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.