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What is mDNSResponder.exe / Bonjour and How Can I Uninstall or Remove It?

You are no doubt reading this article because you’ve noticed the mDNSResponder.exe process running in Task Manager, you don’t remember installing it, and it doesn’t show up in the Add/Remove programs in Control Panel. So what is it, and how do we get rid of it?

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What is mDNSResponder.exe or Bonjour?

The mDNSResponder.exe process belongs to the Bonjour for Windows service, which is Apple’s “Zero Configuration Networking” application, typically installed automatically by iTunes. If you’ve ever wondered how one iTunes install can talk to another on the same local network, Bonjour is what actually does this behind the scenes.

Don’t use iTunes? You aren’t alone, and that’s not the only way that Bonjour gets installed on your computer. It’s also bundled in a whole bunch of other software, like Pidgin, Skype, and Safari, and used to connect clients together on the same network.

It’s implemented as a Windows Service, which you can see if you head into the services panel (or just type services.msc into the start menu search box). You can stop it from here anytime.

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The whole problem we have is that it generally doesn’t show up in Add / Remove Programs, so you can’t get rid of it through any normal methods. Thankfully you can still remove mDNSResponder.exe if you really want to, and it will simply limit some of the functionality in the apps that might rely on it.

Important: Don’t remove Bonjour if you use iTunes to share libraries, or any other feature from an application that relies on it.

How Do I Remove It?

First, it should be noted that you can disable Bonjour without necessarily removing it—just head into the Services panel, double-click on the service, and change the Startup type to Disabled.

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This is probably your best bet if you don’t really want to break anything—if you have problems you can always re-enable it.

Alright, How Do I Really Remove It?

Let’s get down to business. If you’re absolutely sure you want to remove it, it’s really pretty simple. Open up a command prompt in administrator mode (right-click and choose Run as Administrator), and then change into the installation directory, usually the following:

\Program Files\Bonjour

If you are using Vista or Windows 7 x64 edition, you’ll need to head into the Program Files (x86) folder instead. Now that you are there, type in the following command to see the options:

mDNSResponder.exe /?

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Ah, so now we know what to do to remove it! Simply type in the following:

mDNSResponder.exe –remove

You’ll get a message saying that the service has been removed. (Note again that you need an Administrator mode command prompt)

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You’ll want to also disable the DLL file in the directory by renaming it to something else:

ren mdnsNSP.dll mdnsNSP.blah

You should be able to actually remove that entire directory if you really want to.

Wait, How Do I Enable It Again?

Oh, so your favorite application broke? No matter, you can easily re-install the Bonjour service with the following command:

mDNSResponder.exe -install

But I Deleted It!

See, you really shouldn’t delete things until you are sure they aren’t useful anymore. That’s why renaming is a good thing. Thankfully you can simply head over to Apple’s page and install Bonjour again.

Download Bonjour for Windows

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/16/09

Comments (21)

  1. Furmanek

    I’ve checked the services and don’t see Bonjour listed. I know it’s running because Zone Alarm alerts me every time Bonjour tries to access the internet.

    Any thoughts on how to disable it without removing it?

  2. TG2

    @Furmanek
    did you look to see if you could find mdnsresponder.exe? If you find that file, you should be able to disable just as TheGeek.

    noted oddly, that I’ve never had bonjour installed except as a cause of itunes, and I’ve never seen it installed as a side app without being prompted *IF* I did the custom install … which while daunting for the avg newbie, its something people should always do, that manufacturers should always support, and that when going into the “advanced” or “custom” installation should start with the defaults that would have been selected/enabled/set for install if the user hadn’t gone the custom install route (seems like 99% of the installations are this way, but its always that 1% that gets ya) ;)

  3. sally anne

    well I had a hell of a time with bonjour…and worse hell now that every prog I need seems to have its own network connections…

  4. Anonymous

    You can Uninstall Bonjour from Windows 7 now. Just go to Control Panel then Uninstall a Program. It’s listed there among your other programs.

    I’m using Win 7 Ultimate Retail & iTunes 9.0.2

  5. pokits

    Thanks for the info.

    mDNSResponder; came in the software of the Kodak 3250 printer I recently got.
    waste of resource, like any of that stuff, it would be just as good if it loaded when
    the app started and unload when that app closed…..

