What is dwm.exe, Complete dwm.exe Process Information

Dwm.exe, Desktop Window Manager is a Windows system file which changes the behaviors of windows components and used for high end graphics display. The dwm.exe is an innovative process introduced by Microsoft especially in Vista and now it is also the part of Windows 7 OS.

What is dwm.exe
What you want to know about dwm.exe process is

What is dwm.exe

Actually, this dwm.exe process is responsible to display glossy and transparent graphics effects as 3D elements, live window thumbnail preview, aero glass preview and controls themes and icons.


In Windows Vista and Windows 7 Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) performs this task for any application window that before displaying its output to end user, that have to map their all components to a specific portion of memory where those are masked with 3D effects and then converted to the final presentable format.

Although in Windows 7 or Vista, 3D and transparency effects make the look nice and also differentiate this Windows OS than the previous versions of Windows OSes but the drawback of this feature is that it requires more memory space and high cpu utilization.

Is dwm.exe a virus?

Dwm.exe is a system file but sometimes viruses also hide themselves with the same file name or the original dwm.exe may also effected by virus so this is a better approach to catch a virus by scanning through a strong anti-virus program.

Where is dwm.exe located?

The genuine dwm.exe resides in C:\Windows\System32. (the drive may vary on your system)

Can we remove dwm.exe?

The dwm.exe is a core Windows system file and its deletion is not recommended. See how to disable dwm.exe

Dwm.exe memory usage.

To view the information regarding the dwm.exe memory usage, just open Task Manager and navigate to dwm.exe under Processes tab. Memory used by Dwm.exe process depends on the number of windows opened on your system because it requires separate space in memory for every windows components which are opened.

Reduce dwm.exe memory usage by switching over to Windows Classic Theme?

To increase the system’s performance some users prefer to switch over to the old and simple look by applying Windows Classic Theme but it does not mean that it disable dwm.exe whereas you may notice that dwm.exe memory usage reduces.

Apply Windows Classic Theme in Windows 7 or Vista.

Windows 7: Right click on desktop and then click Personalize then scroll down in themes section and select Windows Classic and you are done

Vista: Right click on desktop and then click Personalize >> Windows Color and Appearances

Click Open classic appearance properties for more color options

From following window select the option Windows Classic under Color scheme and click Apply and OK

Now, have a look on dwm.exe in Task Manager, there is a big difference in memory usage by this process because of Classic Theme as compare to original Theme

Disable dwm.exe in Windows 7 or Vista (temporarily or permanently)

After applying Classic theme in Vista open Services through start menu or Control Panel

Select Desktop “Window Manager Session Manager” and click on stop button, it will stop dwm.exe temporarily

For permanent disable double click on dwm.exe in Services window, it will open following screen, here select the option Disabled from Start Type drop down list, then click Stop button and click Apply

To revert back the settings for dwm.exe just select the option Automatic in Startup type drop down list and Start button will became enable so click that and Apply to complete the process.

Share you experience about dwm.exe process, leave some comments below.

7 comments… add one
zipak April 28, 2010, 8:42 pm

dwm.exe taking lot of resources, should switch to classic windows theme

mic May 4, 2010, 6:13 pm

don’t need aero effect in windows 7 i have disable dwm.exe

DavidV May 13, 2010, 7:13 am

I thins this is the reason of less battery timing of a Widnows installed laptop, when dwm.exe like process are running in the windows background and using huge memory and processes then how windows can save battery. Specially in windows 7 and vista dwm.exe using more and more memory as you open more windows and application thats why windows s****.

aminnoura January 13, 2011, 7:50 am

when I disabled this program then I exprience a good windows.
I had a lot of problem when this program was enable.
thank you

manvendrasingh.chauhan September 20, 2011, 10:42 pm

This is the complete website to get knowledge.

Wahun December 30, 2011, 4:00 pm

I find very nice articles about different Windows processes on your web site, thanks for sharing this information in a very sophisticated way.

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