November 15, 2010

How to Disable Symantec’s rtvscan.exe, a Notorious CPU Hog

Symantec’s anti-virus is the worst CPU Hog in PC’s. It even beats Adobe’s Flash that is notorious for draining laptop batteries, completely hogging the CPU and creating a bad user experience.


Symantec’s antivirus considers ALL activities on the PC a threat and is constantly running to defend the PC. If you have Symantec’s antivirus installed, your PC will be awfully slow all the time and at times will freeze, this is a result of the rtvscan.exe process running all the time and often consuming 100% of the CPU.

You can check the rtvscan.exe process at
Task Manager > Processes

However, the rtvscan.exe cannot be deleted from the Task Manager. To disable Symantec’s rtvscan.exe, follow these steps

Open Control Panel

Double click Administrative Tools
Double click Services
Right click Symantec AntiVirus
Click Stop                  [service should stop]
Right click Symantec AntiVirus
Click Properties
Change Start up type: to Manual   [by default it is set to ‘automatic’]


This will disable rtvscan.exe from running automatically all the time (You can still run it manually whenever needed) and prepare to be delighted with your PC’s performance.



Are there other better behaved antivirus options? 

Microsoft Security Essentials is a little better but suffers from the same problems as Symantec.

McAfee antivirus is a little better than Symantec and does not run all the time. But, it will constantly annoy you with messages to “check for updates”  “run a scan”. And is bad with rebilling your credit card.

Super AntiSpyware is the best and is run manually.

And, to avoid these virus problems all together start using a Mac.