What is ctfmon.exe and Why Is It Running

The article is especially for those geeks who are tired of seeing the ctfmon.exe open up without any prompts. Removing the process from start doesn’t seem to be solving your problem either.

What is ctfmon.exe?

This is a Microsoft process that is responsible for the functioning of Alternative User Input and the Office language bar.


The ctfmon.exe is able to control the computer using vocal language or by making use of a pen. If you use the speech, pen tablet or the onscreen keyboard inputs (used for decoding Asian languages specifically) then you shouldn’t disable the ctfmon.exe. However, the rest of us can happily go ahead and remove it.

Let us look at some of the ways in which the process can be uninstalled. The methods are dependent on the type of system configuration.

1. Disable ctfmon.exe in Microsoft Office 2003

Get rid of the alternative text input that is part of Microsoft Office 2003. The process is easily removed from the setup.

There is another way of disabling ctfmon.exe in Microsoft 2003. The same process can also be used in Microsoft 2007.

In the Add/Remove programs, select the option of changing the Microsoft Office installation. Also, check the “Choose advanced customization of application” box before you move to the next step.

advanced customization of applications

Look for “Alternative User Input” that is given in the drop down menu. Click on the “Not available” option in the dropdown list.

alternative user input

2. Disable ctfmon.exe in Windows XP

The process of removal of ctfmon.exe in Windows XP is more or less the same as given above. However, there is one additional step that needs to be done in order to completely disable ctfmon in Windows XP.

regional and language options

Go to the Control Panel and select Regional and Language Options. Select the Languages tab and click the Details option.

regional and language options

In the Advanced tab select “Turn off advanced text services”. This last step will shut down ctfmon.exe process immediately.

turn off advanced text services

However, before exiting, check the Settings tab and check out the “Installed Services’ box. In case of more than one installed service, there are strong chances that ctfmon.exe will re-appear.

3. Disable ctfmon.exe in Windows Vista

There is no way of ensuring complete removal of ctfmon.exe in Windows Vista. However, it is possible to get rid of the input services using the same method as given for Windows XP.

Regional and Language Options

Go to the Control Panel and select Regional and Language Options. Under this list look for “Change keyboards or other input methods”.

change keyboards

Choose the Change Keyboards option under the Keyboards and languages tab. This will give you a similar screen as in Windows XP. Remove the additionally installed services from the list except for the one that is there in the default keyboard language.

text services and input languages

How To Remove ctfmon.exe From Startup?

Open the msconfig.exe file from the start menu. You can also do a run for the file in the search box. Now look for the ctfmon.exe in the list that appears. Uncheck the box to disable the file.

system configuration utility

As a last step, reboot your computer. Open Microsoft Office and check whether ctfmon.exe is still running or not.