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.
The process known as Windows Start-Up Application or Windows-Startanwendung or Application de démarrage de Windows belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Système d’exploitation Microsoft Windows or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows by Microsoft (www.microsoft.com).
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 (68% 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 2% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
Recommended: Identify wininit.exe related errors
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 F-Secure), and Win32:Malware-gen (detected by Avast).
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?
If wininit.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder, the security rating is 77% dangerous. The file size is 394,752 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 39,582 bytes. Wininit.exe is an unknown file in the Windows folder. The program has no visible window. The program starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\RunServices, win.ini, Run). The file is not a Windows core file.
If wininit.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files", the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 152,064 bytes. There is no information about the author of the file. The program has no visible window. It is not a Windows system file.
If wininit.exe is located in a subfolder of the user's profile folder, the security rating is 56% dangerous. The file size is 668,672 bytes.
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.
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 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 wininit.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.