Stock Viewer

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Have you ever seen “Stock Viewer Settings (32-bit)” in your Control Panel? No? Well, I have!


Figure 1


It seems something weird, isn’t it? A Control Panel applet configure something as “Stock Viewer”…? Hmmm… If you get this in Control Panel, just start it up. You see a windows called “Stock Viewer Options” where you can configure your download preferences for, presumably, Stock Viewer. The current selection is “Download Current and Past Stock Prices”, but it seems there is only one other option and it’s grayed out. The 2nd option’s text seems very doubtful: “Download Future Stock Prices (Requires 64TB RAM and 6800GHz Processor)”. Wow, a tool to download future (!) stock prices? And you need what? 64TB of RAM and a 6800GHz CPU? Oh my…! Doesn’t this sound a little bit as some kind of malware? Let’s find out.


In Task Manager we can see the “application” “Stock Viewer Options” (which is the window I was just talking about). Right-click it and select “Go To Process”.

Figure 2


We notice a 32 bit process based on the StockViewerControlPanel.exe image. Right-click it and select Properties.

Figure 3


The full path to the exe is:

  • On 32 bit Windows: %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit\Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)\Demo Application\StockViewer
  • On 64 bit Windows: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit\Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)\Demo Application\StockViewer

Okay, this sounds better. Stock Viewer seems to be a demo application (with a companion Control Panel applet), which is part of Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). That seems very plausible, as I have indeed ACT 5.6 (the latest version at the time of writing) installed.


Figure 4


Getting more details doesn’t reveal much more. The description just says “Stock Viewer Control Panel”.



Figure 5


In the Start menu we can indeed find Stock Viewer, i.e. under Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit – Demo Application.


Figure 6


If we start it, we just see the following:


Figure 7


Well, it seems something scary was found, but at the end it was just a demo application, part of ACT 5.6 (I don’t know if it’s there in older versions too). The bottom line is you don’t have to worry about it, don’t have to do a thing and you may safely ignore it.







4 thoughts on “Stock Viewer

    J said:
    23/05/2013 at 03:38

    I wasn’t laughing. Why are Microsoft distributing useless ‘gag’ software and filling our Control Panel with junk? And they bundled it with the MS ACT that some of us require for real uses.

    It took a lot of digging, but I finally tracked the Control Panel entry to a single registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{DF5BF128-5283-4d39-8BC0-EC09F526E673} Delete this and it will remove the entry, then the program under \Demo Application may be deleted. I’m running Windows 7 so the key location may differ on other operating systems.

      Padre Pedro said:
      31/05/2013 at 15:55

      I’ve watched a session of the guy who wrote this program and I must say he’s not the sensational type of guy. Yes, he’s quite geeky, but on the other hand a good person who’s interested in serious stuff, although he tries to joke from time to time :-). I think this Stock Viewer should be seen in this “light”. But I must agree with you: it doesn’t belong there, at least not by default. Thanks for your input and a way to get rid of it! Personally I don’t really need to remove it, but it’s great information for those who would like to see it removed anyway. Thanks!

    W Kurth said:
    04/04/2015 at 20:11

    April’s fool joke?

    Soft Wetware said:
    13/01/2016 at 08:02

    So does it even display an up-to-date chart for $SPY (which is a fund that tracks the S&P 500)? Because I notice this was posted in 2012, but the chart in your screenshot ends in 2005. I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t display a disclaimer that their legal department insisted on, since even sources with real live stock quotes (like Google and Yahoo Finance) usually do.

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