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What is CCC.exe and Why Is It Running?

You’re probably reading this article because you’re frustrated with that CCC.exe process running in Task Manager, and you’d like to know how to get rid of it, or at least understand what it’s there for.

This article explains what the process actually is, but we’ve also got you covered if you want to remove the ATI Catalyst Control center from the desktop right-click menu.

For example, you’ll see the process here wasting memory in Task Manager…

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So What Is It?

CCC stands for Catalyst Control Center, and it’s part of your ATI video card driver package—or to be more specific, it’s part of the utilities bundled along with the drivers, and adds features like customizing your display, or setting hotkeys for different display profiles. As long as the ccc.exe utility is installed into your Program Files\ATI Technology directory, it’s a legit process that can be left alone.

It’s also responsible for that icon cluttering up your system tray:

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Once you’ve launched the full Control Center, you’ll see a screen similar to this one (depending on your driver version).

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On my test system, there was no startup item anywhere for this process. Depending on your driver version, it’s possible that it would be included in startup and could be removed.

Get Rid of the Tray Icon

You can remove the icon easily by clicking Options –> Preferences –> Enable System Tray Menu to turn it off. Sadly, this won’t usually get rid of the process that’s running, but at least it’ll save a few resources and keep your system tray cleaner.

Note that depending on your driver version, this setting might be in a different place, but it should definitely be in there. 

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Depending on your driver version, it’s possible this might remove the process—it didn’t on my laptop, however.

Totally Uninstall CCC.exe (and the ATI Control Panel)

You can completely get rid of the whole thing by simply going to Uninstall programs in Control Panel, and just removing it from there using the wizard—you’ll want to make sure to keep the display driver installed, and just remove the ATI Catalyst Control Panel.

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You can also totally uninstall the entire package, and then reinstall without selecting the control panel. It’s up to you.

Install ATI Drivers Manually

Depending on how you removed the ATI components, you might need to re-install your drivers (without installing Catalyst). You can do so in Device Manager by right-clicking on the display driver and choosing Update Driver Software.

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Once the wizard has opened, you can allow Windows to search automatically (if you aren’t a gamer this usually works pretty well). Otherwise, you can download the drivers manually, extract them to a folder, and then click the ‘Browse my computer for driver software”.

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Then choose the location you uninstalled the software to, and make sure to click “Include subfolders” when checking for the driver.

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Temporarily Kill CCC.exe the Easy Way

If you’d rather keep the ATI utilities installed because you use them, you can setup a shortcut to automatically kill CCC.exe whenever you want… just create a new shortcut to the following:

taskkill /f /im ccc.exe

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You could even try putting this into your startup folder… or create a scheduled task instead. This is the safest and easiest method to get rid of the process without breaking anything else.

Drastic Steps You Shouldn’t Take

If you want to keep all the ATI stuff installed, but want to get rid of CCC.exe, you could simply rename the file to CCC.bak instead. This will keep the process from running, but obviously is going to break anything that would be trying to use it. Keep this as the last resort, and you should probably disable the tray item before you do this.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/4/10

Comments (22)

  1. PhoenixPath

    Or…

    You could use MSConfig or a start-up manager like Glary Utilities to simply stop the service from loading at start-up.

    But that might be too easy. :)

  2. JA DePaolis

    I love your program, I just wish I were “techie” sufficient to understand and use the info. Thanks!

    I am using Windows 7 and Kodak ESP 7 printer. I can NOT scan anything, yet I can copy, print etc. Can you advise how to get the scanner working? I tried the chat bit with Kodak in India, THAT is a reral challenge!

  3. PhoenixPath

    What version of driver are you using?
    Is the OS (Windows 7) 32 or 64-bit?
    Are you using the EasyShare software or trying to use the “Windows Fax and Scan” utility?

  4. The Geek

    On my test machine it did not show up in the services list! I was using a beta driver – will have to test it out with another driver.

  5. PhoenixPath

    The services list is notorious for not showing certain things. It is quite possible CCC is not a “service” per-se, but an “app” launched by another ATI service or program.

    Regardless, it shows up in Glary Utilities, and likely many is not all of the other start-up management utilities (Glary allows you to set it to delayed start-up if you still think you may need it, but not “at boot”).

    Granted, I haven’t installed any drivers in win7 that didn’t install through update since RC (the current RTM install is WU-only). The RC drivers were horrible and I haven’t gone back to ATI for them since… The WU drivers (admittedly written by ATI) seem to work better than any so far. I’m sure they’ve improved much, but I am still a little gun-shy from the RC experience. Might have to check them out tonight…

  6. Andy

    Hi, about ATI i`m using win 7 32 bit, so installled win and ati drivers with controls everithing is ok, but after i installled Autocad 2010 ati utils runs only in background, an there is no possibility to run soft for wideo card no possebility to change any options, but games and program who using video works perfectly

    My system
    Asus P7P55D delux, intel i5 750, Ati radeon HD 4870, ram 4 GB

    can u help, cose i would like to change some options to videocard bu caant:(

  7. Roi

    @Andy
    I think the only obvious thing to do here is to try and uninstall AutoCad 2010 and see if it works then.

