What is wininit.exe?

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 wininit.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.

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Wininit.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with wininit
Wininit.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Start-Up Application or Windows-Startanwendung or Application de démarrage de Windows or Windows paleisties taikomoji programa belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Operacine sistema Microsoft Windows or Système d’exploitation Microsoft Windows or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows by Microsoft (

Description: The original wininit.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Wininit.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 96,256 bytes (76% of all occurrences), 96,768 bytes and 8 more variants. 
Wininit.exe is a Windows system file. The program has no visible window. Wininit.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Wininit.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 3% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: In case of problems with wininit.exe, you can look for help from the software company Microsoft or uninstall the associated program (Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program > Microsoft Windows).

Recommended: Identify wininit.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is wininit.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true wininit.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Windows Start-Up Application". 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.Agent.AYBI (detected by BitDefender), and WS.Reputation.1 or Trojan.Gen.2 (detected by Symantec).
To ensure that no rogue wininit.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as wininit.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the wininit.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

very little-seems to initiate various sys startup progs
I think its a polite application,it always asks my security every time it wants to listen.I didnt want to loseinit so I took ownership and renamed it wininit.whynotdoc.exe.some programs listen without permission that annoys me more.
Seems harmless but scan it and be cautious, bugs would like to manipulate it iam sure.
solo que es de riesgo elevado
Worm, known as Worm.Win32.Bymer.a
  Alex   (further information)
Not a worm. Read further - it exploited Win95 back in Y2K. Irrelevant in Windows 7
The proper form of this program is essential for windows to function, most windows system files and services run through it. Shutting down wininit.exe will crash windows.
In windows 7 64 bit with sp1, my wininit.exe is 126KB(129024bytes actual & not size on disk which varies) and has version info 6.1.7600.16385 and last mod date of 2009-JUL-13_21:39hours (much earlier than when the PC was installed, and located in c:\windows\system32 directory.
Win7 x64 with SP1 Located: c:\windows\system32 Size: 129.024bytes Version: 6.1.7600.16385 Modified: 14/07/2009 03:39
They are saying elsewhere that it belongs in c:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 folder.
  Tracy Scanlon  
this file can be and in this case is a part of a trojan, registry csrss virus look for duplicate processes running in the task manager and bdeunlocl
  Phx PC owner looking for virus removal  
I know 18 months after installing Windows8 and then 8.1 it suddenly needed to bypass my firewall today. It did not succeed. Very virus like behavior. Yet another windows file doing bad stuff, Gates get outta my stuff dude and go save the world.
Trashing the winnit.exe causes trouble on starting windows
  vicky jarlev  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wininit.exe: based on 21 votes with 13 user comments. 13 users think wininit.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 2 users suspect danger. 3 users think wininit.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 4 users don't grade wininit.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving wininit issues

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

wininit.exe [all]