The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the dwm.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.
The process known as Desktop Window Manager or Gestionnaire de fenêtres du Bureau 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 Système d’exploitation Microsoft Windows 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 C:\Windows\System32 folder.
Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 81,920 bytes (41% of all occurrences), 92,672 bytes and 14 more variants.
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 20% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify dwm.exe related errors
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 Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.fjqt or Trojan-Banker.Win32.Banker.sieg (detected by Kaspersky), and Bitcoinminer or Backdoor.Cycbot!gen2 (detected by Symantec).
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 the user's profile folder, the security rating is 68% dangerous. The file size is 172,032 bytes (4% of all occurrences), 179,200 bytes and 80 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 Windows folder for temporary files, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 913,920 bytes (70% of all occurrences), 7,058,432 bytes, 1,487,360 bytes or 544,782 bytes. 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:\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.
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 C:\, the security rating is 46% dangerous. The file size is 1,998,336 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 2,263,552 bytes.
If dwm.exe is located in the Windows folder for temporary files, the security rating is 64% dangerous. The file size is 226,816 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 111,616 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.
A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with dwm. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.
Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.
To help you analyze the dwm.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.