Why is Yourphone.exe Process Running in Windows 10?

A while ago Microsoft had introduced a new application for Windows 10 by the name Your Phone. Many people might still not be aware of it as it is not that commonly used. However, some may be curious as to why a “yourphone.exe” process is running in the background and consuming system resources when they have not even used the application itself?

This article goes into detail on several aspects of the yourphone.exe process you may have found via‌ ‌Task‌ ‌Manager. Let us delve into the specifics of what it is and see if we can stop it safely.

What is Your Phone application in Windows 10

your phone app

With Windows 10, Microsoft introduced the Your Phone app, which makes it easier to connect smart phones and computers. The Your Phone application is run by the Yourphone.exe process.

Users can connect to their Android as well as iOS phones using this application so that they do not have to switch back and forth while multitasking on both devices. You can check your messages, gallery, calls, and notifications using the application. All you need to do is link your Microsoft account to both your PC and your phone. However, some features like making calls require an active Bluetooth connection between the two pieces of hardware.

Microsoft is currently working on developing this app further to increase its reliability and features. You can read more about it in our post where the app supports multi-app experience for Insiders.

task manager processes

By default, the process yourphone.exe runs in the background and may be seen in the Task Manager eating up some of your system’s resources, even if you do not use the app. Some may think of it as malware that needs to be stopped.

Let us discuss how you can confirm whether the yourphone.exe process is a virus or just a regular process for the Your Phone app.

Is yourphone.exe a virus or malware?

In Windows 10, any program running from C:/Program Files/WindowsApps is normally a trusted Store App and is not a virus.

Having discussed the fact that yourphone.exe process is for the Your Phone application, we do not reject the fact that it could potentially be a virus as well.

Certain viruses and trojans are often encapsulated to look like regular and innocent processes but are in fact trojans. This is a clever technique used by attackers to hide an attack in plain sight.

Therefore, we have listed a few points below through which you can confirm whether the yourphone.exe process on your PC is a virus or a legitimate process.

Check out its digital signature

Digital signatures are electronically coded documents that prove the authenticity of something. It is part of the metadata accompanying an item, which can also be referred to as a certificate of authenticity.

You can check the digital signature of yourphone.exe process, and if it is signed by Microsoft, it is a legitimate process. If it is signed by someone else, or not signed at all, it is likely that the process may be a trojan virus.

Here is how to check its digital signature:

  1. Launch the Task Manager by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut keys, or alternatively right-click the Taskbar and then click Task Manager.
    task manager
  2. In the Processes tab, click on Your Phone to expand it.
    task manager expand your phone
  3. Right-click Runtime Broker under Your Phone and then click Properties from the context menu.
    runtime broker properties
  4. Now switch to the Digital Signatures tab and you will see the “Name if signer.” If it is “Microsoft Windows” as in the image below, then you have nothing to worry about. You can also click Details for more detailed information.
    signer

If you find no digital signatures, or a name a signer any other than Microsoft, then we recommend that you immediately stop the process from running and scan your computer for any viruses. Here is a list of top antiviruses that can get the job done.

Tip: Use this guide if you are planning on purchasing antivirus software.

Scan the file with Windows Defender

Windows 10 comes with its own antivirus software: Windows Defender. You can scan the file running the yourphone.exe process to check if it’s a virus or not. Here is how:

  1. Open the Task Manager and expand Your Phone in the Processes tab.
    task manager expand your phone
  2. Now right-click Your Phone under the expanded Your Phone category and click Open file location from the context menu.
    open file location
    The location of the .exe file will now open in the File Explorer.
  3. Right-click YourPhone.exe and then click Scan with Microsoft Defender.
    scan with defender 1
  4. In the pop-up window, select the radio button next to Custom scan and then click Scan now to perform a targeted scan.
    scan now 1
  5. From the pop-up window, navigate to the location of the .exe file and select the complete folder for a scan. Click Select Folder.
    select folder
  6. Windows Defender will now perform a scan of the targeted folder and present the results. If a virus is found, perform the necessary actions to remove it.

Analyze the .exe file with VirusTotal

VirusTotal is a web-based antivirus engine that scans the provided files with over 25 different antivirus engines altogether. If Windows Defender does not get the job done, you can also check the yourphone.exe process with VirusTotal. Here is how:

  1. Open the website in a web browser: www.virustotal.com.
  2. Click on Choose file.
    choose file
  3. Now browse to the location of the file (through Task Manager as in the last step) and select the YourPhone app. Click Open.
    choose file 2

You will now be presented with a list of all the engines the file has been scanned with. Note that it is normal for one or two engines to give a false-positive. Unless more antivirus engines detect a virus, you are good to go.
list

How to stop yourphone.exe to run in the background

Since Your Phone application is built into Windows 10, it cannot be removed through traditional methods from your PC. If you try to uninstall it from the Settings app, you will see that the options have been greyed-out.

greyed out

Having said that, you can still disable the process to run in the background if you aren’t using the application. Here is how:

  1. Navigate to the following:
    Start Menu -> Settings -> Privacy -> Background apps
  2. Scroll down and look for Your Phone. Toggle the slider in front of it into the Off position to disallow the app from running in the background.
    toggle slider

You can now check that with the application closed, the yourphone.exe process would no longer be running in the background.

This is another great way to confirm whether the process is legitimate or a virus. If the process is still running after it has been prevented from running using the above method, it is probably malware.

How to delete Your Phone app from Windows 10

If you are troubled by the Your Phone app on your operating system, or have some other reason, here is how you can delete it entirely:

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges.
  2. Now paste the following command then hit Enter.
    Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.YourPhone -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
    PS

The Your Phone application will now be entirely removed from your PC.

If you ever need it at a later time, you can always install it from Microsoft Store by clicking on the link here.

Closing words

Even though yourphone.exe may not be a virus, consumers may have their reasons to disable or remove it entirely. One of those reasons could be the unnecessary consumption of system resources while they could be put to other good use.

You can check whether it is a virus or not by the provided methods in this post. If it does turn out to be one, we recommend that you immediately resort to anti-malware software to remove it.

Subhan Zafar

Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several system and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

2 thoughts on “Why is Yourphone.exe Process Running in Windows 10?

  1. It worked very well until the last update. It helped me a lot in accessing links received in my text messages from my desktop PC. For what ever reason even though both the devices, my phone and my PC are on the same wifi & connected to the internet AND connected to each other after logging into my MS account dta transfer simply does not happen.

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      From what you have shared, we can only conclude that there might be an issue with either the Your Phone application on your PC, or the Your Phone Companion agent on your phone. We suggest that you re-install both these apps and try reconfiguring them with a fresh installation.

      Please let us know if the issue was resolved.

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