What is dwm.exe? A Virus? How to Disable Desktop Window Manager in Windows 7

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What is dwm.exe and why is it consuming so much of my memory and resources? Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is the composting window manager that gives you all those pretty effects in Windows Vista And 7, they are transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails, quick re-size and preview, flip feature and many more.

Based on test, the memory consumed by dwm is about 50MB per windows or task, depending on the situation. It will consume most of your memory if you happened to be rushing for work and have lots of windows sitting ideal on the start bar, because of this, a number of people tend to assumed dwm as a virus because it is memory and resource hungry, not to mention it slows down the computer.

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to disable dwm in both Windows Vista and Windows 7:

What is dwm.exe? A Virus? How To Disable Desktop Window Manager In Windows 7

1. Type “Service” into the search box
2. Select the “Service” link

What is dwm.exe? A Virus? How To Disable Desktop Window Manager In Windows 7

Stopping dwm temporarily without disabling it
3. Right click on “Desktop Windows Manager Session”
4. Select “Stop” to stop it from running

What is dwm.exe? A Virus? How To Disable Desktop Window Manager In Windows 7

Disable dwm from startup
3. Double click on “Desktop Windows Manager Session”
4. Select “Disable” as shown in screenshot
5. Hit “OK”

6 comments on “What is dwm.exe? A Virus? How to Disable Desktop Window Manager in Windows 7

  1. abu
    abu April 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    DWM is previously known as Desktop Compositing Engine for those using Windows 98 and XP

    • Geckoandfly
      Geckoandfly April 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      Including Windows 95?

  2. Will Shanklin
    Will Shanklin April 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    dwm.exe is a virus, spyware, trojan or worm!

    • Geckoandfly
      Geckoandfly April 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      No it is not, unless the virus or trojan found a way to attach itself onto that file.

  3. Tutorial
    Tutorial April 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    what is the problem with explorer.exe and dwm.exe in Windows 7 and windows 8?

  4. Austin Krause
    Austin Krause April 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    What is dwm.exe and is it safe or a virus?

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