What is combofix.exe?
Combofix.exe is a program that is designed for relatively newer versions of Windows. It can work in conjunction with the Microsoft Windows cleanup programs to remove data such as temporary files from your computer. However, instead of just clearing your cached data, combofix.exe actually focuses on the malware aspect more than just temporary files. Combofix.exe is actually much more intuitive, and as you guessed, a much newer iteration (hence its ability for use only on the newer editions of Windows).
Is combofix.exe a safe file?
Once you have it, you should keep one caveat in mind at all times: Combofix.exe is not meant for casual use. It was designed to be used by professionals to remove serious security threats and large malware problems. That being said, it is not a user-friendly tool, or perfectly error-proof either. So, if you choose to access it and change settings, ask it to do a “cleanup” or anything of the sort, you are potentially risking the health or your computer. The reason you should not make changes is because combofix.exe is already aware of the changes you should make at all times and will automatically make most changes for you. However, research shows that agreeing on the recommended changes, when prompted to, has very few cases of ill effects. So, for most intents and purposes, the file is considered safe.
When viruses have ravaged the hard drive of a computer, the computer usually ends up in the hands of a professional. These people often actually use combofix.exe to repair and delete a lot of the existing malware on the system. However, like I mentioned earlier, combofix.exe is far from perfect. Many times experts get rid of the malware only to find that the functionality of all .exe programs is gone. You can use the program, but do it in the presence of someone who can help direct your every move. Making a mistake is not as easy to correct as hitting an “undo” button, and each misstep could cost your computer vital functionality.
With all the negativity surrounding the combofix.exe program, it bears mentioning that without this program, many of us would not have working computers at all. This is important as many people look at the misconceptions of this program and opt to delete it and download it later, again, when they realize how important it actually is. Unfortunately, removing a Windows-based program is generally not the best way to make sure your system functions properly. However, if you have experience working with computers and/or know someone who does, running a third-party system scan can provide your computer with the protection it really needs.
Combofix.exe or a third-party virus/malware scan program?
Either way, running combofix.exe as a process will generally keep your computer safe. If you decide to run another virus or malware program, the security level of your computer will increase. Plus, with another program running, you have the potential to find other errors that combofix.exe could not detect. It is highly recommended to run a top-tier program on your computer.