  8. Duke999R

    ATI supply “Display Driver Only” downloads on their website to suit all Windows versions. These do not have Catalyst Control Center (ccc.exe) included.

  9. JonMCC33

    Why would you get rid of it? It’s not a virus/malware and only takes up 2,500K of memory at boot. It doesn’t get larger until you open the Catalyst Control Center and make configuration changes.

  10. Sophia Vailakis-DeVirgilio

    The article about ccc.exe was the most descriptive and helpful. You helped me to understand the ramifications of full removal, completely disabling the driver, or in just permanently ending the ccc.exe process from running, by renaming it. The steps I used based from this article were a success.

  11. Joe Bob

    The advice from this page is phenomenal and covers just about every concern I have with CCC. My problem tends to track to another arena. When closing down my Lap Top. The process to shut down is impeded because it shows CCC as an open program and running program.

    This grinds the shutdown process to a halt and often the only way to quit is a hard shutdown. I’m left wondering what the best solution would be based on the above available solutions listed above.

    This is a work laptop so the highly involved video requirements isn’t a real need but working off the net and especially utilizing “GoToMyPC” is an absolute necessity.

    No matter, what you have a really nice service going here.

  12. bob

    ya my computer runs at 1 cpu when this isnt running so im gana remove it

  13. Bob's A Moron

    @BOB You are really stupid. It runs at 1 cpu. What the hell does that even mean? Do you mean 1 ghz? That wouldn’t even make much sense because this stuff relates to a GPU. But okay…..

  14. Mike G

    CLIstart.exe is the executable responsible for startup of MOM.exe (an ATI monitoring process) and CCC.exe which is why neither of those appear as a startup item. Disabling startup of CLIstart.exe using MSconfig or other tool should prevent the others from automatically starting while still allowing you to open Catalyst Control Center manually.

  15. Cherigirl

    all of a sudden my memory is almost gone. i have deleted everything i can think off, all music all pics and i’m not sure what else to do, can you help me.. what is taking all my memory, all i play is on face book i play cafe world and thats it

  16. Dog Easy

    Cherigirl – I have that problem too, but then, I’m 83 years old. Taking pills for it, but they don’t seem to be helping—Oh, you meant the memory in your computer, sorry, my bad. I had that problem on a Sony Vaio laptop several years ago and it finally filled the drive completely so I couldn’t even get into it. Didn’t have a guru then, so I finally did a clean install. Never did find out what caused the problem. I would be interested in knowing what caused it in case I run into it again. I assume it was some sort of malware, but Norton and McAfee couldn’t find anything and unfortunately, that was before such helpful sites as this one, as well as Google, were to be found.

  17. DaATIUser

    ITS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED TO LEAVE IT ON YOUR PC, ITS AN IMPORTANT DRIVER OF YOUR PC BECAUSE ELSE YOU CANT CHANGE ANYTHING AT YOUR SETTINGS ETC, STRONLY RECOMMEND TO NOT REMOVE IT

  18. ccxvcvcvv

    thanks mike G

  19. JB

    DaATIUser:

    You said, “…BECAUSE ELSE YOU CANT CHANGE ANYTHING AT YOUR SETTINGS ETC, STRONLY RECOMMEND TO NOT REMOVE IT”.

    What are you talking about? This article is talking about removing CCC.exe, which is just ATI control panel. The ATI drivers are separate, and not affected. You can still use the native Windows Diplay Settings to set resolution, etc. via Control Panel. CCC.exe used 7,160K on my machine. It serves no purpose (other than hanging out on the taskbar, allowing easy access to the display settings). So I removed mine.

  20. cat

    CCC uninstalled successfully (kept the driver), but I lost the controls for color, brightness and contrast. Is this normal? I can only change screen resolution within Windows 7 CP and must use the buttons on the external monitor to adjust display settings. My system boots up much faster and there’s a significant decrease in physical memory usage after removing CCC, not to mention no more errors in the ACE Log.

  21. mike

    Hi,
    When shutting down Vista, CCC.EXE stops it from shutting down with messege cancle or wait, I waited for a while then it shutdown. How to fix this? help.

  22. Hwalker1

    What happens if youhave two monitors. You need the program to set up dual monitor display, so if you remove or disable it, will you only have one?

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