What is watchdog.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 watchdog.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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Watchdog.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with watchdog
Watchdog.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as kwatchdog Application belongs to software mobile PhoneTools or KACE Management Appliance or RegRun Security Suite Platinum or Lotus SmartSuite - English by Dell ( or Greatis Software ( or PrintMIB.

Description: Watchdog.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Watchdog.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of the user's "Documents" folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 36,864 bytes (89% of all occurrences), 1,133,840 bytes and 4 more variants. 
Watchdog.exe is not a Windows core file. There is no description of the program. The program is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, User Shell Folders, MACHINE\User Shell Folders). The program has no visible window. Watchdog.exe is able to monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 61% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you encounter difficulties with watchdog.exe, you may want to safely remove the program using the uninstall program of mobile PhoneTools or Lotus SmartSuite - English (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program) or search the support area on the Bvrp website.

Recommended: Identify watchdog.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as watchdog.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Gen:Variant.Kazy.167675 (detected by F-Secure), and UDS:DangerousObject.Multi.Generic or Trojan-Downloader.MSIL.Agent.vic (detected by Kaspersky). Therefore, you should check the watchdog.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

It's file from a PC game Elite:Dangerous. Not harmful.
Swagyolo magic generator
Service Name: OpswareAgent Description: Opsware Server Automation System management component Path to executable: c:\program files\opsware\agent\pylibs\watchdog\watchdog.exe
it's relater to giraffic video accelerator but not part of the main program. i assume it's some kind of spyware.
It seems to be a system configuration content which enables to predict driver related issues but sometimes harmful also
Opsware Agent; part of an Enterprise OS monitoring tool.
Appears to be part of a DVD program called Intervideo.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of watchdog.exe: based on 43 votes with 9 reviews. 27 users think watchdog.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. 6 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 2 users suspect danger. 3 users think watchdog.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 5 users don't grade watchdog.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving watchdog issues

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

watchdog.exe [all]