What is DeviceCensus.exe and Why it using Webcam?

A genuine DeviceCensus.exe is a Windows OS file that is used to record and transmit the detail of a webcam to the hardware. The program DeviceCensus.exe is an integral part of the process and therefore is not a virus or malware.

File Size and Location

The DeviceCensus.exe program is duly signed by Microsoft and hence you can be very sure that it has very little chance of being a virus. It is an integrated component of the Operating system and hence it can be located at C:\Windows\System32\. You may not see it working as it works in the background. This is a no-wight file as the file size shows to be 37 KB (approx).

devicecensus.exe file

Quick Overview

Filename: DeviceCensus.exe
File type: Application
File name: Device Census
File version: 10.0.18362.1
File Size: 36.8 KB
Product name: Internet Information Service
Digital Signature: sha256 (Microsoft Windows)
Copyright: Microsoft Corporation
Language: English

What is DeviceCensus.exe?

If you are using a webcam on a Laptop or Desktop then you may notice a message message “Device Census is using your webcam”. Here the DeviceCensus.exe file comes into the picture. Its records and transmits the usage of a webcam to the system hardware including usage, error, etc.

It scans your PC and collects data. Then this process will send data to Microsoft. This action will help Microsoft to optimize windows. On that basis, it will provide future versions and fix bugs. Adding to that, it checks your device’s usage. This process doesn’t record any data at any time.  

Is Safe or a Virus?

Being a part of the Windows Operating System, DeviceCensus.exe is not malware or a virus. However, if DeviceCensus.exe is consuming high CPU or Memory then you should check its file location. If it is not located in C:\Windows\System32\ folder then it may be suspicious. In that case, a system scan is recommended with antimalware and an Antivirus. Therefore you should not worry whether DeviceCensus.exe is a virus or safe.

Another way to verify the authenticity of DeviceCensus.exe is to check its file properties. Right-click on it and choose Properties. Go to the Digital Signatures tab and check whether the Name of Signer is Microsoft Windows.

Device census digital signatures

DeviceCensus.exe Common Errors

Often if you are using the internet or any reliable antivirus then a pop-up window from your security constantly saying that your webcam is trying to run, then you do not need to worry. If you are activating the protective layer and have informed the security to notify you about the new processes, then this is a common process. You may get a message that:

  • “DeviceCensus.exe is attempting to access your webcam”
  • “DeviceCensus is using your webcam”
  • “Webcam access blocked”

Many users have also complained that DeviceCensus.exe is consuming high CPU / Ram resources (Microsoft Answers).  These are the most common errors that occur with this program.

Many people, after seeing these notifications, think that it is a virus or malware. But, to their relief, this DeviceCensus.exe is neither a virus nor malicious software. But, often malware works by replicating the original software. To check whether it is a virus or not, just do the following steps.

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc button
  • Click on the Process tab
  • Right-click on DeviceCensus.exe > Properties
  • Check the File location.

device census process

If you see the file location is not System32, then you can sure that the process is a virus. It is suggested to remove it. It scans your system and it can export your data without your knowledge.

This rtftrack.exe is also used on a laptop to access Webcam.

How to remove DeviceCensus.exe?

This is a Microsoft core component and disabling can affect your processes and future updates. But if it disturbs you and you want to disable it for some time, then you can follow the following procedure.

  • Open the C:\Windows\System32\ folder and locate DeviceCensus.exe
  • Now right-click on Device Census and choose Run as Administrator
  • Now, first, open the Task Scheduler Library.  After that select Microsoft. Then choose windows and then click on the device information.
  • Check under the actions tab and you will find the process DeviceCensus.exe. Right-click on the process and select disable.

Can I remove DeviceCensus.exe?

Being a Windows integrated file, it is not recommended to remove DeviceCensus from your OS. So, it’s better to create a restore point before applying it.

  • Locate the file DeviceCensus.exe under C: Windows\System32\ directory to change the permission.
  • Right-click on the file and open properties.
  • Head to the Security
  • Open Advanced
  • Click on Trustedinstaller and choose Change permission
  • Now, change the owner from Trustedinstaller to Administrators
  • Close and re-open the properties dialogue box
  • Give the administrator the full edit permission.
  • After doing this simply rename the file so that it can’t be recognized.

Advanced security settings for devicecensus.exe

This is an integrated software to Microsoft inc. You should remove it only when you are sure that it is a virus. To sure scan your PC with the security task manager. That software can detect if this is a threat.

How to Block Devicecensus to access Webcam?

If you don’t want the DeviceCensus.exe to access your WebCam then you may follow below steps to block it:

1) Press the Windows logo on your Keyboard

2) Type Privacy Settings and click on it

3) Now click on Camera from the left-hand side

4) Scrawl down a but and turn off the radio button Feedback Hub

Disable camera feedback hub

5) Now close and restart the system.

Now, you won’t receive any error messages.

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Founder and Writer @ WinOSBite. Future plan is to make this platform open to community to resolve and discuss various issues, usage related to Operating System.

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