What is pctsSvc.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 pctsSvc.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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PctsSvc.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with pctsSvc
PctsSvc.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as PC Tools Security Service or PC Tools Security Component belongs to software Spyware Doctor or Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus or PC Tools AntiVirus Free or PC Tools Security Service or PC Tools Internet Security (version 2009) or PC Tools Spyware Doctor or PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus by PC Tools (

Description: PctsSvc.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. PctsSvc.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of C:\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 948,616 bytes (20% of all occurrences), 1,079,176 bytes and 20 more variants. 
There is no information about the author of the file. The program has no visible window. The file is not a Windows system file. The pctsSvc.exe file is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. PctsSvc.exe is able to monitor applications and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 36% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to completely remove Spyware Doctor or PC Tools Internet Security 2009 (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program), ask the software vendor,, for advice or update the program.

Recommended: Identify pctsSvc.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as pctsSvc.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the pctsSvc.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

This is for Spyware Doctor
it is the process of PC Tools Spyware Doctor core service. Service installed by PC Tools' Spyware Doctor or PC Tools' Internet Security and whose main role is to perform anti-spyware scans when you run a manual scan, or when a scheduled scan begins.
it stands for PC Tools Security Service. Run a search on your PC for this filename then right click on the icon. Scroll down to properties and it gives the info there.
part of spyware doctor
PCTools Scanning service
  Bruce Cannon   (further information)
it has shut down my computer
pc toools spyware doctor
Spyware doctor
  healthychicken   (further information)
today I have had 18 trojans all detected in a new file created by PC Tools, namely pctsSvc. seems to be a file vulnerable to attack or mimicry
It IS a Spyware Doctor service! Leave it be!
Its a PC Tools application (PC Tools Security Service). Takes up a lot of virtual memory.
It is part of PCTools. What I don't like is it using 18% of my CPU resources.
It seems to use an incredible amount of CPU (up to 92%)
  Dave I  
Memory Hog. PCTools used to be great before acquired by Symantec! Now it is becoming a pig like Norton before it.
  Dave R.  
often freezing my computer, using way too much processor and RAM.
Its the only program that blocked" Google redirect"
  B Bryant  
It is wasting 251,776K and I do not have any applications open
  K. Adams  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of pctsSvc.exe: based on 22 votes with 17 user comments. 6 users think pctsSvc.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 6 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 3 users think pctsSvc.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 3 users don't grade pctsSvc.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving pctsSvc issues

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

pctsSvc.exe [all]