Program Compatibility Assistant Service (PcaSvc) Defaults in Windows 8

This service provides support for the Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA). PCA monitors programs installed and run by the user and detects known compatibility problems. If this service is stopped, PCA will not function properly.

Default Settings

Startup type: Manual
Display name:Program Compatibility Assistant Service
Service name:PcaSvc
Service type:share
Error control:normal
Path:%SystemRoot%\system32\svchost.exe -k LocalSystemNetworkRestricted
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PcaSvc
  • SeDebugPrivilege

Default Behavior

Program Compatibility Assistant Service is a Win32 service. In Windows 8 it will not be started until the user starts it. When the Program Compatibility Assistant Service is started, it runs as LocalSystem in a process of svchost.exe, sharing it with other services. If Program Compatibility Assistant Service fails to start, the error details are added to Windows 8 error log. When the operating system startup is complete, the user is being notified that the PcaSvc service hasn't been started.


Program Compatibility Assistant Service can't start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is disabled or not available.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Program Compatibility Assistant Service

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Program Compatibility Assistant Service depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Copy the command below, paste it into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config PcaSvc start= demand

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The PcaSvc service is using the pcasvc.dll file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows 8 installation media.