What is wowexec.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 wowexec.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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Wowexec.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with wowexec
Wowexec.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Win16 Application Launcher or Startprogramm für Windows Win16-Anwendungen belongs to software Microsoft Windows™ Operating System or Betriebssystem Microsoft® Windows by Microsoft (

Description: The original wowexec.exe is an important part of Windows and rarely causes problems. Wowexec.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 10,368 bytes (68% of all occurrences), 10,544 bytes and 5 more variants. 
Wowexec.exe is a Microsoft signed file. The program has no visible window. Therefore the technical security rating is 7% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify wowexec.exe related errors

Important: Some malware disguises itself as wowexec.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the wowexec.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 will eat ur cpu but no ohter problem
Back in 1997, I wrote a small alarm clock app for my own PC desktop, using Delphi 16-bit programming language. Fast-forward more than 15 years, and I still use that program in a 32-bit environment. Windows uses the "Window on Window" exe to make sure my 16-bit alarm clock runs properly on 32-bit Windows. It does not consume a large amount of CPU time, and it does not slow down my PC. In my case, this is a safe windows executable.
Runs 16bit apps (MS-DOS apps) on a 32/64 bit OS.
This is false statement: You can identify the trojan as it has a space before the name, which may be because it is attaching itself to another process. This program enables Managing Your Money (accounting) software from the late 1980's, produced by Andrews Tobias, et al.
  Bo   (further information)
It's clean. Apparently it came on while running an installer for Star Trek: Starfleet Command. It runs 16-bit .EXEs on a 32-bit computer.
i believe this process is related to the emulation of drives, but seeing as it utterly consumes your Internet connection its wise to simply end it (taskmanager)
It appeared for the first time on my computer when Firefox updated to version 17.0
wowexec.exe is not a dangerious file it doesn't contain any memory . so leave it.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of wowexec.exe: based on 162 votes with 9 reviews. 86 users think wowexec.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 11 users think it's probably harmless. 29 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 12 users suspect danger. 24 users think wowexec.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 22 users don't grade wowexec.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving wowexec issues

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

wowexec.exe [all]