What is TeaTimer.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 TeaTimer.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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TeaTimer.exe file information

The process known as System settings protector belongs to software Spybot - Search & Destroy or MapSource by Safer Networking (

Description: TeaTimer.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. TeaTimer.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of the user's profile folder (typically C:\Program Files\Spybot - Search & Destroy\). Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 2,260,480 bytes (64% of all occurrences), 1,415,824 bytes and 14 more variants. 
The file is not a Windows system file. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: Run). The program is not visible. TeaTimer.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 36% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
If you still experience problems with TeaTimer.exe, you may want to search the support area on the Safer-networking website, make sure that you have installed the latest version or remove the entire program Spybot - Search & Destroy or Safer Networking Ltd. using Windows Control Panel.

Recommended: Identify TeaTimer.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as TeaTimer.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the TeaTimer.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

Optional and very useful part of Spybot
This file slowed me way down when I unplugged my modem. Safemode is required to delete
Spybot S&D resident protection - USE IT!
This is the system settings protector module for SpuBot S&D. It monitors your registry for unauthorized changes and notifies you of any such changes.
It is a file protection system used by Spybot Search and Destroy
  Nathan T. Preece  
Spybot Search and Destroy Resident Protection
it runs in the background
  rehan   (further information)
Is quite in the b/ground.No worries I think
Spybot process that controls malicious processes, not to be terminated
Has blocked spy’s on my PC. Worth having. After all, it’s free!
  John H.   (further information)
Hogged cpu so bad it crippled my computer (60-90%)
The Resident TeaTimer is a new tool of Spybot-S&D which perpetually monitors the processes called/initiated
  MatSo   (further information)
Works great! Valuable trojan blocker.
belongs to Spybot Search and Destroy. harmless and usefull
addon part of spyboot, helpfull
its a tool from the Spybot program
TeaTimer.exe is a process belonging to Spybot's search and destroy series of programs which scans and monitors processes in real time for malicious spyware. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.
it belongs to SpyBot and killing the process will cause system instability
When teatimer is running, my memory optimiser shows free memory decreasing by about 4KB per sec
This file is a very useful part of S&D. I was searching for such security extra a while.
Spybot Search and Destroy (resident) spyware process watcher
    (further information)
VERY powerful spybot destroyer! It seems to go deep into the system as a "resident" process. Good bye, spyware!
Spybot 1.4
have had it on my pc quite awhile, slows down computer more than AOL at times...horrible seeking to delete it
Spybot registry watcher, what doesnt let programs make changes to registry if u dont let them
Part of Spybot S&D. can slow down already slow computers. Hardly affects faster comps. Any process can slow a comp, this one isn't a large hogger. It helps protect agianst adware installing behind your back (Internet Explorer sometimes does that behind your back. If you still don't trust this .exe, get Mozilla Firefox and You won't need it quite as much)
Spybot S&D resident protection - USE IT!
Spybot Search and Destroy addon
Tea timer prevents unauthorized changes to your registry, giving you an alert and options for anything trying to change your registry. I highly recommend its use.
Only the truly ignorant ould rate a process that keeps an eye over possible unwanted changes to teh registry as dangerous..use it and see how much less infections IE will get or change to Firefox if you can't handle the occasional popups it puts ith each piece of software you attempt to install. Consider it like your on personal security guard.
it takes 55% of my CPU constantly on my 3Ghz pentium!!!
harmful protection against unwanted system changes - can be deactivated in Spybot itself-but i recommend leave it running :-)
  David   (further information)
it is just part of spybot and people who are getting slowdowns with it need a better pc
  Bob allmighty  
Its not dangerous, but can use more CPU than I'd like at times. It's good protection though, so I recomend keeping it.
it's very harmless, and consumes very little if any cpu up :-)
  Mad Mike  
I am running a socet A AMD athelon xp+2200(1.8 ghz) and it only uses 1% of my cpu. and it watches over my system reg files better that any security system. who would have guessed that there is an adware/spywear program that outperforms its self. I guess that goes to show that Germany not only makes superior cars but they know how to protect us from malisious spywear.( just My humble opinion)
  Victor Taylor  
Part of Spybot. Can be a memory hog - right now it is using about 1.6 gig of memory on my system.
