exe is located in the windows\system32 folder. This process is used to provide support for firewall, Torrents, FTP, Internet connection Sharing (ICS) and IM Clients. It basically augments the functionalities of the Windows Firewall.
If this process is killed by the user or by any other program, the security protocols of the Windows operating systems will block communication ports. This, in turn, closes down the internet connection as Windows Firewall becomes hostile for unsecure third-party softwares. The Internet can be restored either by starting the process again or by restarting the system.
How to check the authenticity of alg.exe on the system:
Since alg.exe is a core Windows file, it is often the target of malware. When a system is affected by a virus or malware it replaces or modifies the existing alg.exe file with its own versions. Once modified, this file can become dangerous for users as it can not only pass on vital information to other systems, but can also affect other systems.
If the system is affected by a virus like W32.Kueight, it copies a file called alg.exe to all the drives of the system. It modifies the registry keys to run the alg.exe from the other drives and not from the system32 folder. Sometimes, it also tries to put misspelled names like algg.exe or algl.exe to disguise itself as a Windows process.
You can stop the process manually by following the steps below:
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Go to the Processes tab. If you see any misspelled versions, right-click on it and select ‘End Process Tree’.
- You can also select the Services tab and end any malicious process by right-clicking on the process and then clicking Stop.
You can check for any malicious files on the system using the Search companion in windows. To search for alg.exe on the system you can run the steps below:
- Click Start and go to Search.
- Select All files and Folders.
- Type alg.exe.
- Now select Local Hard Drives(C, D, E) from the Look in drop-down list.
- Click More Advanced options and select the checkboxes Search system folders, Search hidden files and folders, and Search subfolders options.
- Click Search.
If you end up finding more than one version of alg.exe on the system, you can find their path and try to remove these files manually.
You can always run a full system scan on the system to keep it free from trojans and viruses. Keeping your Antivirus and Anti-spyware software up-to-date is always a good practice.