What is winword.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 winword.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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Winword.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with winword
Winword.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft Word or Microsoft Word for Windows

belongs to software Microsoft Office (version 2003, 365 - en-us, 2000, 2003 Primary Interop, 2003 Web, 2000 Premium, 2000 SR-1) or Microsoft Office Shared (version 64-bit Setup, 64-bit, 64-bit MUI 2010) or Microsoft Office XP or Microsoft Office Professional or Microsoft Office Professional Plus (version 2010, 2016, 2013) or Microsoft Office Visio or Microsoft Office Standard or Microsoft Office Access Setup Metadata MUI or 2007 Microsoft Office system or Microsoft Office Visio Viewer or Microsoft Office Small or Microsoft Office Enterprise (version 2007) or Microsoft Office Home and Student (version 2013, 2007)

by Microsoft (

Description: Winword.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Winword.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—generally C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 12,313,096 bytes (10% of all occurrences), 12,037,688 bytes and 60 more variants. 
It is not a Windows core file. The file has a digital signature. The program is not visible. Winword.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 31% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you have any problems with winword.exe, you can do the following:
  1) safely remove the program using the uninstall program of Microsoft Office (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program)
  2) look for help from the software company Microsoft
  3) verify that you have installed the latest version.

Recommended: Identify winword.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as winword.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Trojan.Generic.1499028 (detected by BitDefender), and Trojan Horse or Backdoor.IRC.Bot (detected by Symantec). Therefore, you should check the winword.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

My antivirus program (Norton Antivirus; latest version and fully updated) recognized the file as "suspicious," and indicated that it may be a Trojan, because it was recording my keystrokes. The suggestion in the Norton alert box was to remove it, and I did. Good thing I had a recent full fixed-disk backup, from which I was able to restore my OS (an old version of XP Pro; no longer supported by Microsoft, but defended by Norton anyway)! The un-installation by Norton had screwed-up many aspects of my OS, including the MBR (master boot record) and some file indexes -- without the external backup, I'd have had to format my fixed disk and install everything from scratch! Was there ever actually a Trojan embedded in my copy of Winword? Doubtful, and I am now instructing Norton to ignore the file.
When I am working with EXCEL and use a macro, then WINWORD:EXE makes it use almost 100% uf CPU Usage and it loads for hours
This is ludicrous. WinWord.exe is the process for Microsoft word. People -
  Microsoft Employee   (further information)
Runs in background and uses a lot of CPU power.
If you have Microsoft Outlook set to use Word as your default e-mail editor then winword.exe will run when Outlook runs. To change Outlook mail settings open Outlook and click tools/options; click the mail format tab at the top of the box that pops up; uncheck the "use Microsoft Office Word to edit e-mails" box. The process should stop running when you restart Outlook. dude
  bhola thpa  
It's the main process for Microsoft Word.
This exe file is an integral part of MSOffice and it can present a danger by running away with all of your computer's processing resources. My WinWord.exe has the official stamp of Microsoft and runs out of control on a regular basis - almost every time I use Word. The only way to shut it down is through Windows Task Manager.
  Jerry B  
I'm worried because I had Word open and killed the WINWORD.EXE process, however, word did not close!
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of winword.exe: based on 63 votes with 9 reviews. 32 users think winword.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. 6 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 8 users suspect danger. 12 users think winword.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 13 users don't grade winword.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving winword issues

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

winword.exe [all]