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Who did call a runtime broker, and why is it running on my computer?

Continuing speaking about weird Windows processes, their security relation, and handling need, runtime broker raises so many questions.

Updated: September 20, 2021 By Hamna Imran

Hand touching virtual window frame?

Image  source – freepic.com

This thought is not an outdated one, as out of 100, around 80 people get worried when they see a runtime broker inside their task manager. This small program bothers them a lot, and they tend to google it to develop a clear understanding.

It is not that usual, but most of the time, when a person opens his task manager, he meets the unexpected runtime broker present there. It is also seen that these runtime brokers eat the memory and stay there silently by occupying space in our systems.

Well, despite these little runtime brokers bothering you by their presence in your system, I am going to tell you about the reasons behind their presence and how you can efficiently deal with them until they stop bothering you.

What is a runtime broker, and why it appears in the task manager?

What, why and how, are the questions that come to a person’s mind when he/she witnesses a runtime broker for the first time. As it seems like a strange fellow hiding inside the computer.

So, let us look to understand what it is and why is it hiding inside our systems?

  • Runtime Broker is a Microsoft core process that first appeared in Windows 8 and is still active in Windows 10.
  • It's used to see if universal programs from the Windows Store (formerly known as Metro apps in Windows 8) are disclosing all of their permissions, such as the ability to access your location or microphone.
  • Though it runs in the background all the time, when you launch a universal app, its activity will certainly increase. You may consider it as an intermediary that connects your universal apps to your trust and privacy settings.

Why am I seeing runtime brokers inside task manager


What does a runtime broker exactly do?

The Runtime Broker ensures that an app declares all of its rights (such as access to your Photos) and alerting the user whether or not they are allowed. It is fascinating to see how it works when combined with hardware access, such as an app's ability to take webcam photos.

Consider it a link between your apps and your privacy and security. A brief check at the process strings reveals that Runtimebroker.exe is classified as “Processes for Windows Partial Trust Components” by Microsoft. Most of its relevant registry entries, as well as the process itself, can be found in the C storage.

Almost 90% of researchers defined the runtime broker as a process in the Windows operating system that performs the job of managing permissions on our computers.

These permissions are for the applications that we download from the Microsoft Store, and these can be of different kinds, so whenever an application requires permission, this runtime broker provides that permission, but there are some fishy details regarding this process which I would like to share with you.

  • First of all, whenever an application is downloaded from the Microsoft store, it allocates a specific space to this application inside the memory of our computer and allows that application to run on our PCs, but there is an exception to it.
  • This process is allowed to use only a few units of the memory, such as 1 or 2 megabytes of memory, but in some cases, if the intended application is malicious, then it can cause a runtime broker to consume big units of memory such as gigabytes of read-only memory.

Runtime broker might consume big units of memory

Although, Runtime broker is a common question asked by PC users. The issue of several Runtime Broker processes has sparked numerous arguments on the internet. This may appear to be suspicious.

However, in the vast majority of situations, there is nothing to be concerned about. The idea is straightforward: each UPW program you run necessitates the execution of Runtime Broker at the same time. The list is all about having one active process for each app.


How to disable Runtime broker.exe in Windows 10?

It is recommended by Microsoft that you can disable your runtime broker if it consumers more than 15% memory of the system. Such as Your PC has 4 GB RAM and around 1GB is occupied by this runtime broker, you can avail yourself of the option of disabling this runtime broker.

But disabling the runtime broker comes with consequences, and it is not recommended to disable the runtime broker as it holds importance for protecting our laptops from malicious applications.

Plus, there is a pleasing fact that it is very lightweight on the memory of your system when it runs normally. Disabling can be used in the worst scenarios only.


Is Runtime broker.exe a virus?

Is Runtime broker a virus?

When Runtime Broker pops up, the first thing which comes to a user’s mind is that “IT’S A VIRUS!” or “WHAT HAVE I DOWNLOADED?” but there is nothing to worry about.

So, Is RuntimeBroker.exe a malicious program?

No, it's not the case.

The genuine RuntimeBroker.exe file is part of the "Runtime Broker" Microsoft Windows system process.

