What is: CTF Loader ‘ctfmon.exe’

If you were experiencing slow system performance and checked the task manager or you simply saw a process named ctfmon.exe running in the task manager then you might be wondering what this process is. The ctfmon.exe might appear and disappear from the task manager. For some people, it might not cause any performance issues but they might simply be curious about whether the process is legitimate or a virus/malware. Even if the process isn’t using a lot of resources, not knowing which application is starting the process might be troublesome for a lot of users.

The ctfmon.exe file is related to the CTF (Collaborative Translation Framework) Loader. This is a service that is used to provide text support for handwriting and speech recognition. This file is responsible for activating Microsoft Office Language Bar and Alternative User Input Text Input Processor. So, this file is a legitimate file that should run whenever needed. However, if the file keeps appearing in the task manager and uses a lot of resources then it might be a red flag. There are two cases here. The first one is that there is an app running that initiates the ctfmon.exe but you just aren’t sure about the app that is using the CTF Loader. For example, if you are using the handwriting mode in Windows then it is normal to see the ctfmon.exe in the task manager. The second case is that you are sure that you aren’t using an app that might initiate the ctfmon.exe. In this case, you should be cautious especially if the ctfmon.exe is using a lot of resources.

There are a couple of ways of controlling the ctfmon.exe. Keep going through each method listed below until the problem is resolved.

Tip

  • If you are continuously seeing a CTF Loader error or extreme performance decline because of the ctfmon.exe especially after updating the Windows then your solution will be to revert to the older build of Windows. There are Windows updates that are known to cause this issue with the CTF Loader. A simple way of reverting back to the older build is press Windows key > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Click Get Started in the section Go back to the previous version of Windows 10
  • Check the location C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\SysWOW64. You should be able to find the legitimate executable file in either of those locations depending on whether you have the 32-bit or 64-bit version. Hold Windows key and press E > Hold Windows key and press F > Type exe in the search bar and press Enter. Delete all the ctfmon.exe files that you find in locations other than the mentioned above and scan the computer.

Method 1: Disable Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel

The most common solution for this problem is to simply disable the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting panel service. If you are sure that you don’t need this service or it is using a lot of resources then you can disable it.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate and double click a service named Touch Keyboard and Handwriting panel

  1. Select Disabled from the drop down menu in Startup Type section

  1. Click Apply then select Ok

That’s it. It shouldn’t continuously run and hog the resources of your computer anymore.

Note: If you experience any difficulty in using the apps or you start seeing CTF Loader related errors then you can always enable the service. Simply follow the steps given above and select Enabled at the step 4.

Note: There is a side effect of disabling this service. You might see that the “type to search” behavior when pressing the Windows Key isn’t working once you disable the service. In this case, enable the service and try method 2.

Method 2: Use Task Scheduler

You can use Task Scheduler to control when the ctfmon.exe starts without needing to disable any service or deleting any file. If the method 1 presented some errors for you or if you aren’t comfortable in disabling a service then this should work for you.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type taskschd.msc and press Enter

  1. Double click Task Scheduler Library from the left pane
  2. Double click Microsoft from the left pane
  3. Double click Windows from the left pane

  1. Select TextServicesFramework from the left pane
  2. Right click MsCtfMonitor and select Disable (or any other trigger of your choice)

This should do the job. Now you won’t see the CTF Loader in the Task Manager.

Method 3: Scan your Computer

This should be done without saying but you should scan your computer in this situation. Even if you followed the instructions in the methods given above, it is advised to perform a full system scan just to be on the safe side. The worst that can happen is that you’ll waste a few hours of your day.

So, download an antivirus and malware detecting tools of your choice and run a full system scan. If you aren’t sure then we will recommend Malwarebytes.

  1. Click here to download the Malwarebytes for Windows.
  2. Once downloaded, run the Malwarebytes and scan your system.

Once done, your system should be free of any malware.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

What is: CTF Loader ‘ctfmon.exe’

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