  Dave   (further information)
Part of Spybot S&D (TeaTimer real-time protection, scans for registry changes. Any and all changes are reported.)
    (further information)
SpybotSD TeaTimerSystem settings protector from Safer Networking Limited (spybot - search & destroy)
  itconcerned   (further information)
Eats memory like no other at times. For the most part, it is an important process to keep running. Monitors your registry, but any decent internet/virus protection will do the same
tea timer is vital to correct running of spybot s&d.
  Napalm   (further information)
harmless and watches out for your registry.
This is a spy boat file
I supose it protects my computer.... but it does slow it down a bit when limewire and azureaus are both running...
  Jordan   (further information)
Acts like Vista UAC User account Control for XP via Spybot Search & Contorl. It always asks when there is a registery change taking place, usually when you install new software, If you aren't installing software and it pops up be aware. Programs like google toolbar updater may update without your knowlage, well this would pop up and let you know something is happening to the registery and askes if you would like to allow it or not.
It is spybot S&D.
its a resident program that monitors the registry for changes leave it on
Not dangerous in the least, but holy crud, it is TICKING ME OFF. The only program that I have running on my comptuer at the moment that takes up MORE space to run is Firefox itself. If I had a better computer, maybe it would be helpful; as is? No frickin' way.
For what ever reason this program was not able to write to a memory register when I was shutting down causing 2 error messages.
A realtime protection software utilized by spybot search and destroy. Helps guard against known ad goblins
IT USES 55% of my CPU I do have spybot, so it could be thisbut something isn;t right with it, it keeps making my explorer crash
  Tampa Tony  
this excellent heuristic intrusion prevention system is part of Spybot Search and Destroy. This process is not harmful but is known to be a bit of a resource hog as it is constantly monitoring the windows registry.
  Tom   (further information)
No problems with this file. Runs in the background with no interruptions of my system. Highly recommend Spybot-SD Resident.
  Redd Fox  
A Spybot Search & Destroy tool. Seems to do a good job. No problems to report.
Doesn't use any cpu on my computer, Firefox barely does 1% on my cpu Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ (2 CPUs), ~3.0GHz, Memory: 4094MB RAM, Basically this helps your computer out, with my expierence with spybot programs, it has found trojans, other malicous things on my computer, than updated Norton, Kaspersky, Mcafee, and AVG could not even locate/detect
  Ben Hill  
It does not respond when turning computer off and jams my computer up. Have to manually turn off if not turn off in time by cancelling Tea timer.exe
Extremely useful!! Helps stop new installs from creating autostartup lines in your registry. has detected and stopped at least one trojan that Norton never saw.
Lol. Rickdog: Don't you mean it takes 55 megs of memory? If you don't know how to even interpret task manager, maybe you should leave the ratings to other folks. Anyway, this is not dangerous.
spybot tool, uses a fair bit of CPU 4KB for a background process is too much for me so I just end it most of the time.
teatimer.exe does a great job of protecting your system from spyware, though it does hog memory. shut it off when u play video games, but turn it back on when ur done.
Spybot Search and Destroy (resident) spyware process watcher. Very useful tool, but awfully CPU-consuming at computer start-up
  Slawek   (further information)
Spybot sw. Part of the malware package.
It uses 30,000K of my memory constantly but appears to slow everything down more than that would suggest. Very annoying, the first thing I do is terminate it when desktop has loaded!
Obviously it's for Spy Bot, however it does use a lot of CPU power. Spy Bot is no longer on my computer since I got into gaming again. I do notice the difference. I've been using Spy Bot for many years.
  SpyBot Begone  
Only an utter idiot would assume that a process using 50% cpu is somehow good for system health.
superb registry monitoring tool from spybot search and destoy,it may slow down old computers with 1.4 ghz or less and only pc with 512 mbs of ram.but it does not slow down top end machines.
  count dracula  
Does use a bit of memory but very light on CPU. The benefits of running a clean machine far outweigh any resource overheads
causes mouse to freeze while updating
Hogs CPU, I dont like it at all.
it is with spybot, so it's safe, but it slows my laptop way down
spyware scanning
  Baharin Awang Ahmad  
Resident, uses CPU resources and up to 60 Meg of RAM. Very essential in keeping the spys out. Must have.