However, some expert Malware programmers, such as those that create viruses, worms, and Trojan horses, give their processes the identical file name to avoid discovery by replacing the real Runtime Broker with its own exe file.

For that matter, you can take aid from your antivirus program. But a virus entry is Rare. There haven't been any reports of viruses hijacking this process.

The security assessment for RuntimeBroker.exe is 90% hazardous if it is located in a subdirectory of the user's profile folder. The security assessment for RuntimeBroker.exe is 38 % hazardous if it is located in a subdirectory of C: Windows.

You can double-check Runtime Broker's underlying file location if you're not sure.

Right-click Runtime Broker in Task Manager and select "Open File Location."

Where Is runtime broker located in my computer?

The behavior of a runtime broker on a PC is strange sometimes, such as while being inactive, the amount of memory consumed by this is limited to 20 to 40 MBs only, and as soon as you launch an application on your PC, the consumption of the memory rises dramatically.

  • Such as straight from 100 MB to 1000 MB, and it also seems suspectable, but there is nothing to be worried about it as long as it fulfills its purpose.
  • You should examine if one of the RuntimeBroker.exe files is a malware application, even if it isn't very popular. Here's what you may do to be sure it's a genuine procedure:
  • To open Task Manager, use Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard.
  • Under the Processes tab, look for the Runtime Broker line.
  • Select “Open file location” from the context menu by right-clicking on it.

Why did I see a Runtimebroker.exe error while shutting down?

The RuntimeBroker.exe error message usually appears due to a Windows system file or services/components being corrupted. For the verification of the integrity of Windows system files, Run a system file checker scan on your computer. The scan detects damaged Windows system files and tries to repair them.

Why did Runtime broker.exe error appear on Windows 10?

Image source - microsoft.com

Run an SFC scan, and Windows image repair will scan for any corrupted system files or integrity infringement and will set out to repair it along with the Windows Image. Follow the steps given below and wait for the scan to complete:

  1. Open the command prompt with administrator access
  2. Type each command below and wait until the scan is completed.
  • SFC /scannow
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Quick note: While the command is running, the process is expected to hang 20 to 40 percent. The process will be taking a few minutes to complete successfully.
  • After completing the steps, the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool will connect to the Windows Update servers to download and replace any damaged files in the local image for Windows 10 as needed.
  1. Close the command prompt.

Now! Clean boot your computer.

This process removes third-party applications that were running in the background on your computer, along with services that are not required for Windows to run. If a conflicting third-party application is causing a problem on your computer, this operation will stop it.

  • Open the run box by pressing Windows Key + R and typing MSConfig.
  • The System Configuration Utility will open, and it will be on the General tab by default.
  • On the General tab, click on Selective Startup and make sure the system service is loaded and the startup process is loading items.
  • Click the Services tab.
  • Check the box to hide all Microsoft services> this is a very important part because if you don't click on it, your computer may not start properly or permanently, and you will get a clean installation.
  • After hiding All Microsoft services has been marked, Tap on Disable all
  • Click the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  • This will open another window that contains all of your startup applications under the administrator account. Turn off any applications that you are not using. You can just click on it and select disable.
  • Click OK, Apply and close the setup utility.
  • Restart the computer, and hopefully, the Runtime error has disappeared.

Conclusion

To sum up, RuntimeBroker.exe is a secure Microsoft process that helps you manage app rights in Windows 8 and Windows 10. It has a small system footprint, with RAM usage of fewer than 3,000 kilobytes.

This process, which is running in the background, will have no impact on performance. Unless you're seeking a quick way to close all of your apps, you should leave this process alone. Plus, you shouldn't be worried about the presence of multiple runtime brokers roaming inside your task manager.

This process, which is running in the background, will have no impact on performance. Unless you're seeking a quick way to close all of your apps, you should leave this process alone. Plus, you shouldn't be worried about the presence of multiple runtime brokers roaming inside your task manager.

Tags: 
Technology
Author
Hamna Imran
Cyber Security student and keen learner, writing articles for several other websites.

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