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Instup.exe is an executable file that is downloaded along with other files when you install Avast antivirus software on your computer. It is a very important part of the virus scanner software. Without instup.exe, you may not be able to update Avast on your computer. However, despite being a legitimate file, instup.exe is known to cause performance issues on Windows devices.

For example, some Avast users report that instup.exe sometimes consumes up to 100% of CPU resources, rendering other apps unusable. If that describes your predicament, we’ll show you how to fix the problem and prevent the file from affecting your PC’s performance.

What is Instup.exe?

“Avast Antivirus Installer” is the official file description of the program file instup.exe. When you install Avast Antivirus on your computer, instup.exe makes sure that everything runs smoothly. There’s more: the executable also keeps Avast on your device up-to-date with the latest virus definitions.

Remark: Virus definitions (or virus signatures) describe files that help security software detect viruses and malware on your computer.

Basically, instup.exe takes care of the installation of the antivirus software and also helps in updating the virus definitions of the app. Think of the program file as Avast’s installation and update assistant.

In its natural state, instup.exe is a hassle-free program that does not consume system resources. It only works in the background when needed – to install virus definitions and software updates.

While Avast software updates are rolled out from time to time, installing virus definition updates is a daily occurrence. There is no official word on the frequency of these updates, but some sources quote that Avast updates its virus definitions more than 100 times a day.

That could be, because the company uses a “Streaming Update” Technology to immediately push updates to users when they discover new threats. So yes, Avast runs multiple updates daily in the background.

By extension, instup.exe will also run in the background several times a day. That explains why you often find the program file active in the Task Manager.

Is Instup.exe safe?

By default, instup.exe should stop working automatically after installing virus definitions or software updates. If the program file continues to run in the background, there is a problem somewhere. There are two options to consider:

1. Avast antivirus software is not working properly.

2. A malware program or Trojan horse camouflages the real instup.exe.

In the next section, you will learn how to determine whether the instup.exe program file on your PC is genuine or malicious.

Is Instup.exe Real? Or is it a virus?

You can infer the authenticity of the program file by checking both the location and the digital signature. Here’s how:

1. Start the task management and locate instup.exe in the Details tab.

2. Right click instup.exe in Task Manager and select Open file location

You may find multiple instances of the process running; right click on one to continue. Note, however, that you will need to repeat the steps for all instances in the Task Manager. You can never tell which of them is a virus masquerading as a real instup.exe program file.

3. Check the File Explorer address bar and make sure the file is in this folder: C:\Program Files\Avast Software\Avast\setup

If the file is located outside of this folder on your PC, it is most likely a malicious copy. Continue to the next step to verify the digital signature of the file. That helps confirm the legitimacy of the instup.exe file on your PC.

3. Right click on instup.exe and select Properties† You can achieve the same result from Task Manager; right click on the process and select Properties

4. Go to the Digital Signatures tab and check the Name of the signer column; it should read Avast Software sro

If Avast is not the digital signer of the file, it is a malicious copy. You should delete the file from your computer immediately. Better yet, run the file through a virus or malware scanner (preferably another antivirus, not Avast).

Fix Instup.exe High CPU Usage

If you have determined that the Avast Antivirus installer is not malicious, but the program file is constantly running in the background, follow the troubleshooting techniques below to prevent instup.exe from draining your PC’s resources.

1. Force-Stop instup.exe

Simply ending the process in the Task Manager can solve the problem. Go to Task Manager Details tab, select instup.exeand click on the End of task button in the lower right corner.

2. Restart your computer

If the process restarts itself and continues to run in the background endlessly, restart your computer. After that, launch Task Manager and monitor the situation. If the problem persists, go to the next troubleshooting step.

3. Repair the Avast software

Avast comes with a built-in troubleshooting tool that fixes issues that cause the software to malfunction. If Avast occasionally crashes or if some components are not working correctly, you can initiate a self-repair.

Start Avast, click the menu button, go to SettingsSolving a problem and click on the Fix app knob.

The repair may take a few minutes, depending on your PC’s hardware configuration. Restart your computer after the repair and see if that prevents instup.exe from running non-stop in the background.

4. Temporarily disable automatic updates

Instup.exe can lurk in the background if an error occurs while installing an update or if there is a problem with an update. The Avast antivirus installer keeps retrying the installation, causing high disk usage.

Disable Avast’s automatic updates and see if that pulls instup.exe from Task Manager. Open the Avast settings menu, select Generalselect Updateand then select Manual update in the Virus Definitions and Application Update sections.

Restart your computer and check if that stabilizes the program file instup.exe.

Last resort: reinstall Avast or use an alternative

Remove Avast from your PC if instup.exe continues its problematic spell. For more information, see our in-depth tutorial on how to completely uninstall Avast on Windows 10. Reinstalling Avast should stabilize the instup.exe program file. But if not, uninstall Avast again and use other powerful virus scanners to protect your computer.

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