Uses 80 meg of memory and hogs CPU for crying out loud!
Well PID 3936, not totally essential, and it does take up 83,948k of space (largest program running in the background), well at times it does slow my system down, and other times I don't even notice it. Best it to test it with and without and see if it really does slow your machine down, Uninstall spybot s&d, and reinstall without teatimer, and see if it runs better, if not uninstall spybot s&d and reinstall it with teatimer. hopefully that helps. goodluck.
CPU hog! - slows IE to a crawl at best
essential part of spybot protection mechanism, uses high cpu but with very low priority so no problem for performance
It slows down my computer. Takes up the CPU resource up to 90% at times.
i was turning it off because it took as much cpu usage as my seamonkey browser i always got booted or froze up in yahoo so i blamed it and turned it off today i let it run and i had no yahoo problems at all im leaving it on now
  dicky fickle  
It's taking up over 88 megabytes of memory on a recently-rebooted laptop. Wow.
Slows down my puter big time.. My CPU is running at 100% capacity and I cannot do anything else on my computer. I use my computer for work but when TeaTimer has it running at 100% I cannot do anything. And yet I cannot get rid of TeaTimer. So what do I do?
  Frustrated with TeaTimer  
Part of Spybot S&D watches your registry for changes
TeaTimer.exe comes as part of SpyBot S&D. It is a process which aims to stop malicious software, such as AdAware and Spyware attempting to install itself when browsing the web. It is recommended to not kill off this process as its one of the two essential security software’s, the other being anti-virus. The analogy would be that TeaTimer is a vaccine, to prevent undesired programs, and SpyBot an antibiotic, to get rid of existing undesired programs. The Spybot Icon appears next to the clock in the Taskbar as a blue window with a padlock. To uninstall, use Add/Remove and select SpyBot.
  Oliver   (further information)
It's a part of a trusted spyware removal program, but the way it autoruns itself without permission puts it into the "harmful" category for me.
it just slows my pc; had it disabled ages ago.
SpyBot. Could be useful if it weren't such a resource hog. This computer both on and offline were never this slow WITH a virus.
makes my PC collaps every 5minets, wehn i stip prozess, everything all right
Tea timer.exe is an extra from Spybot S&D which guards the registry and notifies you any programs that try to alter any values, it consumes alot of my cpu but its worth it !!!
Makes Internet Explorer completely unusable! No need to worry about viruses if the program blocks you from even getting out on the internet. How do you get rid of it?
memory hog (54 MB) second only to Firefox (200MB)
  Alan Lietzke  
People are very quick to bad score people who complain, its pathetic, like others, this process at times completely maxes out my PC CPU. Bottom line, if it is causing you more hassle than what it is protecting you from, then safely delete it. IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL! Millions of PC's dont run Spybot and they get on just fine.
TeaTimer is a permanent process and registry monitor of the _Spybot - Search & Destroy_ system protector which perpetually monitors the processes called/initiated. Detects processes wanting to start and gives you options on how to deal with this process in the future. It is very important to keep this program UP-TO-DATE!
  Okanagan Red   (further information)
It's part of spybot S&D, and is a rather helpful program, but it also took three times as much processing for my computer to run than explorer(which is most of the menus and stuff in xp)
  Dr. Awesome  
Takes up way too much VM! Just as dangerous as a virus that takes up space like that!
Spybot Search Destroy
made me want to throw the computer out the window till I deleted it. The teatimer took up so much space nothing could run destroyed 2 days of work for me.
  unfrustrated NOW  
If you do not want your computer infected then this is a MUST HAVE part of the Free SpyBot S&D. If it consumes your CPU then add memory and it will not comsume your CPU. EVERYTHING runs in MEMORY, and if it is constantly swapping to disk the CPU consumption rate will most likely be high.
