For quite some time now, Windows 10 users have been complaining of instances where third-party computer security products such as those developed by AVG and Norton detect an application named microsoft.photos.exe trying to use the internet and flag it as harmful. Third-party computer security programs detect microsoft.photos.exe trying to send and receive communications via the user’s internet connection, which is why they report the communication attempt to the user and, in most cases, ask the user if they would like to block the application’s communication request. Now any such flagging and warning from the average Windows 10 user’s security product of choice is bound to shake them up a little, and the fact that the flagged process, at least by virtue of its name, seems to be related to Microsoft is no less worrying.
When alerted of the communication attempt by microsoft.photos.exe by their security programs of choice, Windows 10 users affected by this problem almost always end up wondering things like what microsoft.photos.exe is, why the application has been flagged in the first place and whether or not it really is a security risk. Well, microsoft.photos.exe is a process/application associated with the Photos app – an image viewing application that comes pre-installed on all iterations of the Windows 10 Operating System. For reasons that are yet to be revealed by anyone who is actually from Microsoft, the microsoft.photos.exe application does not have Microsoft’s digital signature in its code.
To security programs (and everywhere else, for that matter), microsoft.photos.exe has an unknown digital signature, which is why security programs alert the user when microsoft.photos.exe attempts to establish communications via the internet. Any security program that has been designed and/or configured to alert the user when applications with unknown digital signatures try to use the internet to send and receive communications will also flag any of the microsoft.photos.exe application’s attempts to do so.
Now what we know for sure is that the microsoft.photos.exe application is indeed something Microsoft created and included in Windows 10. However, the fact of the matter is that the microsoft.photos.exe application is an application that does not have a known digital signature and wants to send and receive data to (in most cases) unknown locations via users’ internet connections. That being the case, whether or not microsoft.photos.exe is a security risk is purely subjective. If you’re okay with an application that you know is from Microsoft but has been left unsigned for some reason using your internet connection and sending and receiving data, you can go ahead and allow microsoft.photos.exe to establish a connection. However, if a digitally unsigned application sending and receiving data using your internet connection doesn’t sit right with you, you should use the security program of your choice to block the microsoft.photos.exe application’s attempts at establishing communications.
In addition, the cherry on top of the sundae that is the whole microsoft.photos.exe debacle is the fact that there is still no official word from Microsoft on why microsoft.photos.exe was left unsigned by the tech giant or exactly what data the application collects and then attempts to send/receive via users’ internet connections. Be sure to take this fact into consideration while trying to determine whether microsoft.photos.exe deserves to be labeled a security risk for your computer.