What is dwtrig20.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 dwtrig20.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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Dwtrig20.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with dwtrig20
Dwtrig20.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Watson Subscriber for SENS Network Notifications or Microsoft Application Error Reporting or Windows Defender

belongs to software Watson Subscriber for SENS Network Notifications or Watson Subscriber for SENS Network or Microsoft Application Error Reporting or Microsoft Application Error or Windows Defender or Windows Live Messenger or Microsoft Office Enterprise (version 2007) or Microsoft Office Professional

by Microsoft (

Description: Dwtrig20.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. The dwtrig20.exe file is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files\Common Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 39,264 bytes (33% of all occurrences), 437,160 bytes and 17 more variants. 
The program has a visible window. The dwtrig20.exe file is not a Windows core file. The file has a digital signature. The process starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: DEFAULT\Run, MACHINE\Run, Run). Therefore the technical security rating is 13% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You can uninstall Microsoft Application Error Reporting, or try to get help from the software vendor. Click on Microsoft Application Error Reporting in the Windows Control Panel (Software or Programs section) to uninstall it, or click on to visit the vendor's website.

Recommended: Identify dwtrig20.exe related errors

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as dwtrig20.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the dwtrig20.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

saw it running and eating my processor
My computer was infected with lot of Sality viruses. And dwtrig20.exe was also infected. It was launching a shutdown countdown at startups and was blocking the Taskmanager and the Registry. (I found a way through CMD to kill this monster)
that a dll file .that one support ms office
i have this file in my source folder but i am unable to select it while installing the ms 2007
Some other sights note that viruses use it to track your site visits to tie to keylogger for you ID's and passwords.
It is a part of Dr Watson related to crashes and/or failed MS system updates from MS to send the info to find out why the System updates failed.
This file appeared during the last two MS monthly updates - never saw it before in the Process viewer. I have had system instability ever since. This is on a Windows XP SP3 machine, with Office 2003 & Windows Defender installed. This file was not on my machine before. I wonder if MS used BITS again to secretly install this software, separate from Windows updates. You can remove it from the AUTO RUN settings. This almost seems as if it is some sort of monitoring program, not related to Watson or Defender.
It only occurs in my startup if I have done a windows update and one or more of the files have failed to install and i have rebooted. After the reboot and a report is ready to send, it changes it's name to dw20.exe while waiting for a response to send the error report. After sending, it removes itself from the task manager.
  Lyndsey R.  
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of dwtrig20.exe: based on 72 votes with 9 reviews. 29 users think dwtrig20.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 9 users think it's probably harmless. 21 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 2 users suspect danger. 11 users think dwtrig20.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 8 users don't grade dwtrig20.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving dwtrig20 issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with dwtrig20. 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 dwtrig20.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

dwtrig20.exe [all]