What is sysctrl.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 sysctrl.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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Sysctrl.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with sysctrl
Sysctrl.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process belongs to software WinGuardian ChildSafe or Connection Manager by Webroot Software. (

Description: Sysctrl.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The sysctrl.exe file is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 2,001,408 bytes (60% of all occurrences), 2,001,920 bytes or 1,105,920 bytes. 
It is not a Windows core file. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run). Sysctrl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and hide itself. Therefore the technical security rating is 46% dangerous.

Recommended: Identify sysctrl.exe related errors

If sysctrl.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 44% dangerous. The file size is 307,200 bytes. The application starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, Run). It is not a Windows system file. The program has no visible window. Sysctrl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs.

Uninstalling this variant: You can do the following:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as sysctrl.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example TROJ_SPNR.0BLO11 (detected by TrendMicro), and not-a-virus:Monitor.Win32.WinGuardian.a (detected by Kaspersky). Therefore, you should check the sysctrl.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.


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Best practices for resolving sysctrl issues

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

sysctrl.exe [all]