The Curse of SmartByte

Recently my machine was bogged down by some strange network performance issues. Everything about the network connection looked fine and contacted both our ISP and Microsoft’s support teams yielded no result. Our quest to find a solution sent us deep into the dark corners of Windows 10 (Registry, GPedit, etc.), and turns out that was all for not. The system was acting a lot like some quality of service rule had not been updated since we had upgraded our internet connection.

However, after weeks of research and frustration, we finally found an insignificant looking support article from on MicroStar International’s website (better known by us PC gamers as MSI). The culprit was a piece of software called SmartByte. This is a piece of third-party software developed by Rivet Networks and installed on all newer Dell computers to prioritize multimedia traffic (Netflix, YouTube, etc.). Little did we know that, despite there not being any media running at the time, SmartByte was continually throttling all system traffic, decreasing our network performance by as much as 600%. Long story short, if it is on your system, remove it. The benefit of this software as compared to its effects makes it an abysmal choice to have on your system.

So how do you remove it?

Fortunately, removing bloatware from your Windows machine has never been easier than now. If you want to remove the software from your system (and any other software for that matter), just search “remove” in the hot bar, and select “add or remove programs.”

Then search through the list, find SmartByte in the S section, and remove it. Congratulations, your internet speed will now act like it should.

Update as of 03/12/2019:

We would like to take a moment to give a shout out to Rivet Networks for tackling this problem head on, and offering a hot fix for this issue. Feel free to try the fix in the comments below and let us (and more importantly THEM) know how it works!

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4 thoughts on “The Curse of SmartByte

  1. It is utterly ridiculous that Dell installs this piece of bloatware without even asking for consent from their customers!

    I just had a similar issue, and my laptop was almost unusable until I uninstalled it.

    Here’s hoping it doesn’t come back, the way it has for a number of other users. -_-

    Thank you for the article.

  2. I was having so many networking issues on my new Dell Inspiron that I bought a new Ethernet card to see if that was the problem. When that didn’t help I did some more digging and found out about SmartByte.

    Once it was uninstalled all my issues went away and my internet speed went from 50MBs up to the 300MBs it should have been all along!

    Very disappointed that Dell would force this bloatware on us with no notice. I read that Dell Updater would reinstall the program so I uninstalled all of the Dell Update utilities as well.

  3. Hello there!
    Official support for Rivet Networks here.
    We have confirmed that a large number of these problems are caused by using an outdated version of the Intel Wi-Fi driver. You can update your Intel Wi-Fi drivers to the latest version available by downloading and installing the appropriate package from Dell here – https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=vg6m5.

    If that doesn’t solve the issue for you, updating SmartByte from this location – https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/rc974514/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=mmvk6 – may help.

    If you have any other issues with SmartByte, please tell us about by visiting our support website here – http://support.rivetnetworks.com/

    1. Thank you Rivet Networks for providing a fix for our community members! We will be sure to update this article to note that you guys have not only taken the initiative to fix the problem, but also reach out and make sure everyone is updated on the issue.

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