  Earl Williams - Tech Elite, Plaquemine LA  
Keeps away those pesky spyware/maleware/adware demons. Perfectly safe.
  Pico Hart  
Teatimer seems to be the process that has been making my machine run like molasses everytime I boot up or come back to life. Seriously, my hard drive was running constantly for 10 and 15 minutes at a time making the computer un - usable until I lost Teatimer. I'm running home XP.
Its a spybot program, so its safe, it runs in the background
  ba ba  
I know that you have to know when to allow or disallow a change. If you don't then it is worthless. Several times I disallowed necessary changes because I had no idea what it was telling me. It is only user-friendly if the user is very computer saavy. Not for a casual user.
  Sue Casual User  
its used by spybot search and destroy, but takes plenty of my cpu
From spybot site..disable it if you like..has nothing to do with system stability..
Part of Spybot S&D, occupies an inordinate amount of memory.
It is an extra program used by Spybot S&D to protect the registry files from changing due to viruses. The process does take up quite a bit of memory compaired to other funtions. (+130k on mine for example)
This slows my pc down by 50%!!!!!
freezes my computer by utalizing 100% of CPU for 5-10 minutes. Never used to do this
There is no need to run teatimer.exe. Anyone who knows about security knows they should never use the admin account as the main account they use. No admin account no registry changes...
  A+, NET+, MCSE, Cisco Certified  
This file may cause your computer to freeze. Our computer is a dual core, pentium 3. Runs fast.... normally. Until we downloaded S&D with tea timer. That tea timer takes a lot to process and cause the computer to freeze... a lot. When disabled our computer has never been faster. Perhaps the download was corrupt. A lot of people seem to like tea timer as you can see.
made my PC too slow and drove me mad
TeaTimer.exe is a process from Spybot Search and destroy a free antivirus program that is pretty good.
  Nick Hanson   (further information)
I'm running win7 and it is using +50% cpu usage. Major slow down. I am planning on uninstalling
it has the highest mem usage,so im not sure if i should be worried
It uses a lot of memory, slowing older computers. Quick work around: alt, control, del; choose Task Manager, choose "Processes", look for Teatimer, select and click "end process",.
i cant download some programs infor i recieve is because spybot tea time running in background ..
While everyone is correct about it. People are right about already slow computers. My fiance's isn't the worlds fastest and TeaTimer is constantly consuming about 30% of her memory.
huge memory and CPU hog. if you have lots of resources, it may be OK, otherwise remove it. May be safe, but it kills your computer functions as effectively as the worst virus.
  SF Cardwell  
Make sure to keep it running ! It really helps!
  J. Johnson  
I don't have a good say, as I agree with some ppl who said this process takes up lots of cpu and crashes my explorer and even my system hangs up. This is just equal to a virus, which I plan to get rid of.
For some reason it will periodically hog a lot of CPU and slow my computer to a crawl, then is stops whatever it is doing and my computer goes back to regular speed.
it gobbles up memory and runs disk non-stop at times
  richard frost  
part of spybot(S+R) software. It is like windows Task Manager in that it monitors processes, except it warns you when there are malicious items running
This File is made by Spy Bot Search and destroy to protect you but it also slows down your computer so its neutral Hope i helped.
EZ to temporarily delete teatimer to see if it makes a difference. Go to task manager select processes find teatimer and remove it. Then check your new speed. Also consider alternate program spyware blaster which does same thing as spybot with far less intursion
  Doktor Krankheit  
Spybot Search and Destroy feature. Very very helpful process that protects your computer. Some malware has been known to impersonate it.
    (further information)
It usually doesn't take more than 10%CPU, but on occasions it will go up to 50%. No big deal.It's probably second to Firefox 'cause you don't have anything in between (such as java.exe)
Waste of memory and time. Especially running on a netbook or laptop with only 1.5m of memory
It uses 117,180K.
Seems to work very well on AMD based machines.
