What Is MOM.exe?

This program works behind the scenes to help your video cards run properly

Man at a computer upset by error message

 Adam Kuylenstierna / Getty Images

MOM.exe is an integral part of AMD’s Catalyst Control Center, which is a utility that can come bundled with AMD video card drivers. While the driver itself is what allows the video card to work properly, the Catalyst Control Center is necessary if you want to change any advanced settings or monitor the operation of the card. When MOM.exe experiences a problem, Catalyst Control Center may become unstable, crash, and generate error messages.

What Does MOM.exe Do?

In much the same way that Moms like to monitor the activities and progress of their children, MOM.exe is the monitoring component of AMD’s Catalyst Control Center. It launches along with CCC.exe, which is the Catalyst Control Center host application, and it is responsible for monitoring the operation of any AMD video card that is installed in the system.

Like CCC.exe, and other associated executables like atiedxx and atiesrxx, MOM.exe usually runs in the background. That means, under normal circumstances, you’ll never see or have to worry about it. In fact, you may never have to worry about Catalyst Control Center at all unless you play games on your computer, use multiple monitors, or need to access other more advanced settings.

How Did This Get on My Computer?

In most cases, MOM.exe gets installed alongside AMD’s Catalyst Control Center. If your computer came with an AMD or ATI video card, then it probably came with Catalyst Control Center preinstalled, along with CCC.exe, MOM.exe, and other associated files.

When you upgrade your video card, and your new card is an AMD, Catalyst Control Center will often be installed at that time as well. While it is possible to install just the video card driver, installing the driver together with Catalyst Control Center is more common. When that happens, MOM.exe is also installed.

Can MOM.exe Ever Be a Virus?

While MOM.exe is a legitimate program that is integral to the operation of AMD’s Catalyst Control Center, that doesn’t mean it actually belongs on your computer. For instance, if you have a Nvidia video card, then there’s no legitimate reason for MOM.exe to be running in the background. It could just be leftover from before you upgraded your video card if you used to have an AMD card, or it could be malware.

One very common tactic used by malware and viruses is to disguise a harmful program with the name of a useful program. And since MOM.exe is found on so many computers, it isn’t unheard of for malware to use this name.

While running a good anti-malware or anti-virus program will usually pick up this type of problem, you can also check to see where on your computer MOM.exe is installed. If it’s actually part of Catalyst Control Center, it should be located in a folder similar to one of these:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\ATI Technologies\
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\AMD\

If you aren’t sure how to figure out the location of MOM.exe on your computer, it’s pretty easy:

  1. Press and hold Control + Alt + Delete on your keyboard.
  2. Click task manager.
  3. Click the processes tab.
  4. Look for MOM.exe in the name column.
  5. Write down what it says in the corresponding command line column.
  6. If there is no command-line column, right click on the name column and left click where it says command line.

If you find MOM.exe installed somewhere else, such as C:\Mom, or in the Windows directory, you should run an updated malware or virus scanner immediately.

What to Do About MOM.exe Errors

When MOM.exe is working properly, you won’t even know it’s there. But if it ever stops working, you’ll usually notice a stream of annoying pop-up error messages. You may see an error message that MOM.exe could not start or that it had to shut down, and the message box may offer to show you additional information that looks like complicated nonsense to most people.

There are three easy things that you can try when you get a MOM.exe error:

  1. Check to make sure your video card driver is up to date.
  2. Download and install the latest version of Catalyst Control Center from AMD.
  3. Download and install the latest version of the .NET framework from Microsoft.
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