What is wlanext.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 wlanext.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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Wlanext.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with wlanext
Wlanext.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Wireless LAN (version 802.11 Extensibility Framework) belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: Wlanext.exe is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Wlanext.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 77,312 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 79,360 bytes and 5 more variants. 
The wlanext.exe file is a Windows system file. The program has no visible window. It is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 2% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify wlanext.exe related errors

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

  Travis   (further information)
Windows Wireless LAN 802.11 Extensibility Framework. Task found on Windows Vista. This task provides an interface to Windows Vista's wireless security and connectivity features for the drivers of wireless network adaptors, whether those network adaptors are integrated (as in all modern laptops) or whether they are in the form of USB, PCI, or PCMCIA cards.
Belongs to Windows Wireless LAN 802.11 Extensibility Framework. wlanext.exe is required by third-party software or hardware and should not disabled.
  Pete J   (further information)
completely useless resources eater, needs to be killed after each restart.
hat keinen ursprung und der Zugriff wird verweigert
it is using large amounts of my CPU... around 20%, and im using a core i7 cpu.
  An annoyed gamer  
I have two other size type of wlanext.exe. One wich size is 86.016 bytes, from Belkin Software. Installed with a lan drivers for my wifi mouse. The second size is 99.328 bytes, and was installed with my graphic card drivers from AMD, for a radeon-7970 model, with 3Gb memory in it. No significative problems with these versions, up to date. One is used for the link to my mouse, the other one seems to stay inactive and armless, so I keep it in place.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wlanext.exe: based on 8 votes with 7 user comments. 2 users think wlanext.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 3 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. One user thinks wlanext.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. One user is not sure about it.

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Best practices for resolving wlanext issues

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

wlanext.exe [all]