PEOPLE - Just run spybot when needed (to scan) and AVG if you set Spybot to not run in the background teatimer is not an issue.
bad take 40% of my cpu and freeze my mouse and keyboard
This process does tend to use up a lot fo CPU power when you first boot or wake up your computer... Usage should drop to almost nothing after a few minutes. Not sure why it does this, but since TeaTimer is Spybot S&D's preventative protection module, it's worth putting up with.
  Miachael Smith  
It slows my comp up, but i'll rather have it's protection and a slow comp then a hijacked slow comp!
  Bet On Black  
An occasionally useful program, but not always great for programmers. Becomes a serious CPU hog when testing out assembly code.
The people complaining about high CPU usage might want to think twice before throwing this out; it could be an indication of something wrong, not with the SBS&D TeaTimer, but with your computer (i.e. virus, trojan, adware, etc.). If you are seeing 40-80% CPU usage, or high amounts of memory, then something is wrong with your system. I have been monitoring my PCU usage, and it is sitting around 1-4% for TeaTimer, and my memory usage is sitting at 134 MB (which is nothing considering most computers that aren't extremely old and in need of replacing have anywhere from 3-8 Gigs or RAM).
  Experienced SpyBot S&D / TeaTimer user  
if u run out of ram then it slows down your computer. but its usefull tool of spybot. so u need it
My computer guy said that it appeared to cause a problem w/the windows registry which could not find my identity when the computer was booting - it was deleted
A computer is like a car, if you take good care of it it'll take care of you, Depending on what your using your comp for it can be a pain, ie online gaming, basically if being connected is not essential to what your doing just go offline (bugs can't get in if you shut the window) and enable it when your online an you wont have any problems or just don't use spybot try something else or better yet if your the kind who leaves their pc on all day just schedule adware and viruses scans while you sleep. I think teatimer is handy like having a screen over your window.
Part of Spybot S&D. If it is consuming your CPU Then there is Something actively trying to manipulate the regestry. Again, This running at +50% CPU then you NEED TO RUN REGESTRY CHECKS AND SYSTEM SCANS. SOMETHING MIGHT ALREADY BE ON YOUR COMPUTER THAT IT IS TRYING TO STOP.
  S&D user  
For months couldn't find out why my PC was using 100% CPU - found this site and deleted TeaTimer and now my CPU is running at 10% CPU !!!!!!!!
This can consume up to 150+MEG of memory at times. Slows everything right down.
Great program, zero impact. If this program is slowing your PC, then its because your PC is already slow. You need to upgrade
Monitors and notifies of any suspicious or unknown registry and system changes. VERY HELPFUL, leave running especially if you're not too tech savvy.
  David   (further information)
It stayed behind and operating even after uninstalling Spybot S&D and rebooting. It may be safe and useful, but it eats up resources and should not have been left behind and in an active state. I also found it in the windows/prefetch folder.
  S Wilson  
If TeaTimer.exe is eating tons of CPU, chances are you've got malware, and TeaTimer is fighting with it. Don't uninstall TeaTimer, run Malwarebytes AntiMalware and find the real problem.
  Chris Roberts  
this is from skypot so no worry about its safe
It's safe but slows my computer down, way down. Sometimes to the point I have to sit and wait for TeaTimer to get done so I can work. Usually turn it off and boom, computer functions as normal and not as slow as frozen turd sinking in molasses!
  Dump out the Tea  
I will be removing this from my computer because: a) my computer is currently chucking up fatal system error after fatal system error after fatal system error; b) when I search throughout my C:/ folder I see that it has crashed twice in the last 24 hours; c) I have Norton installed and I have been through this on my netbook with conflicting antivirus software (I had McAfee free, Norton Antivirus and Avast! on there simultaneously and it ended up looping at startup); d) what clinched it for me is reading that sometimes malware masquerades as TeaTimer.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of TeaTimer.exe: based on 178 votes with 152 user comments. 109 users think TeaTimer.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 13 users think it's probably harmless. 34 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 16 users suspect danger. 6 users think TeaTimer.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 12 users don't grade TeaTimer.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving TeaTimer issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with TeaTimer. 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 doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, 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 TeaTimer.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

TeaTimer.exe [all]