What is privoxy.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 privoxy.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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Privoxy.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with privoxy
Privoxy.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Privoxy belongs to software Privoxy (PrivoxyService) or BestWeb by The Privoxy team - (

Description: Privoxy.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The privoxy.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 371,200 bytes (80% of all occurrences), 370,176 bytes and 7 more variants. 
It is not a Windows core file. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 48% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you run into problems with privoxy.exe, you might want to uninstall Privoxy or BestWeb software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify privoxy.exe related errors

If privoxy.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 78% dangerous. The file size is 339,968 bytes (94% of all occurrences) or 371,200 bytes. The program is not visible. Privoxy.exe is not a Windows core file. There is no information about the author of the file. The program listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet.

Uninstalling this variant: If you run into problems with privoxy.exe, you might want to uninstall AntiBanner or Adblock Pro software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as privoxy.exe. Therefore, you should check the privoxy.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

Freeware web proxy for protecting privacy, ad-blocker
  Lapalissiano   (further information)
Local proxy system for filtering out advertisements and malicious web code
  Dr. Bob   (further information)
careful of infected downloads of this that install without permission and carry privoxy plus malicious software.
Privoxy spams down your browser with adds. It slows down your PC as it uses more than 50% CPU power. Hard to uninstall as it install it self again even after being removed in safe mode. It's a piece of crap virus, and all other ratings are written by the authors!!!
Prevents browsers from connecting to the internet. Works with other viruses to prevent fixes from being searched
privoxy.exe is an application that always trys to brind up ads and also is listed as malaware on most computer
  Nunya Bysness  
It gives you ads EVERYWHERE
well I did not install this process so why should I trust it its open source anybody could alter it and pack it with something else or download it when I visit there site without my permission there fore in my opinion don't trust it!!! if you never installed yourself
Annoying piece of shit will completely slow down your PC. Remove it by any necessary means as soon as possible!
This thing is messed up. Replaced Google Chrome with it's own version, creates a proxy that redirects traffic back to localhost @ 8118 and injects so many ads and insanely intrusive system popups telling you your system is infected and you have to pay to clean it. Insanely hard to get rid of. Constantly reinstalls itself and even runs in safemode.
Installed without permission. Continuously causes internet problems by setting up a proxy which is completely unnecessary for me. If I wanted a proxy I'd get something legitimate. Also program files folder has a really unprofessional name: Gamma task mEnager. What does that even have to do with setting up a proxy. Too many things off with this background process so it's definitely not doing your computer good. I guess it's spyware since all your internet has to go through the program...
  Mr. Proper   (further information)
Reinstalling annoyance. Probably a virus based on collected evidence.
I occasionally go into programs to see what has been installed. That is when I noticed the AFC Secure Net Folder in my program files (x86)folder. By that time 12 hrs later I was shut down. Couldn't get online couldn't run virus program, restore nothing! Had to do restore a backup image made by Acronis true image.
Malware... It prevents connecting to the internet.
Spams your computer/browser.
VIRUS. Bogs CPU with ads and doesn't turn up on antivirus or anti-spyware scans. Hard to remove, do not install!
  My Name  
privoxy installs a proxy server and it will log everything you do and it's hard to remove, this is a piece of crap. don't install!!
Privoxy is used by spyware processes
Ok there is obviously a problem with some malware using the name privoxy.exe. I would just like to say the real privoxy from is a genuine web proxy used for filtering ads. It's just sad its name has been hijacked.
  Ian   (further information)
This is malicious adware that uses a proxy to spam the user with adverts. To stop it in Windows 10, go to your network settings, click 'Proxy', and make sure where it says 'Use proxy' it says 'off.' This will disable the proxy.
Not to be trusted. Remove all AFC secure net stuff, kill the service remove chrome and reinstall. Even then it comes back.
Use AdwCleaner to remove it. It keeps coming back, but it's a temporary solution for now at least. Still working on nuking this thing
  Fionn C  
Annoying virus, set's up proxy to direct you to advertisement sites, maybe even more dangerous. Remove ASAP
definitely some illicit activity, I didn't even install it and here it is setting bogus proxy settings (aka sloppy data leak)
  fuck privoxy  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of privoxy.exe: based on 29 votes with 24 user comments. 5 users think privoxy.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 21 users think privoxy.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving privoxy issues

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

privoxy.exe [all]