What is ctxfihlp.exe?

The genuine ctxfihlp.exe file is a software component of Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi by Creative Technology.
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi is an audio chipset developed by Creative Technologies. Ctxfihlp.exe runs the helper application. This is not an essential process for Windows and can be disabled if known to create problems. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi was a line of PCI (peripheral component interconnect) sound cards that catered to a variety of customers, from home users to professional musicians. The X-Fi offered a much better sample rate conversion (SRC) engine than its predecessors. The sound card arrived with a host of software features that offered enhancements, environmental effects, digital surround sound and more. Creative Technologies is a Singaporean company that designs and manufactures audio and video boards used in computers and personal electronics. The company was founded on July 1st, 1981 by Sim Wong Hoo and Ng Kai Wa as a simple repair shop. Creative went on to become one of the most recognized names in the computer audio industry, developing its line of Sound Blaster audio cards and creating a standard for computer audio interfaces. Creative is currently headquartered in Jurong East, Singapore.

CtXFiHlp stands for Creative X-Fi Helper Application

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 ctxfihlp.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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Ctxfihlp.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ctxfihlp
Ctxfihlp.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as CTXfiHlp MFC Application belongs to software CTXfiHlp Application by Creative Technology (

Description: Ctxfihlp.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Ctxfihlp.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 18,944 bytes (43% of all occurrences), 19,968 bytes and 13 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run). The program has no visible window. Ctxfihlp.exe is an unknown file in the Windows folder. Therefore the technical security rating is 44% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify ctxfihlp.exe related errors

If ctxfihlp.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 19% dangerous. The file size is 24,576 bytes (38% of all occurrences), 25,600 bytes and 6 more variants. The program has no visible window. The ctxfihlp.exe file is a Microsoft signed file. Ctxfihlp.exe is not a Windows system file.

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

Needed to show the OSD volume. Also needed to use the remote for the X-fi Elite pro
Do not close or remove ctxfihlp.exe from startup, at least if you have front panel for your creative audio card. If you close ctxfihlp.exe, buttons of audio card at front panel stops working.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\windows\CurrentVesrion\Run Thats where mine is located. Looks to be associated with Warcraft, but registers as unknown under manufacturer. I have disabled it with no ill effects.
  J.R.Bob Dobbs  
Creative needs to put manufacturer info so msconfig shows it proper instead of unknown. Not needed at startup.
  Mike, Owner Complete PC  
If you have a creative sound card with front console installed on your computer, DONT remove this. I didn't know why my front panel buttons and volume controls didn't work, it was because this was disabled. I enabled this and my front console started to work. Ctxfihlp.exe isn't "help file" for x-fi, it's a file needed for x-fi, not anykind of helping file for user.
This is from Sound Blaster Drivers
As all are sying it is Creative related, I think I can add it is also for E-MU sound cards.
Symptom: It prevents you using new folder which is seen as empty
  John Oh   (further information)
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ctxfihlp.exe: based on 35 votes with 9 reviews. 25 users think ctxfihlp.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. One user thinks ctxfihlp.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. 5 users don't grade ctxfihlp.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving ctxfihlp issues

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

ctxfihlp.exe [all]