This post tries to better understand what the poqexec.exe is and what it can do on your PC

Poqexec Exe What Is It

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INFO: Is It Safe?

In theory, poqexec.exe is safe and only used to update programs after you reboot your PC. However, sometimes viruses may use the same name.

After a Windows update, the systems runs the C:\Windows\System32\POQExec.exe – if it is a viruses then the file origin is not System32.

Worried it is a virus? To check whether an executable is a virus or not, you need to open the task manager, locate the poqexec.exe file and right-click on it. It should say “Open File Location”. If the path of origin does not match C:\Windows\System32\, I strongly suggest you download Malwarebytes and run a scan. If on the other hand you cannot locate it in your task manager, then I would not worry about it, as it is most likely not a virus.

EXPLANATION: poqexec.exe runs after a reboot to update your programs

Ever noticed that Windows update automatically reboots your PC? Well, yes it’s quite annoying, we explain how to disable auto restarts after updates here, but that’s not the point. Windows updates wants you to reboot your PC because it is unable to update the OS and programs while it is running. This makes perfect sense, but have you ever wondered how Windows manages to get them installed anyway? Exactly, it uses an executable that runs right after a reboot. And as it happens it’s called poqexec.exe – Primitive Operations Queue Executor.

What It Does: Pending.XML – Update Instructions

Ok, it gets a little more technical. It stores all update instructions for the Windows Updates in a file. The file is located at C:\Windows\WinSXS\Pending.XML – XML files are great because they are easy to open and read for everyone, so take a look with notepad++ if you dare.

Once the system is rebooted after a Windows update, it runs the C:\Windows\System32\POQExec.exe and this executable makes use of the instructions stored in Pending.XML to update programs and services that were running last time.

Hopefully, this will clear up a few things and you will feel less distracted by this .exe file, because it’s not a virus, not a trojan, nor malware. However, in some cases it may get infected so make sure to run a virus scan and in particular scan System32 for rootkits