What is pfsvc.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 pfsvc.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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Pfsvc.exe file information

The process known as Phrase Finder Client Service or Privatefirewall Network Service belongs to software Phrase Finder or Privatefirewall by Phrase Finder or Privacyware/PWI (

Description: Pfsvc.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The pfsvc.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 278,608 bytes (58% of all occurrences), 374,600 bytes or 147,456 bytes. 
The program is not visible. The pfsvc.exe file is not a Windows core file. Pfsvc.exe is certified by a trustworthy company. Pfsvc.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 30% dangerous.

Uninstalling this variant: The software publisher Privacyware provides update information ( You could remove the entire program Privatefirewall or Phrase Finder using Windows Control Panel.

Recommended: Identify pfsvc.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as pfsvc.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Artemis!B7DD04710C63 or Artemis!7FF37E663ACC (detected by McAfee), and Trojan.Gen.2 (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the pfsvc.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. If Phrase Finder Client Service has changed your browser's search engine and start page, you can recover your browser's default settings as follows:

Reset default browser settings for Internet-Explorer ▾
  1. In Internet Explorer, press the key combination Alt + X to open the Tools menu.
  2. Click Internet options.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.
  4. Click the Reset... button.
  5. Enable the Delete personal settings option.
This will reset your Internet Explorer to its default settings. Your browser will start with the familiar start page and search engine—without popups, ads, cookies, but all browser add-ons are deleted too [1]. Make cleaning up your browser and your computer simpler and safer with Security Task Manager.


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Best practices for resolving pfsvc issues

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

pfsvc.exe [all]