How to remove ctfmon.exe

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 22, 2007
Updated • Apr 2, 2014

You might have noticed a process with the name ctfmon.exe when you open the task manager. Maybe you are wondering what it is doing there and if it was malicious or harmful in any way. A quick search on the web revealed that it is a Windows process for advanced text services. You furthermore may have noticed that this process activates itself again even if you use msconfig to disable it from starting with Windows.

Before I'm going to explain how to remove ctfmon.exe I'm going to explain why you should not remove it. You should not remove ctfmon.exe if you use language schemes, translations, East Asian languages, speech or text recognition and other alternative input technologies.

Most users do not need those though and you can free about 8 Megabytes of Ram if you remove the file. To do that you have two possibilities. User who do not want to change settings in the Control Panel could deactivate it by using a software called Ctfmon Remover which removes the process with the click of the mouse button.

Ctfmon.exe information

To find out if ctfmon.exe is running on your system use Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Windows Task Manager. Click on the show processes from all users button if available, and browse the listing of processes to see if the process is listed here. If it is not listed, there is no need to continue reading this article unless you want to enable it again. If it is listed, continue reading the guide below.

The file ctfmon.exe is located in the system32 directory of the Windows folder. If you notice that the process is being loaded from another location, chance is that it is malicious in nature.  If that is the case, download a program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free to scan your system for malicious software.

If you are one of those users who would like to know how to remove ctfmon.exe in Windows manually, you do the following.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Regional and Language Options.
  3. Switch to the Language tab there.
  4. Click on the Details button under Text Services and Input Languages and there on the Advanced tab again.
  5. Check the Turn off advanced text services box

The effect is that ctfmon.exe will not be loaded during system startup anymore. You can activate it the same way by unchecking the box which can be useful if you find out that you do need it after all.

Update: The Control Panel layout has changed in newer versions of the Windows operating system. In Windows Vista and newer, you click on Clock, Language and Region, and there on the Change keyboards or other input methods option.

Here you click on change keyboards again which opens yet another menu where you can remove any services that are installed that you may not need.

You may want to check Microsoft's extensive guide on the program which provides you with information on how to turn it off in older versions of the Windows operating system.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. joe bloe said on October 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    this doesn’t show how to remove the file just how to turn it off. please any help in the actual removal of the file from windows 7 64 os would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Why would you want it deleted instead of just disabled? It is not taking up lots of space and not running if you follow the guide.

  2. Anonymous said on March 12, 2013 at 5:11 am


  3. Jadamso said on June 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Just a quick note to say thanks. This thing has been driving me nuts particularly as it seems to interfere with the booting down process.

    Another prime example of how important it is to tweak a Windows operating system to save all that useless crap being loaded (or just use Linux).

  4. MRZ said on June 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

    wow…I think that very well may have been the worlds best kept secret

  5. rekir white said on September 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    thanks a lot!!

  6. Tomin said on August 19, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Here’s the step by step instructions with screenshots, how to remove ctfmon.exe from startup:

  7. PETER SANTHANAM said on November 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks a lot dude.. your explanation helped me


  8. prashi said on November 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    due to virus , my administrator rights ve been completely disabled nd cnt even open my control panel

    would plz suggest me. ?

  9. Paul said on October 28, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I want to THANK YOU for your help.This ctfmon.exe has been driving me crazy trying to get rid of it. I wish I had found this site sooner. I went to many sites for help and downloaded countless number of programs
    all to no avail . I did not know that all the time I could do it from the
    Control Panel on my computer. Thanks again for telling me how.
    I am glad I found this site and am putting it in my favorites. Just in case I ever need help again

  10. nigel dominique said on August 10, 2009 at 4:37 am

    thanks man! i’ve been looking for a simple solution like this for months now and all i get are ridiculously complicated answers…. thanks a lot!

  11. Josh said on May 21, 2009 at 7:45 pm


    The box should be unchecked by default. You need to check it in order to remove ctfmon. :)

  12. Monique said on April 24, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I did everything you said but the box was already unchecked, and ctfmon is still running! Why???????????

  13. zeyad said on February 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    thx alot… but i did every thing and still there idk wt to do after that it still says errors
    and i installed a new windows and still the same thing plz try to post onther solution caz it is realy sucking my pc:S thx


  14. Kat said on January 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been getting really, REALLY tired of disabling that annoying program every five minutes, especially since it has a tendency to crash certain games. I knew how to get rid of it in Office 2003, but the same steps didn’t work for 2007… thank you, thank you again!

    :) Kat

  15. Steve said on November 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks, This artical about How to remove ctfmon.exe really helped me.

  16. Best said on November 25, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    u safe my life,one hell of the best program ever ctfmon die, yea!!!!

  17. Rock said on November 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    thnx dude!!!!!!!!good one!!!!!!

  18. David said on October 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks clear and to the point you rock! Well… God rocks but hey He made you!

  19. Anonymous said on September 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    thank you!!! hopefully lightroom 2 will crash fewer times in my 2 years old computer.

  20. Adrian Ali said on September 8, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Thank you!!!! This ctfmon is complete crap. The resources it uses seem so little and yet it causes one helluva lot of problems. You rock!

  21. Icks said on September 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    thanks dude

  22. ravi said on June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    thanks dude you did a good work keep it up

  23. Kimber said on April 28, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Thank-You all so much for the so simple block
    of ctfmon. this file has drove me crazy for months. Pc keeps running running, I go to task manager it is always the problem.
    I have tried to delete or block with no luck.

    Finally, You are awesome and thank you so much

  24. Gary in Kansas City said on April 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks! I just now discovered this web site and it looks like I’ll need it at home and might need it at work.

    And by the way, I wish MS would ask before installing things I don’t need. How can I tell them?

  25. Phillip said on January 21, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Thank You Thank You Thank You. After installing XP SP2 the computer turns into a memory hungry bitch. All part of software and OS bloat.

  26. Victor said on December 14, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I have researched and asked around for over 14 months, tried everything possible to try to get rid of this, and now I come across this site( don’t know how I could have not seen it long ago) and in 5 minutes got rid of the problem. Because of this you are not on my favorites lists. Thanks a bunch….

  27. gtsamis said on October 23, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    In my Windows XP Pro SP2 Greek version, the language bar is disabled and I cannot switch from Greek to English kb…

  28. Tobey said on October 23, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    Well, most processes do have some purpose (even if ridiculous) so that the desicion whether to remove it or not is a matter of one’s personal knowledge and inquiries. But if they know what they’re doing, why not.. Especially when it can be easily undone.

    Thx 4 the tip.

  29. D3 said on October 23, 2007 at 4:43 am

    AWESOME, thanks!

  30. Streaker said on October 23, 2007 at 4:34 am

    What is this, some process that occurs in old versions of Windows? I don’t have a “language tab”. “ctfmon.exe” isn’t running either.

    Is this site only for people who don’t have the latest versions of software?

  31. Mat said on October 23, 2007 at 3:00 am

    thanks man.

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