wextract.exe – What is it, Uses, Location and How to Fix i

  • Bipul 
  • OS

wextract.exe is a part of Microsoft Windows which is published by Microsoft Corporation. wextract is an abbreviation for Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor, and it is a system process that extracts Windows cabinet (.cab) files. The ‘Cabinet‘ (.cab) is an archive file format for Microsoft Windows that supports lossless data compression and inbuilt digital certificates. Cabinet files are generally used for device drivers and system file installation. wextract.exe is an essential Windows component that should not be tampered with.

I have provided detailed information about the wextract.exe file and some very simple methods to fix related errors.

What is wextract.exe

The genuine wextract executable has the following specifications

File Description:Win 32 Cabinet Self-Extractor
File Name:wextract.exe
File Size:143 KB
Product Name:Internet Explorer
File Location:C:\Windows\System32
Publisher:Microsoft Corporation
File Description:Win32 Cabinet Self-Extractor

In Windows 10 PC, the file may also be located under C:\Windows\SysWOW64 or C:\Windows\WinSxS\ directory. In most cases, this file won’t be visible in System Task Manager.


wextract.exe process information

wextract.exe is a critical component of Microsoft Windows. It is used by the OS to extract Win32 (Windows API for 32-bit applications) cabinet files. Cabinets (.cab) are archived files that are generally used for the installation of device drivers and system components.

Is wextract.exe safe or a virus?

wextract.exe is a harmless and trustworthy application. It is a significant Windows process which is initiated whenever a cabinet file is required to be extracted. Removing or disabling this file could harm your computer, although a system file cannot be removed easily in Windows. The original wextract.exe is published by Microsoft Corporation and hence it has a valid digital certificate.

In case, the application is constantly running in the background and causing issues like application errors and high resource usage, it is either a virus program disguised as wextract.exe or a corrupted file.

A simple way to check whether wextract.exe is a virus or not is to check the location of the file. If it is not in C:\Windows\System32, the file is a virus program.

Errors related to wextract.exe

A malicious wextract.exe can cause the following issues –

  • High CPU and memory usage
  • Data loss
  • Errors and system instability

Follow the methods below to fix these errors.

How to Fix Error

Using System File Checker (SFC)

1) Open a command prompt with Administrator 

Command prompt run as administrator

2) Type this command and press ENTER

  • sfc/scannow

3) Let it scan and repair the operating system files.


system file checker verifies the integrity of system files

Using DISM to repair Windows image

In case the system file checker failed to repair system files, you can first try using DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to repair the Windows image and then again run SFC.

1) Open command prompt as admin

2) Type this command and press ENTER

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

3) After the scanning is complete, use the following command to restore Windows image

  • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

4) After the repair is done, use the method above to run SFC again.

Using Windows Defender to scan your PC for threats

Note: If you have third-party antivirus software, you should use it to scan your PC instead of using Windows Defender.

1) Click on Windows logo, type Windows Security settings and click on it

Windows Security Settings

2) Click on Virus & Threat Protection and press Quick scan button


Virus and threat protection quick scan

4) Wait a few minutes for the scan to finish

3) Alternatively, you can also do a full scan, but it may take some time.

Windows Defender will quarantine an infected wextract.exe if it can detect the file as a virus.

Install pending Windows Updates

1) In the start menu, search for ‘Check for Updates’ and click on it


2) Let Windows update check for new or pending updates

3) Download and install the update.

Reset your PC

If the issue wasn’t resolved after trying the above methods, wextract.exe is not a virus. It is probably just a corrupted program file. Follow these steps to reset your PC and the issues will be cleared.

1) Click on the Windows logo

2) Type Reset this PC and click on it

3) Now, click on Get Started button

Recovery reset this pc

4) In the new window, choose the Keep my files’ option

5) It will take some time for Windows to reset the PC.


wextract.exe errors are always due to viruses or corrupted files. In case the above methods didn’t fix your issues, you should also scan your external drives for virus programs using your antivirus or Windows Defender. For any suggestions and queries, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment down below.



Bipul is an undergraduate engineering student, who has used five different Windows releases over 8 years of him being a true PC enthusiast.

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