What is utcsvc.exe? Should I remove it?

by Jake Doevan - -

The utcsvc.exe is a legitimate system's component that can be used to disguise malicious programs

Utcsvc.exe is an executable file that comes as an integral part of the Microsoft Windows OS. The process name can be translated to Service Host and is known as DiagTrack, while the full name reads as Diagnostic Tracking Service. It can be found under Windows Task Manager on any version of Windows OS. However, it features quite high danger level and is classified as PUP by many reputable AV vendors as it is frequently misused by hackers.

Despite being a part of Windows, it's not developed by Microsoft. It has been created by TouchUtility, which is why the Utcsvc is sometimes considered to be a part of the TouchUtility Manual Right Click package. The original file is not malicious and seldom encounters problems. However, most of the times, this file is considered as potentially dangerous.

According to the VirusTotal data,[1] 12 of the major 55 antivirus programs detect this file as a malicious. Meanwhile, Hybrid Analysis[2] provides even higher detection rates. Furthermore, Emisisoft[3] detected more than 100 files associated to utcsvc.exe that are marked as untrusted.

Name Utcsvc.exe
Classification System files
Also known as  Diagnostic Tracking Service, DiagTrack or TouchUtility Manual Right Click
Danger level

The original file is not dangerous. However, if it runs multiple instances, CPU consumption is higher than 30%, and the file size is bigger than 53KB, there's a high-risk of virus infection. 

If you think that the Utcsvc service can be related to malware, download Reimage and run a full system scan with it.

There’s no doubt that this file might cause undesired activities on the computer. It seems that this file might be used for distribution of malware or trojans. Currently, it’s unknown what cyber threats this file might spread or execute. However, the utcsvc might be capable of performing these tasks:

  • execute ransomware on the computer;
  • encrypt or delete files;
  • install spyware;
  • steal personal information, such as banking data, credit card info, login details or other sensitive information;
  • install other malicious programs;
  • open backdoor.

Therefore, if you have noticed your computer acting oddly, for instance, displaying system alerts, flooding the browser with aggressive ads or you cannot open some of your files, you have to open the Task Manager and look up for running processes. If you see utcsvc.exe, it might be responsible for these process. 

IMPORTANT: the original utcsvc.exe file should not exceed 53KB. If it's bigger, consumes loads of CPU resources, and runs several processes at a time, there's a high-risk of a virus to be using it. 

However, before utcsvc removal, you should scan this executable with security tools to make sure that it is actually malicious. If this file is not dangerous and you delete it, you might cause damage to your computer, operating system or some programs.

Keep in mind that in order to remove utcsvc.exe safely, you have to employ a professional malware removal software. You can choose Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner for this task.

Individual executable files can be promoted as secure files

The malevolent utcsvc service might spread as an obfuscated file, program or update. Therefore, most of the time users are tricked into installing it voluntarily. This .exe might show up in the form of:

  • email attachment;
  • illegal program or file (e.g. movie, music);
  • fake software update;
  • bogus antivirus or another program.

Therefore, if you have recently opened an attached file in a spam email or downloaded some illegal content, you should make sure that you haven’t installed malware as well. Generally, you should be careful online and do not perform any high-risk activities to avoid cyber attacks.

Terminate utcsvc.exe process

Before stopping or deleting this executable and its operations, you have to check if it’s actually malicious. If you are 100% that it’s dangerous, you should not remove utcsvc.exe manually. If this file belongs to malware, it might be associated with numerous other components that must be eliminated together.

Therefore, for utcsvc.exe removal, we highly recommend obtaining a professional anti-virus or anti-malware. We can assure that Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes can clean the system effectively, so you should try one of these tools.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is a recommended tool to scan your system for possible threats and crappy software. The trial version of the product will find harmful applications in your system.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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