MMC.exe error. How to fix that problem?

Mmc.exe error is a Windows notification window that states that you have a problem with the Microsoft Management Console. If you see this window, the OS have stopped this process for certain reasons. Let’s check out why this window may appear, and also how to fix this problem in several easy steps. In addition, I will show you how to understand that this error is a sign of malware presence, and how to get rid of the viruses on your PC.

Why do mmc.exe error appear?

First, let’s figure out which apps need the access to the Management Console and cause that error. You can find the description of the whole amount of functions of mmc.exe process in the separate article. Here I will show you only the way to understand that the program must have console access. Microsoft Management Console is different from the simple console, since it is responsible for high-level system functions. The list of these functions is huge, so I will just specify the exact types of the applications which make use of mmc.exe.

mmc.exe process error

Remote administration tools1. If the PC where you spectate the mmc.exe error is connected to the computer network, which is administered by someone, you will likely have such a tool on your computer. It allows you to connect to the PC you want at any moment, perform all possible actions, just like you were exactly at the computer, and change the system settings remotely. It is a very useful thing for big corporations, because system administrators may be too busy to visit every PC which needs troubleshooting. And all these functions require access to Microsoft Management Console.

One more type of tool that makes use of the mmc.exe is parental control utilities. These tools are popular not only among the parents, but the fact is still there: they need mmc.exe access and can cause mmc.exe error. Changing the user account properties, remote login/log out of the user, blocking the PC usage for the designated user – all these actions are usually realised through Management Console.

What do I need to do with mmc.exe error?

If you use one of these tools, you need to perform the troubleshooting. Sometimes, especially after some changes in the account or privacy settings, these tools may start malfunctioning, and cause the mmc.exe error. If you do not make use of any sort of mentioned tools, you may have a virus, or that error appeared because of damaged system files. Read the instructions for system files recovery, and go to scanning and virus removal, if it wouldn’t help.

Don’t panic after the thesis about malware. If you see the message that mmc.exe was blocked “for your safety”, the system suspended that virus. Malware tried to make use of the console, but internal mechanisms in Windows detected this suspicious activity and forbid the access to the console for all programs. It is done in order to prevent the malware activity in any shape.

Troubleshooting the mmc.exe error

First step you need to perform is registry key editing. One changed value may change a lot in system functionality, and we will try to check if the trouble is caused by this registry key. Press Win+R, then type “regedit.exe”. This command will start the registry editor. In that app, follow this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

System hive registry mmc.exe error

In that hive (not in the sub-hives of System!), find the EnableLUA key, and change its value from 1 to 0. To apply the changes, you need to restart your PC. If the value is already set to 0, don’t make any changes and try to perform other troubleshooting methods.

EnableLUA key registry

Dealing with the problem with command prompt

Open search bar (in Task bar, near the Start button). Type “Command Prompt” and run it as administrator.

Run command prompt mmc.exe error

In the command prompt, type the following command: net user administrator /active:yes. After the command execution, close the command prompt window and try to perform the action which caused the mmc.exe error appearance. If the problem appeared without any of your actions, try to recover system files or scan your PC for viruses.

Command prompt command

Solving the issue through the Services.msc

Press the Win+R combination, and type “services.msc”. Press enter to open the Services app, where you can edit the properties of each Windows service. However, right now you need to find the “Cryptographic services” graph. Double click it to open the properties.

Cryptographic services in Windows

Open the “Log On” tab. In the graph “Log on as” the value must be set on “This account: Network Service”. If it doesn’t, set the value on “This account” manually and press the “Browse” button. Also, delete the contents from the “Password” and “Confirm password” lines.

Edit cryptographic services to fix mmc.exe error

In that dialogue window, type “network” on the empty field and press “OK”. . The settings will be applied after the reboot. You must login into the same account.

Modify the cryptographic services settings

Recovering the system files

This action is needed when the mmc.exe error appears without any programs running. Such a situation means that this error is generated by the system itself. To fix it, you need to open the command prompt as an administrator. Type there the Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. The execution of that command will take a while.

Restore system files

After the execution, type the next command: sfc /scannow

Restore system files

You need to reboot your computer to apply the changes. After it, the problem will likely disappear. If not – check your PC for malware presence.

Scan your computer for malware presence

The fact that all attempts to fix the problem were unsuccessful is a clear indication that the problem is not inside of the OS. Usually, such a situation is a sign of malware presence. If you keep spectating the mmc.exe error, especially with the messages like “This app has been blocked for your protection”, it is better to scan your PC with anti-malware software. GridinSoft Anti-Malware will be the best solution for this case, since its detection databases are updated every hour2.

Removing the viruses with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

  • Download and install the GridinSoft Anti-Malware. After the installation, you will be offered to perform the standard scan. Apply this action.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware during the scan process

  • Standard scan lasts up to six minutes and checks the system files together with the files of the programs you have installed on your computer.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware scan results

  • When the scan is complete, press “Apply” to wipe out the malicious items that are present on your PC.
  • Malware removing with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

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    References

    1. More detailed information about the remote administration tools on Wikipedia.
    2. Detailed explanation why I recommend to use GridinSoft Anti-Malware for the PC safety.
    MMC.exe error. How to fix that problem?
    Article
    MMC.exe error. How to fix that problem?
    Description
    MMC.exe process is an internal Windows process for Microsoft Management Console. Sometimes, this app may crash, showing you the scary notification that mmc.exe process has been stopped.
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    HowToFix.Guide
     

    About the author

    Wilbur Woodham

    I was a technical writer from early in my career, and consider IT Security one of my foundational skills. I’m sharing my experience here, and I hope you find it useful.

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