What is GWX.exe?

The genuine GWX.exe file is a software component of Windows 10 Update program by Microsoft.
It is an advertising software from Microsoft for Windows 10, and has a white windows flag icon in Taskbar notification area. It is located in C:\Windows\System32\GWX\GWX.exe. You can use this software to upgrade your Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10 for free! Windows 10 will be available on July 29, 2015. Read the Microsoft FAQ for more information. GWX.exe makes it very easy to get Windows 10, but it is not really needed. So you can uninstall the Windows update KB3035583 to remove this software.

GWX stands for Get Windows X (10)

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 GWX.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.

Click to Run a Free Scan for GWX.exe related errors

GWX.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with GWX
GWX.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as GWX belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: GWX.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The file GWX.exe is located in a subfolder of C:\Windows\System32. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 406,528 bytes (27% of all occurrences), 438,784 bytes and 9 more variants. 
There is an icon for this program on the taskbar next to the clock. The GWX.exe file is a Windows core system file. The program has a visible window. There is no information about the author of the file. It is a Microsoft signed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 1% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify GWX.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as GWX.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the GWX.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

You can allegedly prevent GWX.exe execution if you do not want Windows 10 by setting the following registry value: 1. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx 2. Create a new REG_DWORD registry value called: DisableGwx 3. Give it a value of: 1
  Darren Collins   (further information)
GWX.exe is the process for the 'Get Windows 10' tray icon. It consumes a rather small amount of memory and system resources.
GWX.exe is a Microsoft Windows file that enables the upgrading to Windows 10 - GWX = "Get Windows X (ten)". It enables an icon in your system tray that is a windows logo but all white rather than coloured, and clicking on the icon will bring up various options to check your upgrade status, get Windows 10 or simply get more info about it. It is not essential, as you can simply take yourself to Microsoft Home site yourself and access the same facilities, but is harmless, and should disappear if and when you actually upgrade to Windows 10 (if it persists, delete unneeded downloaded Windows update files, use Windows Cleanup to delete obsolete System Files and all should be good). If the insistence and Microsoft's persistent wheedling at you to upgrade annoys you, you can certainly delete it with no adverse affects.
  Cogent Asparagus  
adware that may change your os
  Don   (further information)
it ends up that I have to reinstall the window 8 to its factory setting in my ASUS notebook
  Francis Chu  
Their billing model for Win10 is to bill its users monthly, instead of selling a limited license for a "version". Didn't pay the bill. Your OS will be frozen, data inaccessible. Use Ubuntu or another open source operating system based on UNIX. Get rid of Win10 with this freeware:
  Jack Aubrey   (further information)
It's an aggressive marketing instrument. Very annoying and highly persisten. Would love to get rid of it permanently.
  Bart   (further information)
Windows virus, slowing down PC and forcing users to upgrade to Win10
GWX ("Get Windows 10") will occasionally ask the user to install windows 10.
Want ro get the Win 10 logo back to desktop GWT.exe doesn't work.
  Ronald Johnson  
Windows 10 is slow
  Reasonable Buttocks  
Using Windows 8.1, I couldn't stand the GWX nagware. I searched for the location of GWX.exe, renamed its directory (C:\Windows\System32\GWX to GWX.NO) and then found after the next reboot that my desktop icons vanished, that I couldn't access the start menu or Explorer, and on login, it said that the user GroupPolicy client couldn't be accessed. Many other resources were also unavailable except through the command prompt (which thankfully still worked). No problem... let's just rename its directory back to what it was. But guess what? Neither the changed directory nor any trace of gwx.exe could be found anywhere on my drive. What the...? It wasn't until I added the registry key given in this article that all returned to normal. Many, many thanks!
  John Lolis  
safe but like Malware
  Ronny   (further information)
It is an annoying file but only tries to get you to update to windows 10 if in task manager background processes there is a GWX process and a GWX config manager active, along with another GWX thing with two additional letters in it's name. Simply ending those tasks will prevent GWX from causing problems, like the horrible processing speed I get when it is active.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of GWX.exe: based on 31 votes with 14 user comments. 5 users think GWX.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 11 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger. 10 users think GWX.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade GWX.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving GWX issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with GWX. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic 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 6resmon 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 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the GWX.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity 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. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

GWX.exe [all]