What Is

ALG.exe: What Is It, Can I Disable It & Is It a Virus?

Comprehensive explanation on everything you need to know about ALG.exe


Most times, your computer has many processes running in the background; most of these programs are pretty helpful as they help properly function your system. In a previous article, we discussed one such program, the AggregatorHost.exe.

This article will discuss another vital background process, the ALG.exe. We will provide you with everything you need to know about this file to differentiate between the legitimate file and malicious software disguised as the file.

What is the ALG EXE process?

ALG.exe or Application Level Gateway is a Microsoft Windows operating system software component. It is a service that allows internet connection sharing and third-party plug-ins.

Thanks to its design, the Application Level Gateway supports Internet connection sharing and some third-party plug-ins that enable network protocol access through the Windows Firewall.

Some of the core functions of the ALG.exe file are listed below.

  • Provides specific third-party plug-ins that allow network access via the Windows Firewall.
  • It oversees and monitors resource allocation.
  • It is also responsible for traffic control and data synchronization.
  • It helps to open ports and change data available in packets like IP addresses.

How do I open the Application Layer Gateway service?

  1. In the search bar, type services and choose Open.
  2. Next, locate Application Layer Gateway Service, right-click on it and select Start.
  3. This will immediately open up the Application Layer Gateway Service.

Is ALG.exe a virus?

No, ALG.exe is not a virus. It is a legitimate Microsoft Windows system process. Although this file is safe, many malware writers give malicious processes the same file name to bypass detection. Therefore, we advise you to be careful when dealing with this file.

If you suspect the file has been corrupted, you can simply run a malware scan to fix the problem. If you need suggestions on reliable antivirus scanners, check out this article that talks about the best antivirus without ads.

How to tell if ALG.exe is a virus?

Some signs to look out for to know if the ALG.exe is genuine are listed below.

  • File location – A legitimate ALG.exe file is typically in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. If the file is found in any other location, it is probably a virus.
  • File size – An authentic ALG.exe file is about 45,000 bytes in size. If you discover that the file is larger or smaller than normal, it is likely a virus.
  • The file records keyboard input – A genuine ALG.exe file should not be able to record keyboard or mouse input, so if you find out that the file can do this, it is a virus.
  • No digital signature – If you see that Microsoft does not digitally sign the file, it means it is not legitimate.
  • Author name – A true ALG.exe file should include information about the author. If you find out that there is no information about the author, you should know that this file is a virus.

Can I disable the Application Layer Gateway service?

Yes, you can disable the Application Layer Gateway service, but it may come with the following effects:

  • You may not be able to use Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).
  • You may not be able to use certain third-party applications that rely on ALG.
  • You may experience problems with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls.
  • You may be more vulnerable to certain security attacks.

How do I disable the ALG.exe service?

Use services.msc

  1. Hold the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialogue, type services.msc in the text field, and press Enter.
  2. Locate Application Layer Gateway Service and double-click it.
  3. Select Stop to end the program, then on the Startup type drop-down menu, pick Disabled.
  4. Finally, click on Apply and OK to save the changes you made.

Suppose you followed this article to the end. In that case, you should have solid knowledge about the ALG.exe file, what it is, how to differentiate between a genuine file and a counterfeit, and how to enable or disable this service.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.