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Symantec AntiVirus

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rtvscan.exe. What is it?

The rtvscan.exe process belongs to Symantec AntiVirus, Symantec Internet Security, and Symantec Endpoint Protection. Rtvscan.exe is developed by Symantec Corporation. It’s a hidden file. Rtvscan.exe is usually located in the %PROGRAM_FILES% sub-folder and its usual size is 18 bytes.

The rtvscan.exe process runs the real-time antivirus protection feature. Rtvscan.exe loads on system start-up and runs in the background. The rtvscan.exe process scans all files as they enter the system through the Internet or by any other means, such as external drives. If a threat is detected, the process makes the antivirus program prompts the users to either select an action or automatically clean the computer. In addition to that, rtvscan.exe maintains a log of all performed actions. The process stays constantly connected to Symantec’s central database and updates the host computer’s database when the need arises.

Rtvscan.exe is a known resource hog, as it can consume quite a lot of RAM and up to 99% of CPU. Symantec is aware of the issue and addresses it in this Symantec support article. However, the steps described in the article don’t always solve the problem. If they don’t work for you, the best solution is to disable rtvscan.exe altogether.

To disable Symantec’s rtvscan.exe, you’ll need to disable the service responsible for this process. The downside of this method is that real-time scan will be disabled as well. But, since Symantec regards all files as threats, this is hardly a problem. And the performance issue will be solved. In addition to that, stopping the Symantec AntiVirus service will prevent the logs from becoming bloated. Here is how you can disable rtvscan.exe:

Click on Start and type services.msc into the search box. Windows XP users will need to click on StartRun and type services.msc and hit Enter

  1. Find the Symantec AntiVirus service, right-click on it and click Stop. This will stop the service.
  2. Then right-click on Symantec AntiVirus again and go to Properties
  3. Change the startup type to Manual

This will stop rtvscan.exe from running automatically, but you will always be able to launch it manually when you need it.


The rtvscan.exe process is safe, and you can safely disable it.

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General Information

Security risk: Free spyware & virus scanRegistry Errors: Free scan (run Registry Cleaner)Uninstallation: N/A Uninstall (run Unistall Manager)Disk & Memory Usage: N/A Free scan (run Task Manager)


Author: Symantec CorporationPart Of: Symantec AntiVirusCommon path(s): subfolder %PROGRAM_FILES%

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