What is winlogon.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 winlogon.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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Winlogon.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with winlogon
Winlogon.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows NT Logon Application or Windows Logon Application or Toepassing Windows NT-aanmelding or Windows NT-Anmeldung or Aplicación de inicio de sesión de Windows NT or Microsoft Windows Logon Process Service or Applicazione Accesso a Windows NT or Inloggningsprogram för Windows NT

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Betriebssystem Microsoft Windows or Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows or Besturingssysteem Microsoft Windows or Project2 or scvhost or NTLOAD or Brontok.A

by Microsoft ( or China or ADMINPC or Gareth Software or NVIDIA ( (version 42722636448, 53732746459) or s21y7P99e82G78Z79UEfn or jdvsO or N5SD5K6S.

Description: The original winlogon.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Winlogon.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 502,272 bytes (35% of all occurrences), 507,392 bytes and 134 more variants. 
The program is not visible. The file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Winlogon.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs, monitor applications and manipulate other programs. Therefore the technical security rating is 18% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify winlogon.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is winlogon.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true winlogon.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Windows NT Logon 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 e.g. Cryp_Xin1 or TROJ_PROXY.QC (detected by TrendMicro), and Trojan-Proxy.Win32.Small.kl or Trojan-Proxy.Win32.Agent.kj (detected by Kaspersky).
To ensure that no rogue winlogon.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 winlogon.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the winlogon.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

as said it can be a fake or the original which is needed
very safe
This file is the Windows NT Login system executable. Closing the process will result in one of the many things: Windows 2000/XP: Blue Screen Windows Vista/7: Logs you off and deletes your profile until a computer restart (No files destroyed!) Windows 8: UNKNOWN This file in %systemdrive%\Windows\system32\ should be safe. Anywhere else, delete immediately! winlogon.exe may attract viruses and some may attach to the process. If this happens, try and replace the file if you can and use an expert AV application in order to remove the infection
  InvoxiPlayGames (Daniel Wilkinson)  
Anyone who says this is other that safe is an idiot.Winlogon is the component of Microsoft Windows operating systems that is responsible for handling the secure attention sequence
Can be dangerous and can cause application error cx0005's. It hogs the index.dat file in windows and creates \??\C:\Windows\system32\winlogon.exe in Shared Access. It maybe a virus.
can be very dangerous, but is system file. If not in system32, delete it! Use Unlocker to delete it if you cant!
its windows xp process that must be enabled, or u might get screen of death
It is sometimes fake and can be a virus
  Dr S.J Keeley phD F.R.S  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of winlogon.exe: based on 318 votes with 9 reviews. 114 users think winlogon.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 13 users think it's probably harmless. 55 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 32 users suspect danger. 104 users think winlogon.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 47 users don't grade winlogon.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving winlogon issues

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

Other processes

winlogon.exe [all]