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How to configure Bitdefender Total Security and KnowIT

For KnowIT to install and operate correctly it is required to add it as an exclusion to your installed antivirus software. To do that, follow these steps.

Step 1 - Add the KnowIT files and folders to be excluded from scanning

Open Bitdefender and click on "Protection".

Click on "Antivirus".

Click the tab for "Exclusions".

Make sure that "Exclusions for files" is turned on or selected with a check mark.

Click the "Excluded files and folders" link.

Click the "Add" button at the top of the panel.

Click "Browse", and on 64 bit Windows systems browse to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Shell".

Highlight the top-level KnowIT folder and click "OK".

On 32 bit systems the folder location is "C:\Program Files\Windows Shell".

Your Windows assigned drive letter may also be different.

If you do not see this folder make sure you have enabled the viewing of hidden files.

To do this, open up Windows Explorer and do the following:

1.Click File.
2.Click Options.
3.Click View.
4.Under Hidden Files and Folders make sure Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives is selected.
5.Click Apply.
6.Click OK.

After you have done this the Windows Shell folder should be visible and you can continue on.

Make sure that both "on-access" and "on-demand" scanning are selected, and click "Add".

Click "OK" to complete this step.

Step 2 - Add the KnowIT processes to be excluded

Click the "Excluded processes" link.

Click "Add".

Click "Browse" to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Shell\ws_process_monitor_service" and click "OK".

Make sure that "Allow" is selected, and click "Add".

Click "Add" again, and this time browse to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Shell\ws_startup_service" and click "OK".

Make sure that "Allow" is selected, and "Add" this file also to the list of process exceptions.

Click "Close" to complete the Exclusions.

Step 3 - Allow KnowIT access through the Bitdefender firewall

Open Bitdefender and click on "Protection".

Click on "Firewall".

Click the "Rules" tab to select the rules panel.

Scroll the list and verify that rules for these processes already exist with correct permissions:

  • rundll32.exe
  • ws_process_monitor_service.exe
  • ws_startup_service.exe

Network Type, Protocol and Permission should all be set as seen in the image below.

If you have excluded the KnowIT files in the section above, a rule for these process should already exist.

If all three process are not found with correct firewall settings, click on "Add rule" and browswe to each missing file one at a time, in the following locations:

  • "C:\windows\syswow64\rundll32.exe"
  • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Shell\ws_process_monitor_service.exe"
  • "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Shell\ws_startup_service.exe"

In 32 bit Windows the KnowIT pathname is "C:\Program Files\Windows Shell\".

Your Windows installation directory may also have a different drive letter.

If the Network Type, Protocol and Permission settings are not set as displayed in the above image, click directly onto one of the filenames to correct the settings, and then click "OK".

If you had to manually add a firewall rule for ws_process_monitor_service.exe and ws_startup_service.exe, please review the steps for adding exclusions above, and ensure the KnowIT top-level folder has been added to Bitdefender's folder exclusion list.

You now need to make sure that the Windows Shell folder is hidden again.

To do this, open up Windows Explorer and do the following:

1.Click File.
2.Click Options.
3.Click View.
4.Under Hidden Files and Folders make sure Don't Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives is selected.
5.Click Apply.
6.Click OK.

The Windows Shell folder will now be hidden.

The steps above will result in all related KnowIT files being added to Bitdefender's exclusion and firewall approval lists. The specific names of some of these files may differ depending on your installation and version of KnowIT.

We recommend to reboot the PC once to ensure that all files have been excluded or approved, and that Bitdefender will not interfere with the KnowIT process.

Important Disclaimer

Your specific antivirus product may differ slightly from our examples. The exact steps needed may vary on your computer but the basic idea is the same.

Although we provide this information as a convenience, Digital Endpoint has no control over an antivirus product’s detection, quarantine or removal process. If our guides are not helpful in your specific case, we recommend contacting your antivirus product support for additional help on creating software exclusions and general product functionality.

Bitdefender Total Security and Anti-Virus users should understand that Bitdefender may flag PC monitoring programs such as KnowIT as "Potentially Unwanted Programs" or "PUPs".  This is simply due to the variety of data KnowIT is logging in the background (keystrokes, websites, etc).

Requests for KnowIT services through the firewall or exclusion of KnowIT file scanning may be handled immediately if such notices appear during installation (see the following sections for exact filenames). This depends on the specific Bitdefender product you have and which options are enabled.

Even if you do not receive a notice during or after KnowIT installation, we strongly recommend immediately excluding KnowIT from future Bitdefender scanning to avoid potential interruption of service, and creating a rule for the KnowIT service in the Bitdefender firewall if you are using it.

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