What is Wow.exe?

The genuine Wow.exe file is a software component of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.
Wow.exe is an executable file that runs World of Warcraft, a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment. This file is not a critical Windows component and can be removed if known to create problems. World of Warcraft is the fourth installment in the Warcraft universe. The game holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG according to subscribers. The game grossed over $10 billion as of 2012, making it the highest grossing video game of all time as well. Over 100 million user accounts have been created since the game's release. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is a developer and publisher of video games. The company made a lot of success through critically acclaimed games, Starcraft and World of Warcraft. Blizzard was founded by Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce, three UCLA graduates, on February 8, 1991, and was originally called, Silicon & Synapse. The company currently employs some 4,700 people. It is headquartered in Irvine, California, United States.

WoW stands for World of Warcraft

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 Wow.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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Wow.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with Wow
Wow.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as World of Warcraft or World of Warcraft Retail or Client belongs to software World of Warcraft or Auctioneer AddOns or Half-Life (version 2) or Client or Tony Hawk's Underground (version 2) by Blizzard Entertainment (

Description: Wow.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Wow.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 4,775,986 bytes (13% of all occurrences), 8,116,224 bytes and 32 more variants. 
The program has a visible window. Wow.exe is not a Windows core file. The application uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. Wow.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 17% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If there are any problems with Wow.exe, you can uninstall World of Warcraft or Auctioneer AddOns from your computer using the Control Panel applet Uninstall a Program.

Recommended: Identify Wow.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as Wow.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the Wow.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

Its a game
Its the exe file from World of Warcraft, an online Game
  Manuel melo  
FriendlyWeb properties: • Allows remote user connection; Connects itself to the internet; Stays resident in background
Friendly web spyware
Not dangerous at all.. It's just a game.
It is a MMORPG, I play it all the time, it is harmless.
  Tirisfallen   (further information)
installing wow.exe
trying to delete it
wow.exe is a process used for running old application that usually run on a 16 bit environment. It's required for those applications to run properly.
  The Professor   (further information)
it can scan your running processes so blizzard can know if you are using hacks or whatsoever
Process used for running application that run on a 16 bit environment(windows). Also used by mailware (friendlyweb)and world of warcraft.
Its a great game
it's world of warcraft's exe file... (wow= a game)
Its a game only dangerous by addiction, else harmless.
  WoW freak  
takes over wife's computer. Neither wife nor anyone else has installed WOW on this machine. In fact no one n the house plays it. MALWARE.
If you have World of Warcraft installed, this is the main executable. If you don't there's no reason to keep it.
When my computer is acting sluggish, 9 times out of 10, this WOW.EXE junk will be running in Windows Task Manager. As soon as I turn it off, I regain control of the PC. It pops up from out of the blue. I don't do games on my computer, so I would say it's being used as spyware, or game players or whoever may be using it to incorporate my CPU into a computer array ? A complete search of my HDD turns up NO FILE named WOW.EXE . A registry search turned up one instance of classified as an MRU. This tells me it's coming in over the web, and is being used by someone, either for spying, or CPU use.
  Billy Bob  
its windows on windows process for programs that use windows 16bit
Root Virus in Registry-Hidden in sys-in--
Its World of Warcraft! It comes up when up play it... duh
It's a trojan. Found it in Temporary Internet Files. Never loaded World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft executable
Mine removes itself when you stop the process- Meaning it is trying to keep from being detected/examined. I have found this file twice- It slows down, I start looking for odd processes. When the process gets killed, there is no file left on the drive, however there are registry entries.
  Ozzy- (CISSP)  
It's the executable that starts the game World of Warcraft (over 9 million players worldwide). Harmless!
  Mrs Smith   (further information)
WoW.exe is used to launch previous patches from the game World of Warcraft.
"Windows on Windows" (wow).exe is a process to allow backwards compatability with older windows (16bit) programmes
  Mike   (further information)
If you do not play World of Warcraft, wow.exe is an Active X Spyware script run by companies to get your information when you register software. ARCsoft is infamous for it. unfortuantely it does slow down your computer sending information to the companies.
Its a file used for some WoW private servers dont reslly need for the real WoW tho
If you do not have World of Warcraft™ installed on your computer, a process with this name might be an unauthorized application designed to harm your computer/files. Otherwise, it's just the process that runs World of Warcraft on your computer.
WOW.EXE may be a login/password grabber trojan.
  Shadow Wolf   (further information)
wow.exe is not always world of warcraft. I did a fresh install and after a few weeks, wow.exe was running in background. I never played WOW. Something is wrong with my PC because it's sluggish. Killing wow.exe doesnt really do anything though.
There is in fact a trojan that uses the moniker wow.exe, it should be able to be handled by most antivirus software and is found outside of the World of Warcraft folder found in "/program files". Typically either in root "/c" or in "/system"
It's a backdoor trojan; you need to use the link and get this off of your machine! It steals passwords!
  Anthony   (further information)
is a game
WoW.exe is the file used to launch and run the game World of warcraft.
its windows on window.... if youre running on 64bit system and try to run 32 bit apps then wow..emulate it for you
it says its a malware virus which is a trojan
wow = windows on windows (used for older windowsapplications)
It's the WorldofWarcraft EXE file.
wow.exe is 100% safe
  John Doe  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of Wow.exe: based on 56 votes with 40 user comments. 27 users think Wow.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 5 users think it's probably harmless. 8 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 5 users suspect danger. 11 users think Wow.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 4 users don't grade Wow.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving Wow issues

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

Wow.exe [all]