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Is cthelper.exe safe?

Cthelper.exe is a executable file (a program) within Windows. The filename extension .exe denotes an executable file. You should only run executable files from publishers you trust, because executable files can potentially change your computer settings or harm your computer. The free file information forum can help you determine if cthelper.exe is a virus, trojan, spyware, or adware that you can remove, or a file belonging to a Windows system or to an application you can trust.


Cthelper.exe file information

The process known as CtHelper Application or CtHelper MFC Application belongs to software CtHelper Application or CtHelper MFC Application or HijackThis by Creative Technology (www.creative.com).

Description: Cthelper.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. cthelper.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 7/XP are 24,576 bytes (64% of all occurrences), 28,672 bytes and 10 more variants. http://www.file.net/process/cthelper.exe.html 
It is not a Windows system file. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices). The program has no visible window. Cthelper.exe is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. Cthelper.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 57% dangerous, however also read the users reviews.
You could completely remove HijackThis (Control Panel⇒Add/Remove programs).

Recommended: Identify cthelper.exe related errors

If cthelper.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows, the security rating is 59% dangerous. The file size is 16,384 bytes (48% of all occurrences), 17,920 bytes and 6 more variants. Cthelper.exe is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The file is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices). Cthelper.exe is able to monitor applications.

If cthelper.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 37% dangerous. The file size is 19,456 bytes (85% of all occurrences), 15,872 bytes, 20,992 bytes or 17,920 bytes. The program is not visible. The cthelper.exe file is not a Windows core file. The file is an unknown file in the Windows folder. Cthelper.exe is able to monitor applications.

If cthelper.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 61% dangerous. The file size is 12,288 bytes (75% of all occurrences) or 28,672 bytes.

If cthelper.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files", the security rating is 71% dangerous. The file size is 882,688 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 147,114 bytes or 967,680 bytes.

If cthelper.exe is located in the folder "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 74% dangerous. The file size is 12,288 bytes.

External information from Paul Collins:

  • "WINDVDpatch" can run at start up. CTHELPER is a background task that is a plug-in manager for Creative drivers. The theory is that 3rd party manufacturers can use the CTHELPER plug-in interface to produce drivers, add-on features, and fixes that will integrate with a tighter fit with Creative’s sound drivers and utilities. Given its purpose CTHELPER would normally be classified as a "leave alone" background task. It also allows Creative speaker setup to be synchronized with Windows Control Panel speaker setting. Without it running that check box in Creative speaker setting is not functional (settings are not in sync). Unfortunately there are often problems with CTHELPER, most notably that it can use 100% of CPU time so it's best left disabled unless you need it

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



Score

User Comments

I know it monitors when you plug in headphones. When I kill it in Task Manager and plug in my headphones, I have to manually change my speaker settings.
  Surfernaut  
Most cthelper.exe are safe from microsoft. HOWEVER some are definitely Malware. It's up to you to figure out which one it is.
  LinuxPusher   (further information)
Creative process
  D  
Yahoo [Bot]
   
Hogging up my CPU last night. Very Annoying. Couldn't use my machine. Windows XP Professional.
  M3Beanie  
EAX does not need this file to work, I'm not sure if games require it, but for 95% of users ditch it and gain 5megs of memory.
  muzak24h  
I just reinstalled my OS (Win XP Pro) so it can't be infected with anything yet. Also, I installed the drivers for Creative SoundBlaster Audigy from Creative Labs. It makes perfect sense that "ctfmon" is a startup app that the SoundBlaster audio card needs.
  snoofy10  
Agree that it's Creative's file. I'm running a notebook Audigy ZS on an XP MCE machine. Could be a culprit behind some BSoD. Does not play well with others as it might cause crashes if two MIDI programs are open at the same time. Check for memory leaks, you will hear popping in the audio before as this happens. Rec using a mem defrag if switching SoundFonts as the memory leaks seems real. Creative still hasn't fixed it, or isn't aware this is happening.
  Chris  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of cthelper.exe: based on 165 votes with 9 reviews.
83 users think cthelper.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 15 users think it's probably harmless. 30 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 13 users suspect danger. 24 users think cthelper.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 17 users don't grade cthelper.exe ("not sure about it").


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Cthelper scanner


Security Task Manager shows all running Windows tasks including embedded hidden functions (e.g. keyboard or browser monitoring, autostart entry). A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware, keylogger or a Trojan.

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Other processes


cthelper.exe [all]