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Is DefWatch.exe safe?

DefWatch.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 DefWatch.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.

DefWatch.exe file information

The process known as Virus Definition Daemon belongs to software Symantec AntiVirus or Symantec AntiVirus Client or Norton AntiVirus Corporate or Norton AntiVirus or Symantec Client Security or Microsoft Encarta (version 96) by Symantec (www.symantec.com).

Description: DefWatch.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. DefWatch.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\ - generally C:\Program Files\Symantec_Client_Security\Symantec AntiVirus\ or C:\Program Files\NavNT\. Known file sizes on Windows 7/XP are 32,768 bytes (46% of all occurrences), 19,648 bytes and 20 more variants. http://www.file.net/process/defwatch.exe.html 
The program has no visible window. The DefWatch.exe file is not a Windows core file. The process can be removed using the control panel Add\Remove programs applet. DefWatch.exe is able to hide itself. Therefore the technical security rating is 20% dangerous; however you should also read the users reviews.
The software publisher Symantec provides direct support (www.symantec.com/techsupp) and update information (www.symantec.com). You could uninstall the associated program (Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove programs > Symantec AntiVirus or Symantec AntiVirus Client).

Recommended: Identify DefWatch.exe related errors

If DefWatch.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32, the security rating is 90% dangerous. The file size is 31,624 bytes. There is no information about the author of the file. The program has no visible window. The DefWatch.exe file is an unknown file in the Windows folder. DefWatch.exe is not a Windows core file. The program listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet.

External information from Paul Collins:

  • "defwatch" can run at start up. Detects out-of-date virus definitions for Norton Anti-Virus Corporate Edition and runs the Defwatch Wizard. Only required if you don't update the virus definitions manually on a regular basis

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as DefWatch.exe, particularly when located in the c:\windows or c:\windows\system32 folder. Therefore, you should check the DefWatch.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

Used in Symantec Anti Virus Corp Editions
It is a file from norton av and not to worry abt it, while takes quite cpu resources during startup. Better to check if it is a malware.
  Parvesh Paliwal  
This helps deaf users.
  Keith Mghee  
Norton / symantec virus definition updater.
It's a virus. Chews away at your registry files
This is a safe Norton Symantic file that watches for new virus, worm, trogen definitions and initiates a process to download them if the system operator has not run a Live Update for virus definitions for a set period of time. Set Norton to automatically update definitions at an obsure hour every day and this file will no longer need to run on startup.
component of Norton CE - 280K reported in task manager
it is not malicious
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of DefWatch.exe: based on 55 votes with 9 reviews.
42 users think DefWatch.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 4 users think it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. 8 users think DefWatch.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade DefWatch.exe ("not sure about it").

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DefWatch 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.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, malware and tracking threats from your hard disk. Ideal supplement to Security Task Manager.

SpeedUpMyPC scans, cleans, repairs and optimizes your computer.

Other processes

DefWatch.exe [all]