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Many Dell computer users are familiar with the Softthinks Agent Service (SftService.exe).
For those who don’t know what this is, it’s basically a Dell backup and recovery facility which is also a part of Dell datasafe.
It’s actually quite similar to Dell backup and recovery toaster or toaster.exe. While it may seem like a pretty useful program, many users have actually been ranting about it making their computers slow down.
The thing about this program is that it does use up a lot of CPU resources if you would check the Task Manager.
Is there a way to address this issue? Fortunately, there is. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do.
What Is Softthinks Agent Service?
As mentioned above, Softthinks Agent Service is a Dell backup and recovery system. What exactly does it do?
Basically, it backs up all of your existing programs and files on a regular basis.
It is actually a built-in program in many Dell computers and can be a big help to you if your computer gets corrupted by a virus or something else. It helps restore your system back to the way it was before you reformat it so that you don’t lose anything in the process.
This also saves you a lot of time and effort doing a manual backup.
A Dell Moderator explained it this way:
“[It’s ] a component of the Dell DataSafe Local Backup utility. Top Recommended Action: You should keep SoftThinks Agent Service if you have a Dell computer with Windows and the Local Backup Utility. If you do not plan on using the program you could uninstall it and it should remove the Agent as well.”
How To Fix Softthinks Agent Service Issues
Of course, it’s usefulness does come with the consequence of an affected hard drive, freezing or slowing down your computer in the process.
You can try these fixes to help you address the problem:
1st Fix (Disable Auto-Run)
The first thing to do is to stop it from running immediately.
You see, this program is always running when you turn on your computer.
So the first fix, as mentioned by Appuals, is to stop it from automatically running. You can do it through these steps:
- Press Windows key + R at the same time to open the Run window. Type “services.msc” then hit Enter. This will take you to the Services window.
- Once the window shows up, look for Softthinks Agent Service then right click on it.
- Click Properties and hover to the Service status then click Stop and Apply.
- Open your Task Manager and check to see if the CPU usage has gone back to normal.
The thing about doing this is that it won’t totally stop your Softthink Agent Services. It will just prevent it from running immediately after booting your computer.
It will continue to back up your data periodically unless you choose to totally disable this. If this method works for you, then stick with it. If not, you can go to the next fix.
Video Guide: Troubleshooting A Windows service With services.msc
2nd Fix (Disable It Altogether)
If you don’t want to use it at all, then you can just disable it.
If you do that, it won’t run at all unless you choose to enable it again.
To do this, follow these steps:
- On the same Services window, look for Softthinks Agent Service then right click on it.
- Go to the Startup Type section and click the drop-down button (it should be in Manual right now).
- Select Disabled then click Apply to apply the changes.
- Restart your computer.
- Open your Task Manager again and check to see if the service is still there or not.
3rd Fix (Remove It)
If you find it totally useless and you want to take it out because it occupies your disk space, then you have the choice to just completely remove it or uninstall it.
Now, lots of people have tried to uninstall it but are having a hard time. Hence, some community members of the Microsoft Community have given solutions for this.
Here is the first one:
- Click your Start button then type “regedit”. Alternatively, you can also press Windows key + R then type “regedit” and hit enter. A prompt will appear asking for administrative access. Choose Yes.
- In the new window, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Run.
- On the right panel, you can see a number of entries. Simply delete any entries related to the Dell backup software.
- Restart your computer afterward.
Video Guide: How To Use The Windows Registry
Doing this should permanently delete the Softthink Agent Service. If that didn’t work, then you can try the next fix.
4th Fix (Second Removal Strategy)
The last fix would be the second method given by the Microsoft Community on how to delete or uninstall the Softtink Agent Service or any Dell backup and recovery related program.
Follow these steps to get it done:
- Open up My Computer.
- Type C:\Program Files\<Dell DataSafe> in the search bar.
- Delete the game folder.
- Click on the Start button and type “regedit”. Select Yes when a prompt appears.
- Look for this folder and delete it by right-clicking and selecting Delete:
Restart your computer after that. Upon rebooting, the whole Softthink Agent Service should already be out of your computer. Just to be sure, you should also double check your Task Manager to see if your CPU usage is still too high.
We examined a bunch of different forums to get a sense of what users are saying about SftService.exe.
Primarily, they were researching ways to disable or remove it; disk issues; and issues related to specific operating systems like 32 & 64 bit Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Over at file.net, one video gamer said that he was playing one of his favorite online multiplayer games when he got a huge lag spike.
After doing some investigation and trying to open up his task manager, which was running really sluggish, he found that this particular file process was eating up a ton of memory, straining the system.
Others complained that as a part of the normal startup process, this exe file has slowed down the regular operating system Initiation sequence.
File.net, itself, reports that it has a few aliases, saying that it is frequently known as SoftThinks Agent Service or Dell Backup and Recovery belongs to software Dell Backup and Recovery or Dell DataSafe Local Backup or AlienRespawn or SoftThinks Agent Service by SoftThinks SAS (www.softthinks.com) or SoftThinks (www.softthinks.com).
Over on Reddit, One user complained that on his Dell computer that this process is eating up 80 megabytes of his hard drive and significantly slowing down his personal computer for extended periods of time.
A user replied, saying that if you’re not using Dell’s ‘DataSafe’ local backup software, it’s safe to disable.
You can also visit their website to get a sense of what the software is all about. Reading their landing page, they market themselves as a leader in Imaging Solutions and backup software, providing Cutting Edge software employed by leading OEMs.
They have 15 years experience, positioning themselves as providers of repair, refurbishment, recovery and deployment solutions specifically for Microsoft operating systems.
They have an international presence with offices based in Texas and France with a mission statement geared towards enhancing the lives of users looking for reliable computer performance as well as business and personal data protection.
If you want to fix the high CPU usage problem on your computer, then these are simple fixes that can help. The first two fixes should already solve the problem of the high CPU usage since it already stops the program from running. When the program stops running, then it won’t use up any more resources from your hard drive.
However, there are people who just don’t want it in their computers anymore, which is why they choose to uninstall it instead.
This is where the 3rd and 4th fix would come in. Since the Softthink Agent Service isn’t a program that you can uninstall that easily, you have to go to its very root and delete it from there.
However, you should take note that if you choose the 3rd and 4th fixes, you have to follow each of the instructions and steps meticulously since you’ll be editing the registry. One wrong move and you could deal some serious damage to your computer.
In any case, these fixes are proven to be very effective in solving the problem. If you’re experiencing CPU issues because of this dell backup and recovery program or because of Dell datasafe, try these fixes out.
Ryan is a computer enthusiast who has a knack for fixing difficult and technical software problems. Whether you’re having issues with Windows, Safari, Chrome or even an HP printer, Ryan helps out by figuring out easy solutions to common error codes.