What is smc.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 smc.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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Smc.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with smc
Smc.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Sygate Agent Firewall or Symantec CMC Smc or Symantec Agent Firewall

belongs to software Sygate Security Agent and Personal Firewall or Symantec Client Management Component or Symantec® Protection Agent and Personal Firewall or Sygate® Security Agent und Personal Firewall

by Sygate Technologies ( or Symantec ( or Microsoft (

Description: Smc.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Smc.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—mainly C:\Program Files\Sygate\SPF\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 2,577,632 bytes (23% of all occurrences), 2,372,760 bytes and 38 more variants. 
The smc.exe file is not a Windows core file. The smc.exe file is a Verisign signed file. The file is certified by a trustworthy company. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. The application can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. The file is able to record keyboard inputs. The program is not visible. Smc.exe is able to monitor applications, hide itself and record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 50% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you encounter difficulties with smc.exe, you can do the following:
  1) uninstall the software Sygate Personal Firewall or Symantec Endpoint Protection using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program)
  2) visit the support page [1][2].

Recommended: Identify smc.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as smc.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example or Trojan-Dropper.MSIL.Agent.du (detected by Kaspersky), and TrojanDownloader:Win32/Bagle or TrojanClicker:Win32/VB.OV (detected by Microsoft). Therefore, you should check the smc.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 no longer Sygate as they were bought by Symantec many years ago. This is now part of the framework of Endpoint Protection.
Sygate, the best free firewall ever.
  tom   (further information)
During system boot with sygate installed it can take as much as 98% CPU usage. When it has completed it's tasks and sygate is fully loaded it calmes down to very little CPU usage. Small price to pay for good firewall protection.
Sygate Firefall Process. It will take almost 100% of cpu time
Symantec Endpoint Protection
Symantec Endpoint. Immediately after my company installed on my pc performance took a nose dive. Typically runs at 50% of cpu. Apparently has been a problem for at least 3.5 years.
Causes 500-4000 page faults / second in my system slowing everything badly!
Symantec Endpoint Protection
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of smc.exe: based on 208 votes with 9 reviews. 162 users think smc.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 19 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 10 users suspect danger. 11 users think smc.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 16 users don't grade smc.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving smc issues

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

smc.exe [all]