What is pdshell.dll?

The genuine pdshell.dll file is a software component of SafeGuard PrivateDisk by Utimaco.
Pdshell.dll is a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file that belongs to SafeGuard PrivateDisk, a data encryption software useful for protecting confidential data. DLL files store data, code and resources needed by one or more programs in order to function correctly. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. SafeGuard PrivateDisk works by creating a virtual drive that is password-protected. A mounted virtual drive can be made accessible to other users without having them enter a password. Once the drive is unmounted, it sits as an encrypted file on the computer. The product provides protection for data through the International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) as well as AES 128 and 256 bit standards. Ultimaco is a German company that develops solutions for lawful interception of data for government and corporate applications. The company also provides data retention systems for telecom operators and Internet service providers. Ultimaco was established in 1994 and currently has offices in Aachen, Germany and Arese, Italy.

PDShell stands for SafeGuard PrivateDisk Shell Extension DLL

Pdshell.dll is a Windows DLL file. DLL is the abbreviation for Dynamic Link Library. DLL files are needed by programs or web browser extensions, because they contain program code, data, and resources. The following information can help you determine if pdshell.dll is a Windows system file or if it belongs to an application that you can trust.

Click to Run a Free Scan for pdshell.dll related errors

Pdshell.dll file information

The process known as SafeGuard PrivateDisk Shell Extension DLL belongs to software SafeGuard PrivateDisk or Client Security Solution by Utimaco Safeware AG (

Description: Pdshell.dll is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file pdshell.dll is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 28,672 bytes (55% of all occurrences) or 13,312 bytes. 
A .dll file (Dynamic Link Library) is a special type of Windows program containing functions that other programs can call. This .dll file can be injected to all running processes and can change or manipulate their behavior. The program is not visible. There is no detailed description of this service. It can change the behavior of other programs or manipulate other programs. The pdshell.dll file is not a Windows core file. The software can be uninstalled in the Control Panel. pdshell.dll appears to be a compressed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 55% dangerous.

Uninstalling this variant: There is a possibility to completely remove SafeGuardĀ® PrivateDisk or Client Security Solution (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify pdshell.dll related errors

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


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Best practices for resolving pdshell issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with pdshell. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic 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 resmon 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 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the pdshell.dll process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security 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. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

pdshell.dll [all]