How-To Geek

What Is dwm.exe and Why Is It Running?

You are no doubt reading this article because you are wondering why this dwm.exe process is taking more memory than you think it should, and you are curious what it does. Thankfully for you, we have the answer.

This article is part of our ongoing series explaining various processes found in Task Manager, like svchost.exectfmon.exemDNSResponder.exe, conhost.exe, rundll32.exeAdobe_Updater.exe, and many others. Don’t know what those services are? Better start reading!

So What Is It Anyway?

Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is the compositing window manager that gives you all those pretty effects in Windows Vista: Transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails (that you can resize now), and even the Flip3D switcher that you can disable and replace with Switcher.


What happens in Vista is that applications write the picture of their window to a specific place in memory, and then Windows creates one “composite” view of all the windows on the screen before sending it to your monitor. Because Vista is keeping track of the contents of each window, it can add effects when layering the windows such as the transparency we’re all used to, as well as the live preview thumbnails.

The benefit to using this approach is that Windows Vista can utilize the hardware acceleration features in your video card to create very smooth animations for minimizing and restoring, and even for the transparent effects.

What about Memory Usage?

If you open up Task Manager, you can see the dwm.exe process in the list, typically taking somewhere between 30-50MB of memory in my testing:


The size of the DWM process is controlled by the number of windows that you have open, since each window requires a buffer in memory to store the contents of the window. If you have a large number of very large windows open, DWM will use more memory.

The benefits of using a compositing window manager are worth that relatively small amount of memory under most circumstances.

Does Switching to the Vista Basic Theme Turn it Off?

The short answer is no, just switching to the Vista Basic theme will not turn off DWM, but it will reduce the memory usage a great deal.


How do you switch to Vista Basic? Just right-click on the desktop, choose Personalize, and then Window Color and Appearance:


Click on classic appearance properties at the bottom:


Then choose Windows Vista Basic and click the Apply button:


Note that I’m not recommending switching to the Basic theme, just explaining how to do it.

So How Do I Turn dwm.exe Off Then?

Note that I don’t recommend turning this off unless you are playing games in fullscreen mode, and even then it likely won’t help increase speed.

The only way to get rid of the dwm.exe process is to stop the service from running. Open up Services from Control Panel or the start menu, and then find the “Desktop Window Manager Session Manager” service in the list, and click the stop button. Note that you will be switched to the Vista Basic theme when you click the button.


To permanently disable it, double click on the item and select Disabled from the “Startup type” drop-down:


If you want to use the command line instead, you can open an administrator mode command prompt and use one of these commands:

Stop Service net stop uxsms
Start Service net start uxsms
Disable Service sc config uxsms start= disabled
Enable Service sc config uxsms start= auto

By now you should understand what the process does… do you really still want to get rid of it?

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 05/20/08

Comments (94)

  1. Sam

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get this worthless process gone forever!

  2. tomas

    why to save 50 MB of ram when I have 4gb in pc

  3. The Geek


    This series of guides is more about explaining what the processes are than anything else. I didn’t advocate getting rid of the process, in fact I think I did the opposite.

    Personally I love the new desktop window manager, I like how smoothly everything animates.

  4. Chris

    @The Geek, Do you recommend disabling this service if you only have Vista Home Basic?

  5. Rohit

    Nice post !

    I like the way you present things in an interesting way!
    I’m impressed!

  6. kbrkr


    You may have 4gb of mem in your pc, but unless you are running 64-bit Vista, not all of it is allocated or being used.

  7. Mick Rogers

    MY vista seems a little different from what you said in your instructions but I switched to basic and it just says under processes dwn.exe memory 1,484k….I have Vista business 2 gig memory chips,
    What I would like to know is the paging file settings for using the cache as I am not certain of this…Ill ask on the forums I just noticed that.
    thanks for your help

  8. tim

    I love these guides to the processes that are running. Very helpful.

  9. Planet Lowyat

    Who care? I have 8Gb RAM running on Vista x64 SP1..

  10. Zeta Thompson

    Nice job of explaining dwm.exe to the average user.

  11. Rachael

    Hmmm… I just did that (switched to classic theme) and it actually made dwm.exe run more of my memory… :( It went from 21K to 34K memory. Sadness. The only difference btw the “theme” I was using was the background, but I was like, what the heck, let’s see what it does. Stupid Vista…


  12. Mick Rogers

    I find that by going to systems advanced and tick the box custom not let windows decide and then in settings un-tick all boxes and use windows standard or classic you get much more memory back

  13. Paul Sumner

    Oh just switch to XP, I’m pi***d off with Vista, it’s slow, it churns your hard drive, I cannot access the features as easily as XP, sure it looks pretty but most people sacrifice the aero, flip 3d, and sidebar and turn off indexing because they find out that there cpu is runing at 80-99% and there hard drive looks like it’s going to pack in at any moment trying to run them. The more RAM you put in your Vista machine, the more it uses. I have 2GB, used to have 1 and the machine still runs much slower than XP. I have dissabled the sidebar, left the pretty DWM on, dissabled superfetch (defrags your hard drive while you are using your computer – not healthy in my opinion) dissabled windows defender and firewall as I have kaspersky internet security that does all that and far better! Dissabled readyboost coz I don’t use it. I turned off useless windows search coz that churns away at the memory, cpu and hard drive and because I very rarely loose a file that I create. And now my computer runs more like XP but prettier, it’s now usable and boots up much better.
    Thats my 2 pennies!

