Utcsvc.exe is a legitimate component of the Windows operating system that belongs to software called Connected User Experience and Telemetry, also known as Universal Telemetry Client (UTC). This tool runs a service called Diagnostic Tracking Service, or DiagTrack, which shows up a Service Host process on Windows Task Manager. The purpose of the Utcsvc.exe file is to collect data telemetry according to the selected telemetry level for the particular version of Windows (Image 1). Though being an integral part of any Windows system, Utcsvc.exe has not been developed by Microsoft, and many reputable anti-malware applications classify it as a potentially dangerous file.

When in its original form, Utcsvc.exe is not malicious and cannot do any harm to a computer, however, users should be alert about any changes in this file that could indicate the presence of malware on their PC. In many cases, Utcsvc.exe has been exploited by cybercriminals for the distribution of various types of malware, whereby the malicious scripts have been disguised as a legitimate Windows process. Cases have been reported about Trojans, ransomware, spyware, data-stealing tools, and other threats, being spread through the Utcsvc.exe file. Hackers could also misuse the file to disable certain programs and open a backdoor for additional malware threats to penetrate the system.

If a computer has unusual behavior, like flooding the user with ads, displaying weird system alerts, or overall acting sluggish or inadequate, the user is advised to check the properties of the Utcsvc.exe process under the running processes in Windows Task Manager. The size of an original Utcsvc.exe file should not exceed 53KB. On the other hand, an Utcsvc.exe file that has become malicious consumes excessive CPU resources (over 30% of CPU) and runs several processes at a time. To make sure that the file is dangerous, it should be scanned with a reliable anti-virus program. In case Utcsvc.exe is proven to be malicious, it is certainly associated with many other malware components present on the system that need to be removed altogether, therefore a professional malware removal tool should be employed to clean up the system. A corrupted Utcsvc service typically spreads through infected email attachments, fake software updates, as well as other illegal files or programs.

Since the file is harmless in its original form, users should be absolutely certain that the file is actually malicious before trying to remove it. Experts do not recommend removing the process manually as that may cause severe damage to the operating system. Apart from that, Windows will install it again with the next update. Also, according to the official Microsoft statement, the data collected through the UTC service includes information about the user’s applications, networks, and devices, but also personal data like email addresses, names, Internet browsing and search history, applications usage, etc. If you are concerned about your privacy due to the presence of Utcsvc.exe on your computer, even after you have confirmed by a scan that the file is not malicious, you can set the telemetry level of your system to the lowest possible level. To do this, open the Setting Application, then click on the Privacy icon, and then go to Diagnostics and Feedback. Here, choose the Basic option and then close Settings to confirm the changes.


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