What is pythonw.exe?

The genuine pythonw.exe file is a software component of Python by Python Software Foundation.
Pythonw.exe is an executable file that belongs to the Python, a high-level programming language which supports object-oriented, imperative and functional programming or procedural programming styles. This process runs graphical interface applications without launching a system shell. It also allows python to be run from the command prompt. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. Python was developed in the late 1980s by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch computer programmer. It was built around a core philosophy of being easy to read and implement. Python was first released in 1991 and was named after Monty Python. Python is currently developed and maintained by the Python Software Foundation, a non-profit organization launched on March 6, 2001.

Pythonw stands for Run Python without a terminal window

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 pythonw.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 pythonw.exe related errors

Pythonw.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with pythonw
Pythonw.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Python 2.7.3 or Python or ActiveState ActivePython (version (32-bit))

belongs to software Python 3.5.2 Executables or Python or Python 2.7 pywin32-217 or ActiveState ActivePython

by Python Software Foundation ( or ActiveState Software (

Description: Pythonw.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Pythonw.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 27,648 bytes (90% of all occurrences) or 27,136 bytes. 
There is no information about the author of the file. Pythonw.exe is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The program uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. Therefore the technical security rating is 80% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In the event of any problems with pythonw.exe, you might want to uninstall the software SearchAY using the Uninstall a Program function of Windows Control Panel (Windows: Start, Settings, Control Panel, Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify pythonw.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as pythonw.exe. Therefore, you should check the pythonw.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

I know that the software to link above I paid for to get rid of the pythonw.exe has stopped working problem was of no help. Only lined someones pockets as the problem is still there and I am unable to run some programs.
nix geht mehr
It's from the Python runtime. It's for a programming language
  Seth   (further information)
pythonw.exe is leftovers from python programming code, can not cause virus or anything harmful unless python is installed onto your machine
  Nicholas Robert Butkus   (further information)
It's a programming language, retards.
  PWNAGE   (further information)
pythonw allows python to be run from the command prompt. See link below for more information, and search on the page for "pythonw"
  DW   (further information)
This is the version of python.exe that runs graphical interface applications-- it doesn't launch a system shell; Learn more about Python and how Python is not a virus but a programming language at; really silly false positive.
  Nicolai Mork   (further information)
It's true pythonw is from python programs, but I closed python module and all associated programs, and there are 6 pythonw process in my task manager. Might be a hacker's way of camouflaging? IDK
  loldog   (further information)
I need it to install gramps family tree builder on windows 7
  Gert Jordaan  
I hoped pythonw would execute a .py or .pyw program without a DOS window. It does not, seems worthless but harmless.
  WW Boxer  
It's just the binary for the python programming language interpreter. No more suspicious than a file called word.exe. Program might be written in python without you thinking about it, and this file will then be installed and executing.
  anders   (further information)
Python is a programming language. A python script is executed by python.exe by default, but if you want to suppress the terminal window, the pythonw.exe is used. Normally, it is harmless, More information on the Python doc. I added a link. Look for "3.3.4. Executing scripts"
  0#1   (further information)
Part of Python programming language
  BJR   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of pythonw.exe: based on 17 votes with 13 user comments. 8 users think pythonw.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 2 users think pythonw.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it.

Do you have additional information?
What do you know about pythonw.exe:
How would you rate it:
Link for more info:
Your Name:

Best practices for resolving pythonw issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with pythonw. 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 pythonw.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

pythonw.exe [all]