What is certtool.exe?

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 certtool.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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Certtool.exe file information

The process known as certtool belongs to software IBM Client Security Software or IBM Client Security by IBM (

Description: Certtool.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The certtool.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 86,016 bytes (55% of all occurrences) or 90,112 bytes. 
The application can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. The program starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). It is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. Therefore the technical security rating is 29% dangerous.

Uninstalling this variant: If problems with IBM Client Security Software occur, you can also uninstall the software using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify certtool.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as certtool.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the certtool.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.


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Best practices for resolving certtool issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with certtool. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic 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 resmon 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 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the certtool.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security 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. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

certtool.exe [all]