What is symfw?

Symfw.sys is a Windows driver. A driver is a small software program that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or connected devices. This means that a driver has direct access to the internals of the operating system, hardware etc. The free file information forum can help you determine if symfw.sys is a Windows system file or if it belongs to an application that you can trust.

Run a free scan to check for symfw drivers in need of updating

Symfw.sys file information

The process known as Firewall Filter Driver belongs to software Symantec Security Drivers or Symantec Network Filter Driver by Symantec (

Description: Symfw.sys is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The file symfw.sys is located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 145,976 bytes (44% of all occurrences), 96,432 bytes, 96,560 bytes or 171,424 bytes. 
The driver can be started or stopped from Services in the Control Panel or by other programs. The program is not visible. The symfw.sys file is a Verisign signed file. The file has a digital signature. There is no detailed description of this service. Symfw.sys is not a Windows core file. The process can be removed using the Control Panel's Add\Remove programs applet. Therefore the technical security rating is 5% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to remove the entire program SymNet or Symantec Network Drivers using Windows Control Panel.

Recommended: Identify symfw.sys related errors

If symfw.sys is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32\drivers, the security rating is 20% dangerous. The file size is 89,904 bytes (83% of all occurrences) or 89,776 bytes. The program has no visible window. The symfw.sys file is a Verisign signed file. Symfw.sys is certified by a trustworthy company. The service has no detailed description. The symfw.sys file is not a Windows core file. symfw.sys appears to be a compressed file.

Important: Some malware disguises itself as symfw.sys, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder. Therefore, you should check the symfw.sys 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

Part of Symantec Norton Internet Security suite
  Georg   (further information)
address BA428279 base at BA417000, Datestamp 41f1eb5f
I renamed it, it was causing crashes. No more problems.
  arnold coley  
I have had a recent BSOD which indicated the cause was symfw.sys - Went into safe mode and deleted the file. System now back to normal.
I renamed it was well and seemed to fix my crashing bsod problems
part of symantec AV causing bsod renamed to .old now o.k.
  Mince Pie  

Summary: Average user rating of symfw.sys: based on 5 votes with 6 user comments. One user thinks symfw.sys is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. One user thinks symfw.sys is dangerous and recommends removing it. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving symfw issues

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

symfw.sys [all]