Home > Windows files > DefWatch.exe

What does the DefWatch.exe file do?

The DefWatch.exe process is also known as Virus Definition Daemon and is a part of Symantec AntiVirus or, as the case may be, Norton AntiVirus. This software is produced by Symantec (www.symantec.com). An obsolete or defective version of DefWatch.exe can cause problems for your computer that can range from slowness to error messages such as these:

Free PC Check

Take advantage of our Free Computer Check to identify problems with DefWatch.exe

Scan your computer today at no charge with the Windows Repair Tool. This tool helps repair Windows and helps it run faster.


What you should know about DefWatch.exe Virus Definition Daemon

DefWatch.exe is not part of Windows, but it is important nonetheless. DefWatch.exe is found in a subdirectory of "C:\Program Files" - mainly C:\Program Files\Symantec_Client_Security\Symantec AntiVirus\ respectively C:\Program Files\NavNT\. Frequently occurring are file sizes such as 32,768 bytes (36% of all these files), 19,648 bytes as well as 8 other variants.
This particular software does not appear as a visible window, but only in Task Manager. This file was developed by a so-called third party provider - and not by Microsoft. To remove the file and its related software from your computer, click Programs in Control Panel The original file is digitally signed. Check your file. The original file has been signed by a trusted signature authority. This lets you check your copy to see if it is a counterfeit. DefWatch.exe is capable of make itself undetectable by other programs. For this reason, 21% of all experts consider this file to be a possible threat. The probability that it can cause harm is high.

A DefWatch.exe file has a 90% certainty of being dangerous if it is found in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. In this case, the file size is usually 31,624 bytes. This file does not supply any version information or other description. The file can be found in the Windows folder; however, it is not a Windows system file. This process does not have a visible window, and does not appear on the taskbar. This DefWatch.exe process can initiate a network connection--either to the Internet or on your LAN. The DefWatch file is not part of the Windows operating system.

If you see this file on your hard drive or in Windows Task Manager, please make sure that it is not a malicious variant. It's a fact that many trojans try to cloak their true identity by calling themselves DefWatch.exe. With the above information or by using tools like Security Task Manager you can determine if, in your case, the file is an undesirable variant.

What do other computer users say about DefWatch?

Part of Symantec/Norton Antivirus - Virus definition scout
defwatch.exe is part of Norton Antivirus Corporarte Edition. It monitors the virus definition files and will initiate a process to update these if necessary.
Billy X
Used in Symantec Anti Virus Corp Editions (further information...)

Summary: 43 users judge DefWatch.exe to be an essential file that should not be touched. 4 users consider it harmless. For this reason, 8 users have already deleted DefWatch.exe. source: file.net

How to uninstall Symantec AntiVirus or Norton AntiVirus

DefWatch.exe Virus Definition Daemon fix

To remove Virus Definition Daemon from your computer, please follow the manual instructions below or use an automatic uninstaller product.

  1. Click the Windows Start Button. In Windows 8, look for Control Panel.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a program.
  4. Look for Symantec AntiVirus or Norton AntiVirus in the list of available programs.
  5. Click Uninstall.

How to tell if DefWatch.exe (Virus Definition Daemon) was uninstalled cleanly

After uninstalling, restart your computer. Then start Windows Explorer and see if there is still a folder with the name of the software under C:\Program Files. Be sure to check the Registry as well for remnants of Virus Definition Daemon. To do this, start "Regedit", then look under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" > "Software" for Virus Definition Daemon or the name of the producer. Always keep in mind that only a computer professional should ever directly delete entries in the Windows Registry.

What to do if a program does not uninstall

The easiest way to remove any kind of software cleanly and accurately is to use an uninstaller tool. Because the uninstaller automatically creates a backup, there is no risk of anything going wrong.

Last but not least

If Windows not working quite right for you, or if startup is taking a long time, or DefWatch.exe is causing problems for you, a good Windows diagnostic tool may very well help. This is especially effective when it comes to older computers that have accumulated vast quantities of "garbage data" as the result of many software installs and uninstalls.

Users with an interest in DefWatch.exe have also been interested in: DefWatch.exe [index]