What is backgroundtaskhost.exe?
backgroundtaskhost.exe is part of Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant for Windows. Cortana is a virtual assistant that can assist you while you use your PC, similar to Apple’s Siri. For example, you can ask Cortana the weather, or have Cortana search files for you on your PC. Cortana was originally an AI character in Microsoft’s popular Xbox game Halo.
Publisher: Microsoft Windows
backgroundtaskhost.exe stands for Background Task Host, as you might have guessed.
What does backgroundtaskhost.exe do?
It’s the Cortana Windows AI virtual assistant.
Is backgroundtaskhost.exe safe? 5 easy ways to see if backgroundtaskhost.exe is safe or malware.
- 1. See who signed the backgroundtaskhost.exe (check the publisher)
- 2. Scan backgroundtaskhost.exe with Windows Security.
- 3. Check the network activity of backgroundtaskhost.exe.
- 4. Analyze backgroundtaskhost.exe with VirusTotal.
- 5. Run it in Windows Sandbox.
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Why does backgroundtaskhost.exe access the network?
While investigating backgroundtaskhost.exe with the GlassWire network security monitor on our devices based in Austin, TX USA we found it connects to servers at e16646.dspg.akamaiedge.net controlled by Akamai’s Content Delivery Network which are probably leased out by Microsoft. We have noticed this .exe tends to be one of the first executables to access the network with Windows 10 or 11 when monitoring the network with GlassWire. We’ve blocked this app with GlassWire’s firewall and we did not notice any major issues with doing so. It appears Cortana can be disabled in Windows settings (under settings/Cortana) if you don’t like having an AI friend in Windows.
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