What is rthdcpl.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 rthdcpl.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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Rthdcpl.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with rthdcpl
Rthdcpl.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Realtek HD Audio Control Panel or Realtek HD Audio belongs to software Realtek HD Audio Sound Effect Manager or Realtek HD Audio or TODO: Product name or Icewind Dale - Enhanced Edition by Realtek Semiconductor ( or Realtek (

Description: Rthdcpl.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file rthdcpl.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 13,179,660 bytes. 
There is an icon for this program on the taskbar next to the clock. It is not a Windows system file. The file is a Microsoft signed file. Rthdcpl.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 11% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You have the option to safely remove the program using the uninstall program of Apple or Realtek Semiconductor Corp (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program) or search for help on the company [1][2]'s website.

Recommended: Identify rthdcpl.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as rthdcpl.exe, for example Generic PUA CH (PUA) (detected by Sophos), and Trojan.Gen or Trojan.Gen.2 (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the rthdcpl.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

Takes both gpu and cpu processing power. Way too much.
I am doing without RDTHCPL in the startup procedures in the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run path. Everything about my sound is still running just fine, since I never have a need to change any features of my sound quality.
  Alexander Moon  
This is the Realtek HD Audio Manager
  Pizza Kitty  
Ad aware does not pick this, nor does virus scanners. This file attaches to sound or video executable's/services and redirects your google search's to random pages. The only way to stop this is to locate the infected service in task manager then search their locations out and delete and replace the actual files with clean one's also make sure before that to stop the startup in msconfig.exe but make sure you activate it once the clean file is in.
  Noah Boudreault  
Realtek HD audio control panel. However i crashed it with VST "Massive" and dont know how to fix it now
Running the Realtek Audio Manager under Win XP is what's responsible for creating the two dozen or so ".bin" files in your Local Settings Temp folder, one per supported language.
  really tired  
Realtek HD audio control panel.
if this file is in c:\windows directory of winxp, it is a duplicate and a malware program. It idled all the processes running on my computer and until I renamed it, I could not get a malware scan to complete. It foiled at least 5 free malware programs by idling them before they could detect the malware. I was able after renaming the file to complete a normal malware scan.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of rthdcpl.exe: based on 102 votes with 9 reviews. 53 users think rthdcpl.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 9 users think it's probably harmless. 22 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 8 users suspect danger. 10 users think rthdcpl.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 21 users don't grade rthdcpl.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving rthdcpl issues

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

rthdcpl.exe [all]