What is wmpnetwk.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 wmpnetwk.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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Wmpnetwk.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with wmpnetwk
Wmpnetwk.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Windows Media Format (version 11 runtime) or Microsoft Windows Operativsystem by Microsoft (

Description: Wmpnetwk.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Wmpnetwk.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 8/7/XP are 913,408 bytes (52% of all occurrences), 1,525,248 bytes and 28 more variants. 
The program is not visible. Wmpnetwk.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Wmpnetwk.exe is not a Windows system file. Therefore the technical security rating is 13% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.
You could also visit the support page or remove the entire program Windows Media Format 11 runtime using Windows Control Panel.

Recommended: Identify wmpnetwk.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as wmpnetwk.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example TROJ_GEN.R047C0ODD15 or TROJ_GEN.F0C2C00A614 (detected by TrendMicro), and not-a-virus:HEUR:RiskTool.Win64.Generic or not-a-virus:RiskTool.Win64.BitCoinMiner.p (detected by Kaspersky). Therefore, you should check the wmpnetwk.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

It works overtime while cataloging your files, it will back off if when you run a program and use up all resources when your computer goes idle.
really slows up systems. microsoft should fix it.
Windows Media Player
  UHR_25   (further information)
To stop go into services, find "Windows Media Player Network sharing Service", right-click = Properties; set to manual start. It seems to start automatically after WMP has been used. Maybe only real solution is to get rid of WMP, I dunno.
Uses more resources then it probably should.
I learn how to stop it from using process on your task manager '' go to control uninstall a program. go to window essentials 2012 '' tab that will ask you remove or repair'' tab repair'' then go to your task manager and see a steady 0. with the wmpnetwk.
Makes Blizzard's StarCraft crash
I have Mezzmo which spreads the sharing of the media files to others in the network. i have Windows 7 Ultimate and it does put a clutch on my processor when it starts runnning. So do the Mezzmo Media server it does put a heavy load on my AMD 8 core processor
  Lisandro Roque  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wmpnetwk.exe: based on 163 votes with 9 reviews. 71 users think wmpnetwk.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 17 users think it's probably harmless. 29 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 19 users suspect danger. 27 users think wmpnetwk.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 21 users don't grade wmpnetwk.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving wmpnetwk issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with wmpnetwk. 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 doing a repair of your installation, or in the case of Windows 8, 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 wmpnetwk.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

wmpnetwk.exe [all]