What is AAWService.exe?

The genuine AAWService.exe file is a software component of Ad-Aware by Lavasoft.
The working horse of the Ad-Aware software packaged, this process runs in the background and is responsible for real-time scan protection. Ad-Aware is an anti-virus and anti-spyware program that monitors internet traffic as well as protecting your files. First released in 1999, Ad-Aware Free has been downloaded over 381 million times. Lavasoft is located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its primary product is Ad-Aware, although it has a small library of other software.

AAwService stands for Ad-Aware Service

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the AAWService.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

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AAWService.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with AAWService
AAWService.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Ad-Aware (version 2007 Service) or Ad-Aware Service or Ad-Aware Service Application belongs to software Ad-Aware (version 2007, 2007 Service, 2007 Service, 2008) or Ad-Aware Service Application or Ad-Aware Service by Lavasoft ( or Lavasoft AB (

Description: AAWService.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. AAWService.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 611,664 bytes (29% of all occurrences), 607,576 bytes and 41 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The AAWService.exe file is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. AAWService.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 20% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If problems with Ad-Aware come up, you can go to the support area of the Lavasoft website, find out if there is a newer version available or uninstall it software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify AAWService.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as AAWService.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the AAWService.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

The best Anti-Spyware of Lavasoft
  Manuel Romero  
Latest Adaware release, harmless but useful
Spyware Remover
It hepls to find spyware!-Very good to have
    (further information)
Im pretty sure its ad aware a lavasoft software for anti-adware
Installed by Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2007, if you remove it, Ad-Aware do not start and give you an error message "error 18XX", i dont know how much intrusive is this proccess. Previous versions of Ad-Aware do not need any proccess into the background to run properly.
Great free anti virus program by lavasoft, inc
It appears on computers that used to have Ad-Aware but don't anymore.
Lavasoft Program DOSE NOT HAVE TO RUN 24/7 .. START/RUN/SERVICES.msc find it there and disable (note you will have to enable it to run adaware again) Easy Fix
The Windows XP update from 11th March 2008 causes this exe to run excessively, causing a very hot PC which can lead to problems. You cannot stop it in task manager as it simply starts up again automatically and re-starting your PC makes no difference at all. My only solution after my PC had been running at "high revs" for over an hour because of this exe was to delete my REGISTERED AND PAID version of Ad-Aware which is a real bummer.
It's the Lavasoft Adaware scanner.
It's a legitimate Anti-Spyware process that Ad-Aware runs,and you can't start Ad-Aware without it enabled.However,as Daku noted,on Windows XP it uses a ludricous amount of memory when running,prioritizes it self above most of the other processes,and it doesn't let you change it's priority in the Task Manager.(even as an Administrator) Furthermore,it keeps restarting it self if you close it,and it tends to use the most data the first few minutes it's starting up and it's scheduled to run 24/7,which can slow down your computer during Start-Up.My advice:Keep it off unless your on a web browser
It really hogs memory, sometimes as much as 200K. If you manually stop the process, it restarts itself grabbing more memory. As far as I can tell, it doesn't grab much spyware - but it does nail cookies -- a function that Windows has without the memory drain
it stops XP system dead! Lavasoft informed
When I boot up my computer it hogs the memory usage more than any other application, according to the task manager. Even if I disable Ad-Watch Live!, from the task bar, it somehow enables itself again, about an hour later. On the plus side it doesn't appear to interfere with other Virus detection software.
eats up memory like crazy, hides from Task man, but shows in resrouce monitor
It's run by a legitimate anti-virus, -spyware and -adware application from Lavasoft called Ad-aware. It's very useful to have this application installed on your computer
  Anna   (further information)
It is on my computer even thought the Ad-Aware 2007 program has been uninstalled.
  Michael Holt  
It's lavasoft adaware antivirus. To be there, you must have installed the antivirus.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of AAWService.exe: based on 20 votes with 19 user comments. 10 users think AAWService.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 3 users suspect danger. One user thinks AAWService.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving AAWService issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with AAWService. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the AAWService.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

AAWService.exe [all]