What is crypserv.exe?

The genuine crypserv.exe file is a software component of CrypKey Software Licensing System by CrypKey (Canada).
The CrypKey Software Licensing System is a copy protection and license management program. Crypserv.exe launches the CrypKey application. This is not an essential process for Windows and can be disabled if known to create problems. CrypKey Software Licensing System is an application developed for the Windows platform that provides large scale copy protection and management of software licenses for systems located on corporate networks. The application safeguards documents, files and Windows-based software. The application is offered in four different versions depending on client requirements: Crypkey Instant, Crypkey SDK, Crypkey SDK Enterprise, and Crypkey DLM. CrypKey Inc. is a privately owned Canadian software development company that specializes in copy protection software that protects client programs from piracy and illegal duplication. Crypkey was founded by Jim McCartney in 1990. It was on the first companies in the world to offer software-only copy protection. Crypkey is currently headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

CrypServ stands for CrypKey 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 crypserv.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for crypserv.exe related errors

Crypserv.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with crypserv
Crypserv.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as CrypKey NT Service or CrypKey License Service or Crypkey License belongs to software CrypKey Software Licensing System or Crypkey License by CrypKey (Canada) ( or Kenonic Controls (

Description: Crypserv.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file crypserv.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\Windows or in a subfolder of C:\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 122,880 bytes (30% of all occurrences), 52,224 bytes and 14 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. The file is not a Windows core file. It is an unknown file in the Windows folder. Therefore the technical security rating is 54% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify crypserv.exe related errors

Important: Some malware disguises itself as crypserv.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the crypserv.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

Sometimes I can't eject a USB connected hard disk, that is until I stopped this service. Note, I found out who was blocking the disk's removal (i.e. "this disk can't be removed right now") using "procexp process explorer.exe", by Find handle... F:
  Howard Johnson  
Confinfirme Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery uses that process.
Is needed for Spectraplus authorization (crac version)
never saw it before installing Nemesis Security Suite,probably it's needed for encrypting data from mobile phones.
  Syrus Wolfe  
The latest version of Avast anti-virus detected it as a dangerous rootkit but was able to remove it after I stopped the Cryptkey service and disabled it. Sony was successfully sued for installing such rootkits without user knowledge/permission; I'm guessing that's why this company is hiding in Canada. \;^J
  Computer Geek  
Crypkey is a Canadian-based licensing company. If you delete it, any applications that require it will effectively have no software license. It's not a virus at any rate.
  JustJack   (further information)
i installed Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery, it may use this process
It Virus
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of crypserv.exe: based on 69 votes with 9 reviews. 32 users think crypserv.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 7 users think it's probably harmless. 11 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 11 users suspect danger. 8 users think crypserv.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade crypserv.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving crypserv issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with crypserv. 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 crypserv.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

crypserv.exe [all]