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RKill (Download): Is RKill Safe to Use Against Malware?

Antimalware applications sometimes have trouble running to scan and remove threats from your computer. It’s usually due to special types of agents which have already infiltrated your system and hijacked all security software, like backdoors.

If your antivirus solution is equipped with a self-protection feature, you shouldn’t encounter this problem. Otherwise, you can turn to RKill for help.

RKill download

Made by Bleeping Computer, RKill is a tiny, portable and extremely practical security tool.

It’s designed to identify and terminate any malware processes on your computer, in order to leave the door open for your antivirus solutions and make them work properly.

In addition to ending the rogue processes, RKill finds and eliminates any flawed executable programs. It also restores system policies in charge of security.

How to download RKill

You can download RKill from Bleeping Computer and save the lightweight anywhere on your hard drive or even on a removable storage unit like a pen disk. It’s portable, so you can use it to quickly scan any machine for active malicious processes.

Worth noting is that, if you can’t run the RKill executable file, it might have something to do with the fact that the malware agents on your computer only allow files with certain names.

Bleeping Computer displays alternative download links for RKill

In that case, return to the Bleeping Computer download page for RKill and check the additional download links with different file names.

RKill is compatible with Windows computers only and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture types.

How to use RKill

Command Prompt runs the RKill tool

  1. Suspend your entire PC activity and close all applications
  2. Run the downloaded RKill file. It opens a Command Prompt window and triggers an auto-scan
  3. Wait until RKill scans your computer. It will auto-stop any malicious processes
  4. Exit RKill
  5. Immediately launch your security software and run scans to remove the malware agents

Key features

  • Checks and stops known malicious Windows services, processes, and registry settings
  • Resets EXE, COM and BAT associations in the registry
  • Performs miscellaneous checks
  • Searches for missing digital signatures
  • Checks the Hosts file

The tool also creates a text document with log details which you can later examine.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t actually remove any files from your system, so you still have to rely on your security tools.

It’s recommended to start your antivirus application as soon as RKill completes its task. Otherwise, the malicious processes will soon restart. Don’t reboot your computer until all threats have been eliminated by your security products.

Is RKill safe?

RKill is completely safe to use, although some antivirus tools flag it as malicious, according to its VirusTotal report.

Those are false positives, though. And it makes sense since RKill was specifically designed to simulate malware behavior so that it wouldn’t be discovered and blocked by the threat itself.

Furthermore, it can’t damage your services, processes, registry settings, or Hosts file because it can only temporarily stop rogue agents. You still have to depend on your antimalware programs for removal.


The software application might be a bit old but it’s not yet obsolete. Numerous online users still rely on it to detect popular rogue executables that prevent their antimalware tools from working correctly.

We’ve noticed that RKill performs scans rapidly and doesn’t hamper the system’s performance. It’s a terrific tool that should be added to the arsenal of any security-concerned user, especially since it’s portable and lightweight.

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