What is ctfmon.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 ctfmon.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 ctfmon.exe related errors

Ctfmon.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ctfmon
Ctfmon.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as CTF Loader or Dummy to replace the annoying CTFMON.EXE or SoBit Mail Service or CTF-Ladeprogramm or Cicero Loader or Shareaza Ultimate File Sharing

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Dummy CTFMON.EXE (part of the CTFMON-Remover) or Microsoft Office Professional Edition (version 2003) or So Bit or Shareaza or as or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows or Microsoft® Windows NT® Operating System

by Microsoft ( or Gerhard Schlager or Shareaza Development Team ( or SoBit.

Description: The original ctfmon.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The ctfmon.exe file is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 15,360 bytes (63% of all occurrences), 30,208 bytes and 62 more variants. 
The program is not visible. The application is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: Run, DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, User Shell Folders, Winlogon\Shell, Userinit, MACHINE\User Shell Folders, RunOnce). Ctfmon.exe is a Microsoft signed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 45% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify ctfmon.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is ctfmon.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true ctfmon.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "CTF Loader". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are such as Worm:Win32/Fakerecy.A or Virus:Win32/Virut.BI (detected by Microsoft), and Worm.Win32.VB.xb or Virus.Win32.Virut.bu (detected by Kaspersky).
To ensure that no rogue ctfmon.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as ctfmon.exe. Therefore, you should check the ctfmon.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

office file
  plspslslpslpslsps   (further information)
ctfmon.exe does present in my Windows Task Manager (ctrl+shift+esc) when I am using my old XP. ctfmon.exe seems to be used/useful in Win 7 processes anyway the ctfmon.exe cannot be found anywhere in my (Win 7) Windows Task Manager, and my Language Bar is still lying perfectly there. Some websites has tried using ctfmon.exe in Win 7 to solve some technical problem. (e.g
  John   (further information)
to disable this ctfmon.exe goto start menu and then click run and search msconfig and click startup bar and uncheck ctfmon.exe done!
  Gian angelo  
i have win8 and ctfmon is located in C:\Windows\SysWOW64.
The process is defined as the program CTF Loader.
  david scott   (further information)
can not delete ctfmon.exe because it says I need special permission. It is located in user-windows-system32.
Unless you use the language bar, get rid of it. Even when located in the proper folder, it causes internet connectivity problems. The Microsoft site details their preferred "blanking" procedure. However, I removed it outright and experienced NO instability (unless the absence of the language bar can be considered instability). This immediately cleared up numerous connectivity problems. Microsoft's attitude is wholly unacceptable: having garbageware running all the time just "because" is piss-poor practice, as well as being highly suspicious. Somebody should have a look under the hood to see what this piece of crap is really doing. Since it runs even when nothing related to the language bar is concerned, it has more than one purpose, and one that Microsoft doesn't want to give up - or reveal to the public.
Click on Start. Click on run. Type MSCONFIG and enter. Click on Startup. If ctfmon box is checked, uncheck it. Thats it, PC speed back to normal.
  Patrick A Kavanagh  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ctfmon.exe: based on 507 votes with 9 reviews. 171 users think ctfmon.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 24 users think it's probably harmless. 140 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 75 users suspect danger. 97 users think ctfmon.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 34 users don't grade ctfmon.exe ("not sure about it").

Do you have additional information?
What do you know about ctfmon.exe:
How would you rate it:
Link for more info:
Your Name:

Best practices for resolving ctfmon issues

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

ctfmon.exe [all]