tcpsetup.exe | The TCP/IP Protocol Setup File | Is It Safe?

What is tcpsetup.exe?

tcpsetup.exe is a necessary executable file for some versions of Windows and almost all versions of Linux. It is the “TCP/IP protocol setup” file that sets up your computer to use the TCP/IP protocol suite, which among other things manages connections to the Internet.

What are its different parts?

The file has the following size and files:

  • File size: 3,200 bytes
  • Executable: Yes – Windows / Linux / Mac OS X only

When did tcpsetup.exe appear?

Version 4 of tcpsetup.exe was introduced in Windows 98 or may have appeared in an earlier version of Windows. Versions 3 and earlier of tcpsetup.exe were probably introduced in Windows 95 or earlier versions than those listed above for versions prior to Vista.


Why Do I Have tcpsetup.exe On My Machine?

You may have been sent tcpsetup.exe by a software company as part of your copy of Windows or Mac, or from an ISP.

If you have downloaded and installed any software on your computer, there is a chance that tcpsetup.exe is on your computer -ou could have downloaded it along with the rest of the software installation.

You could also have received it as part of software updates from Microsoft Corporation.

What does tcpsetup.exe do when it runs?

tcpsetup.exe runs without asking for permission from you, your account, or an administrator. tcpsetup.exe places files in all the following folders on your computer:

  • :\WINDOWS\system32
  • :\WINNT\system32

The purpose of these files is to perform the necessary steps to set up the TCP/IP protocol on your computer. These files are used by tcpsetup.exe when it runs, but otherwise do not affect how your computer operates.

How do I remove tcpsetup.exe?

There are several ways to remove most types of files:

Step 1:

Check for other programs that might be using the file. If you find other programs installed on your computer that can use the same files, check those for their presence instead of removing tcpsetup.exe. If this is impossible, clean out those files before removing tcpsetup.exe.

If you do not know how to check for other programs using the file, try removing all your non-essential software before removing the file. Steps 2 and 3 are described below.

Step 2:

Uninstall the program using this file, then re-check for tcpsetup.exe files in Step 1 above. If you find another program installed that can use the same files, remove it instead and check for its presence in Step 1 again.

Step 3:

If all your programs are still listed in Step 1 (and no other files exist), uninstall tcpsetup.exe with the Add/Remove Programs option from Windows or from your Linux distribution’s menu.

Can I simply delete TCPSetup ?

No, you cannot, and will not be able to remove the file even if you delete all files associated with it. The only way to get rid of tcpsetup.exe is by whitelisting it in Windows Defender so that no program ever tries to run it. Windows Defender will also let you know what other programs use the file.

If your computer has malware installed, this process is not recommended, as malware will find any unprotected files it can and use them for its own purposes. Your computer may crash or stop responding in an unsafe manner if you attempt this process or any other method without first removing all traces of the malware from your computer.

How do I whitelist tcpsetup.exe?

To whitelist or un-whitelist the file:

Windows (Vista+): Click on Start, select Control Panel, and select System and Security. Select Windows Firewall. Under the Exceptions tab, tick Prevent access to file sharing, then click OK.

Windows XP : Click on Start, select Control Panel, and click on Security. Under the Exceptions tab, tick Prevent access to file sharing, then click OK.

Mac OS X : You will not be able to modify TCPSetup without assistance from someone with administrative rights to your computer.

Linux: Linux distributions that natively run tcpsetup.exe do not currently have anything that allows you to whitelist or blacklist it. You must ask for help from a different user of your computer or an administrator of your computer using sudo or root privileges if you need to modify the file to use a software package that requires it.

Conclusion: Is tcpsetup.exe safe to run?

If you have no reason to believe that tcpsetup.exe has been modified accidentally, yes, it is safe to run on your computer.

Programs that require this file will not be able to use it if the file is removed. They will need to be reinstalled after you remove it, as well as other software like your antivirus or other security components for programs like Firefox or Opera, and their add-ons and plugins.

On the whole, however, the file is safe to run.

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