What is the Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service?

An explanation of the Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service in Windows 7.

What does the Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service do?

Sometimes instead of logging in a computer with a password, you’d log in by inserting a smart card. The certificate propagation service is responsible for copying the certificate from the smart card to the computer, detecting when a smart card is inserted, and installing the smart card drivers if needed.

Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service details

  • Service name: CertPropSvc
  • Description: Copies user certificates and root certificates from smart cards into the current user’s certificate store, detects when a smart card is inserted into a smart card reader, and, if needed, installs the smart card Plug and Play minidriver.
  • Path to executable: C:\windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
  • Startup type: Manual

Does my computer need the Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service?

Nope. If you don’t use a smart card to log in, you don’t need this service.

Should I disable the Certificate Propagation (CertPropSvc) service?

First off, I have to say that it’s best to leave service optimization up to Microsoft. With that said; if you don’t use a smart card to log in to your computer, you can disable this service.

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