What is aawservice.exe?

When looking at the processes section of your task manager in Windows XP you may see the SYSTEM service running named aawservice.exe. This service is installed by software from Lavasoft USA named Ad-Aware. It installs and is set to start it’s self automatically when booting up your PC. If you run the free version of Ad-Aware then it is safe to disable this service so that it does not waste your system’s resources. However, if you are running a paid version of Ad-Aware then it is wise to just leave this service alone as it is responsible for real-time protection of your PC. Lets take a look at how to disable this service.

How to remove aawservice.exe

If you have decided that you do not need the aawservice.exe service to run then removal is simple.

Right click on “My Computer” and click Manage. Once there you will see the management console on your PC. Once here, navigate to the Services option on the left hand side of the window.

Once loaded you will see a list of services running in the right hand pane. Locate the Ad-Aware service (named Ad-Aware 2007 Service in my case).


Right click on that service and click properties to reveal the menu below. What you need to do here is click the Stop button after which the text above the stop box will say “Service status: Stopped”. Once stopped you can select Manual from the “Startup type” option. Once set to Manual then click OK and close out the management console.


The reason we choose Manual for the Startup type is because the service needs to be started when you want to perform a scan with Ad-Aware. Once that scan has finished you can then stop the service again.


  1. LG says

    My aaw.service.exe problem does not show up in this area. Therefore, I cannot get rid of this thing at all. The only way to “see it” is through Task Manager. Only there can I “end” the process, yet still can’t get rid of it. Yikes. If you know of another way, please advise. Also when viewing this in Task Manager, this stupid thing keeps increasing in numbers – fast – as you are viewing it (number re: kb using in processes). I am FRUSTRATED that I can’t get rid of this HOG.


  2. Matthew says

    @LG Can you search around your services menu and see if anything is under Lavasoft Adaware Service? I am seeing a similar service with that name on my computer and wonder if a newer version has changed the name of the service.

    Let us know how it goes.

  3. Nitrothor says

    I have the latest version of Ad-Aware 9.0.2, and it is certainly not the once-great anti-malware engine that it once was back in the old days. This process, AAWService.exe, is a resource hog/bloatware. It wants to run even when Ad-Aware is not running. I do not use its realtime protection, nor do I have it installed; however, this process still wants to start up. Even if I kill the process in the task manager, it just wants to restart. Grrr!

    Sadly, this latest version of Ad-Aware 9.0.2 needs this process to even start up or run; so, it cannot be disabled in Services without stopping the whole program. Perhaps in Ad-Aware 2007, it could; but now, it cannot.

    I was a huge fan of Ad-Aware back with version SE. It was a well-controlled program. I was partially ok with Ad-aware 2007. Even though I am not a software skin fan at all, I did like Ad-Aware’s pink skin! However, since 2008, Ad-Aware has definitely totally went down hill. You cannot control settings very well in it anymore, nor can you even recall your log files in the interface, even though they can be saved.

    Also, instead of providing a great functioning software, they camoflage its quality with a bunch of stupid and childish skins nowadays. Worst yet, I am finding more and more “false positives” with Ad-Aware which is griping me to no end also. What the hell is going on Lavasoft? Even nowadays, when you try to install it, it wants to install Google toolbar. I am so sick of toolbar hell, and Google is the largest collective spy on the planet! For the sake of their search engine, they want to know everything, everyone and where everything is at! I would sooner trust openly posting my bank account numbers on a high-traffic blog before I would trust Google! Google is not near as great as everyone wants to pretend! And now, it looks like Lavasoft is in bed with Google. WTF?

    Lavasoft, what happened to your once-great anti-malware engine? Lavasoft, what happened to your former anti-adware ethics?

    I still use Ad-Aware occasionally, but I have found much better anti-spyware engines in Super Anti-Spyware and Malwarebytes. Actually, I have even re-installed Ad-Aware SE on my computer, even though it no longer can be updated. However, I still have its last update in its definitions, and I think that even though SE has not updated in a few years now, it works better and more functionally than Lavasoft’s latest nonsense-ware.

    I am so sick of Ad-Aware and not being able to control the software anymore. Ad-Aware is only good for finding and manually blocking out tracking cookies, if you ask me. Lavasoft, if I do not want a process running on my computer, then that is what I mean. I only want full-control over my computers, not crap running when I have X’ed out of a program. Lavasoft software nowadays is just as bad as Adobe junkware/bloatware!


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