Have you noticed a program called OpenAL on your Windows PC after the Windows 10 anniversary update? This program was installed as a result of the Windows 10 anniversary update and has some users worried as to its security and its purpose.

This article will detail what exactly the OpenAL program is, whether or not it is safe to keep or uninstall on your computer, and detail the methods to uninstall OpenAL if you choose to do so.

What is OpenAL?

OpenAL is an abbreviation of Open Audio Library, which is a cross-platform API (Application Programming Interface). It is particularly dedicated to displaying multichannel three-dimensional positional audio.

If you play games on your Windows PC, OpenAL is probably embedded in your PC and is needed to ensure greater sound quality in the games you play.

OpenAL was initially developed by Loki software for the purpose of transplanting Windows commercial games to Linux. It is now controlled by Creative Technology, which has made great strides in progressing the OpenAL software to new territories, including Windows 10.

OpenAL Virus

The legitimate version of OpenAL is not a virus or malware. However, it is easy for someone to mimic OpenAL, infiltrate your personal computer, and use its functions as an executable to harm your computer.

There are a couple simple methods to check whether or not the OpenAL installed on your computer is a virus or malware. First, check the spelling of the file name, it should be “openal.exe”. If there are any slight discrepancies in its spelling, such as “openai.exe”, then you are likely dealing with a virus.

Secondly, you can also check the location of OpenAL on your computer to ensure it is in its proper location. To check the location of OpenAL on your computer, follow these four steps.

  1. Right-click on the Windows 10 Taskbar and then select the Task Manager option.
  2. On the Task Manager window, navigate to the Processes tab and look for the OpenAL process.
  3. Right-click on the OpenAL process and then select the ‘Open file location’ option in the corresponding menu.
  4. Check if openal.exe is located under the C:\Program Files\openal folder. If it is there, then it is not a virus.

However, if OpenAL is located elsewhere, such as the System32 Folder, then it probably is a virus. If you believe the OpenAL on your computer is actually a virus or malware, then download an anti-virus tool such as Kaspersky and let the anti-virus software get to work.

There are many OpenAL error messages that may pop up on your Windows PC that are fairly indicative of it being a virus or malware. These error messages include all error messages that are listed below.

  • Openal.exe application error
  • Openal.exe failed
  • Openal.exe is missing
  • Openal.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
  • Openal.exe is not a valid win32 application.
  • Openal.exe is not running
  • Cannot find openal.exe
  • Openal.exe not found
  • Openal.exe could not be located
  • Openal.exe access violation
  • Error starting program: openal.exe
  • Faulting application path: openal.exe
  • Openal.exe was not found
  • Cannot register openal.exe
  • The procedure entry point openal.exe error

Should You Uninstall OpenAL

While OpenAL is an important program to ensure crisp, three-dimensional sound quality while playing games on your Windows PC, it is not an essential system program for any version of Windows. Therefore, it is absolutely safe to uninstall OpenAL.

However, it is worth knowing the potential drawbacks of uninstalling OpenAL before moving forward with the uninstallation process.

Firstly, if you are a PC gamer, you should absolutely not uninstall OpenAL as many games rely on OpenAL to render their three-dimensional stereo sound.

Uninstalling OpenAL may also leave any system files on your computer that rely on OpenAL susceptible to corruption. You should check to make sure none of your system files rely on OpenAL to function before moving forward with the installation process.

How to Uninstall OpenAL

If you have gone over all of the preliminary steps mentioned in the preceding section and you would still like to move forward with the uninstallation process, here is a comprehensive guide on how to uninstall OpenAL on your Windows PC. To uninstall OpenAL on your Windows 10 PC, follow these four steps.

  1. Click on the Windows 10 Start button and search for Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel window, ensure that ‘View by’ is set to ‘Categories’.
  3. Then, click on the ‘Uninstall a program’ option under the ‘Programs’ section and then look for the OpenAL in the currently installed programs list.
  4. Click on the OpenAL program and then click on the Uninstall button to complete the uninstallation process.

This method also works for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 users. However, there is a slightly different set of instructions for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP users looking to uninstall OpenAL from their personal computers. To uninstall OpenAL on your Windows 7 or Windows Vista computer, follow these two steps.

  1. Open the Start menu and type ‘Uninstall a program’ in the search bar.
  2. From the corresponding list, navigate to OpenAL and click ‘Uninstall’.

To uninstall OpenAL on your Windows XP computer, follow these two steps.

  1. Open the Start menu and type ‘Add or remove programs’ in the search bar.
  2. Once in the Add or Remove Programs window, navigate to the OpenAL program and click Uninstall.

These methods should be effective in uninstalling the OpenAL executable program from your Windows personal computer.

In Conclusion

After completing a readthrough of this article, you should now know what exactly OpenAL is, whether or not it is necessary or harmful to your computer, and how to uninstall it if you choose to do so.

Ultimately, OpenAL in its legitimate form is not a necessary or harmful addition to your computer. However, if you are a PC gamer, it is fairly imperative that you have OpenAL installed onto your Windows computer.

OpenAL is a burgeoning three-dimensional positional audio quality program that is used by many game developers who wish to make their games compatible with PC.