What is dwm.exe and why is it on my computer?

Hey ladies and gentlemen! Just got my new blog setup and wanted to talk about the newest stress of mine – my computer!

As many of you know, I’m not the most technical person in the world (especially everyone who is reading this who I’ve asked for help from). Anyways, I tend to at least know my way around the computer and tend to avoid major catastrophes. In this case, though, that’s apparently the opposite of what I let happen.

My computer is now telling me I have a dwm.exe virus! It looks like this:


For those of you who know what you’re doing, can you tell me for sure whether or not this is fatal for my computer? In the meantime, I will do some research and post what I found here.

UPDATE: I might not have a virus. Either way, it’s a total pain in the rear! Here’s some of the stuff I found while I did my research on this ridiculous issue.

This video outlines a bunch of information about the dwm file and explains in what cases it may be a virus – it’s really helpful.

The other note to make is that some less-than-legit software programs can cause what’s known as a “rogue security” threat. Microsoft explains that these false threats are often used to trick people into paying for something they don’t need.

I don’t think that’s what I had, but it’s always something to be aware of. It can happen in any program, so be careful.

The other thing I found is a detailed explanation about the dwm.exe file. You can read about it here: What is dwm.exe and why is it running? Another great article that is actually relevant to other files on your computer too. Make sure to keep your system safe at all costs to avoid going through the hassle I went through.

How I fixed my dwm.exe error

All I did was make sure I had an antivirus and antimalware installed. After that, I ran both of them and verified I was safe and threat free. That gave me a little peace of mind and let me know that I had an actual error with the file itself and not a virus or other infection (like a rogue security threat).

Following the installs and scans, I simply checked for where dwm.exe was on my system. Turns out, it was in the system directory where it belongs. Another small win for me to let me know what is or isn’t wrong.

The next step I did was some additional cleanup of files and folders, deleted a bunch of large files from my desktop, ran a defragment on my harddrive, restarted my computer, and voila! Good as almost new!

If you run into this error, or any other Windows errors, you can probably take similar steps to make sure you’re in the clear. The first step I would ALWAYS recommend to ANYONE is to scan for viruses or other malicious files on your computer. So often these junky programs come with extra stuff you don’t need and all it does is cause extra problems for us. Get rid of any of that stuff as quickly as you can.

I read a lot of the toolbar programs, weather widgets, smiley packs, downloads from untrusted sites, and other sources carry these super harmful files and programs with them. Make sure you know where your download is coming from and always decline to install extra toolbars or browsers unless you truly know what you’re doing.

Following the steps above (and my recommendations) should allow anybody to avoid running into the same stresses I had to go through. It was also stressful for other people in my family, but we made it through.

I really hope you got some help from this!