  6. Abhishek

    when i shut down my system.then it get restart. sometime blue screen is also coming.

  7. Paulo

    Thanks! this post help me a lot!

  8. Jocafi

    ***** ALERT *****

    The service for “Bonjour Service” is sometimes listed in the services panel as ##Id_String

    Thanks for this helpful “HOW TO”.

    Bye

  9. Giloz

    Yes, when I Installed a cheap Dell MFP it installed the Bonjour ans as Jocafi states, it is named ##Id_String2.6844F930_1628_4223_B5CC_5BB94B879762## under services panel. It does not show in programs and features, I am Using Windows 7 Enterprise, 64 bit.

  10. Umit

    Very very thanks.

  11. fregs

    Thanks for the info, and cheers Jocafi for the correction!!

  12. faizan

    thanks,
    really informative

  13. ploumi

    you are the best! thank you for your great analysis!

  14. philspil

    How does this apply if you are on a Mac?

  15. anonymouse

    yup that “##Id_String…” under services.msc was from the ‘bonjour’ thingy. aside from the many apps that installs mDNSResponder.exe, photoshop CS3 (i dont know about other versions) installs that mDNSResponder.exe along with it. hth.

  16. stOneskull

    man, i hate apple… more and more each day.

  17. peter O

    Yes anothet potentially helpful analysis.
    But………….
    “it’s really pretty simple. Open up a command prompt in administrator mode (right-click and choose Run as Administrator), and then change into the installation directory, usually the following:”

    And right off I can’t follow that – FIRST step.
    The author should be more careful to see that his suggestions make sense in a variety of OS’s.
    I’m Win7-64, I know what a command prompt is but have not used one in years.

  18. CromeDome!

    well well well…
    new to the page and already a bit overwelmed just by the shear volume of info but still good stuff..
    couple questions thou…
    ive heard if removed it can cause system crash..
    its used by big companies to keep tabs on ppl and what they like/do/sites they visit/stuff they like/blah/blah/blah…
    just disabling it seems to work(broad range of effects on that on, and in my case seems to still chew up processing power as i have a cpu useage rate that just about jumps anywhere at anytime still…favorite is when its just sitting still doing nothing)
    and of course that its harmless and has a minimal threat level to some programs…

    heres the thing thou…
    after disabling it thru services on my lovely little in much need of work still windows laptop, i still get the cpu spikes,system instablilties, web pages take almost forever to load(no not a issue with bandwidth or signal strength as far as i can tell) and some other interesting things occuring…
    when i try to run a full scan on avg for example, it self terminates and reboots the entire comp somewhere along the hk directories (approx. 4 minutes running) with of course! a blue screen of doom…now id love to read what it says, but it only lasts 2 seconds if that, so very little info can come from there….on reboot it states the system has recovered from a serious error, but very little info is forthcoming after that…keep in mind this is after the dam thing is disabled, and from a few places no less..(cs2,skype,some standard ms bs that was already on the comp when i got it, and of course the string line command)
    so i ask you this fellow readers….
    WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I DO WITH THIS DAM THING!?!?
    gots worries that if i take it out, may not have a comp…soooooo do tell ppl

    also respond with what you have heard on it, and try to conferm your info plz, as random stuff that u dont know for sure is good…well, i wont like much..

    thanx aplenty!…

  19. Ron Sherman

    Bonjour is also used to share printers on a LAN through an Airport Extreme or Express. Works good in Windows if the printer driver is designed for LAN sharing, but only works on Macs if the printer is one of the cheap USB printers.

  20. beck

    Problem description: always had to disable/enable local network after each pc reboot.
    Solution: disabled Bonjour service as said above, but didnt remove from the system as i use skype/photoshop cs3 (i guess these have injected this stupid apple spy soft without my authorization).
    Result: WORKED (no need to disable/enable any more)!

    My environment: win7hp sp1, Marvell Yukon 88E8057 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller v.11.22.3.9.

    Thank you for the advice!!!

  21. roudrashis_hota@yahoo.com

    I had problem with “unidentified network” when i tried to connect internet through my lan (ADSL) .. network and sharing center shown two connections .. hone network and unidentified network .. resulted in no connectivity
    found mDNSResponder.exe or Bonjour in my PC
    removed it as described .. and it worked like a magic
    my net is working again ..
    Bonjour is a killer …

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