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Is dwm.exe safe?

Dwm.exe is a executable file (a program) within Windows. The filename extension .exe denotes an executable file. You should only run executable files from publishers you trust, because executable files can potentially change your computer settings or harm your computer. The free file information forum can help you determine if dwm.exe is a virus, trojan, spyware, or adware that you can remove, or a file belonging to a Windows system or to an application you can trust.

Dwm.exe file information

The process known as Desktop Window Manager or Microsoft Desktop Window Manager or Administrador de ventanas del escritorio or Desktopfenster-Manager or Microsoft .NET ClickOnce Launch Utility

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or GSoft or Microsoft .NET Framework or Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows

by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com).

Description: The original dwm.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. dwm.exe is located in the folder C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 7/XP are 81,920 bytes (37% of all occurrences), 83,456 bytes and 11 more variants. http://www.file.net/process/dwm.exe.html 
Dwm.exe is a Windows core system file. The program has no visible window. The dwm.exe file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. It can change the behavior of other programs or manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 22% dangerous, however also read the users reviews.

Recommended: Identify dwm.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is dwm.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true dwm.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Desktop Window Manager". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are for example Mal_Banker11 or TROJ_DEEWOMZ.M (detected by TrendMicro), and Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.fjqt or Trojan-Banker.Win32.Banker.sieg (detected by Kaspersky).
To ensure that no rogue dwm.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants? If dwm.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Documents and Settings", the security rating is 69% dangerous. The file size is 172,032 bytes (4% of all occurrences), 179,200 bytes and 77 more variants. The process has no file description. The program has no visible window. Dwm.exe is not a Windows system file. The application listens for or sends data on open ports to a LAN or the Internet. Dwm.exe is able to monitor applications.

If dwm.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 58% dangerous. The file size is 137,216 bytes (12% of all occurrences), 177,152 bytes and 24 more variants. There is no description of the program. The program has no visible window. It is not a Windows system file. Dwm.exe is able to monitor applications.

If dwm.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows, the security rating is 68% dangerous. The file size is 142,336 bytes (27% of all occurrences), 36,352 bytes and 5 more variants.

If dwm.exe is located in a subfolder of Windows Temp folder, the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 7,058,432 bytes (71% of all occurrences) or 544,782 bytes.

If dwm.exe is located in the Windows Temp folder, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 226,816 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 111,616 bytes.

If dwm.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 2,263,552 bytes.

Important: Some malware disguises itself as dwm.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the dwm.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

WVista, W8 system process - It's used to create all those Aero effects (transparent windows, etc.). To turn off just rightclick your desktop, select personalize and switch to style which doesn't use Aero. Can cause problems on scrap-quality computers.
  ATL   (further information)
dmw.exe*32 is a trojan (deewomz) designed to appear the same as dwm.exe - a legitimate windows aero file. In my case it pretended to be some sort of Firefox executable - I think that may vary from person to person however. If you end its process in windows task manager it just restarts. If you right click/open file location (leave the window open), then end the process, then delete the file from the open window, it seems to stop it. Just remember to scan you system thoroughly with a top malware scanner/virus checker, to eradicate any other viruses it might have loaded onto your system.
I have rated it as dangerous because I found an infected version running on one of my PCs. Thanks to Christian Meinhold's comment, I did more searching. I found it was asking for permission to contact a strange IP address, didn't live in Windows/System32 folder and had a porno image for its icon. Checked with latest Norton Internet Security and it passed security, so I then did a system check with Norton Power Eraser and ONLY THEN did I get warnings that this particular version (a Trojan masquerading as dwm.exe) was unsafe. The important thing about this program is to check that it lives in the correct folder. Don't be fooled by its name, check thoroughly if you have doubts ;)
My dwm file had 50MB and caused my idle i5's usage to go up to 40% idle. Win7.
simply got to Personalize and turn it off by choosing windows basic instead of aero, blam fixed and disabled
its for the aero theme, any modern pc (2012-2013) wil not notice a performance decrease however older systems can notice a diffrence. especialy older laptops with integrated grapics (onboard ie intel integrated grapics etc etc) turn of aero themes and dwm wil stop using resources but with u dualcore or better 2g ram or better and an external grapics card the slight drain(read unoticble) u wil get a great look. noticble is that it wil eat more cpu if u use more than 1 monitor, on this old lappy it can get to 20% cpu (hooked to a 1680-1050 and using the laptops own screen aswel) (celeron m 1.8 ghz lol)
  dave van loo  
My dwm file is under the Windows folder but its size (120,320) corresponds to a variant size listed for files under the Documents and Settings folder.
if a customer has a slow laptop try disabling this, it has just turned a barely functional laptop into one functioning satisfactorily
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of dwm.exe: based on 263 votes with 9 reviews.
168 users think dwm.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 15 users think it's probably harmless. 32 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 8 users suspect danger. 40 users think dwm.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 12 users don't grade dwm.exe ("not sure about it").

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Dwm scanner

Security Task Manager shows all running Windows tasks including embedded hidden functions (e.g. keyboard or browser monitoring, autostart entry). A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware, keylogger or a Trojan.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, malware and tracking threats from your hard disk. Ideal supplement to Security Task Manager.

SpeedUpMyPC scans, cleans, repairs and optimizes your computer.

Other processes

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