  14. Amirz

    Thanx for this useful tip. Vista is a good OS but DWM itself is shitty useless feature. i dont need damn aero but faster OS. again thanx

  15. Sean

    What makes me wonder is why does dwm.exe regularly want access to the internet? I find that there are several of these types of things in Vista that want access to the internet when their function does not seem to imply any need other than patches or updates that should be taken care of in the regular way.

  16. nikev

    Totally agree with Paul Sumner’s post (3 posts above this one), my experiences with VISTA are identical to his, indexing, superfetch, system restore, turned off, a whole load of services Bill Gates deems neccessary, that I did not need were disabled, Defender disabled, VISTA Firewall disabled, Security Center disabled, (I use Eset Smart Security Center, does a much better job using less resources) Windows Update disabled, UAC disabled, Sidebar disabled, yet I still had around 30 services running in the background. With VISTA at idle and with no applications open it was sucking up 550MB of my 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 memory, thats over 25% of my memory gone just to keep VISTA ticking over.

    Compare this to my XP-PRO SP3 set-up (I’m dual booting). 14 services running in the background, XP at idle takes just 96 MB of memory, and everything runs faster, applications open and run faster, gaming is faster, just about anything I want to do is faster on my XP partition.

    If you want pretty looks use VISTA + Aero, if you want a fast system use XP !

  17. Raj

    Thank You, DWM was taking a lot of un-harnesses RAM of my 3GB and I wanted it to stop.

  18. joe

    thank you! thank you! thank you! my headaches are gone

  19. Jishnu

    Thanks a ton dude…

  20. Prcas Infosys

    Thanks a lot Mr. Geek ,

    asa the name of ur url, ur site has adequate information about the vista and all , i;ve been using vista from more then a year , but i just jfound it today and your site has lots of tips and tricks.

    very good , keep up ur tech expertise. welldone man.

  21. Ny

    What will DWM do if left running while using the Vista Basic theme? Is it worth it to leave it on or should just permanently disable it? What are the pros and cons? Thanks in advance.

  22. don

    What if your “Windows Aero” color scheme disappeared? How can I get that back? I can’t play any animation for my desktop background anymore. Also, I don’t think windows can access the DWM even though its set to automatic.

  23. jd2066
  24. Jery


    this is very comprehensive info, as well as all the follow-up replies.

    I have XP + Vista on my desktop, and Vista in my note. With Vista Aero Flip 3D, I’m possessed with this visual issue:

    I start to flip, all goes fine, fast, smooth and little CPU usage, but when I press Enter to stop at the foremost window I OFTEN notice short visual overlaying with the image of the window from where I started to flip. It comes as temporarily (for a short while, like blinking) overlaying the foremost window with text strings or an image of a documnet or a web-site from the window from where I started flipping.

    This does irritate and is hard for eyes. I have latest video driver properly installed, updated DirectX for this purpose – but all in vain, did not help at all.

    Did anyone notice this ? Is it supposed to be this way ?

    Thank you.

  25. Wojo

    Thank you Paul Sumner…. I just purchased a new Dell XPS with Vista… My previous laptop was running XP… My Desktop is running Vista… Over the past 3 days I noticed my Dell’s hard drive crunching away… I disabled Windows Search, Ready Boost and Superfetch… As each one was disabled my hard drive made less noise.. Currently it’s silent.. I did not disable any of these items on my desktop… I have always felt that the most volitile part on our laptops are the hard drives… I feel that with continualy hard drive activity you’re just increasing your chance of a hard drive failure…

  26. Free888

    I wonder if disabling DWM can help alleviate the problem of random VPU recoveries. I got those occasionally in normal use (not in a game).

  27. Spacegold

    Strange …. my DWM in Vista is only using 484k memory.

  28. Spacegold

    I read all these comments and do not understand a lot of what is being discussed. However, I remember when I got my Vista computer over a year ago, I struggled through about a week of days trying to understand what I had and what I could do to make it as useful as possible to a non geek. I immediately disliked most of the gimmicks. One of the first things I did was choose everything “classic” that I could find, including colors and appearance. I set all my windows colors, borders, and buttons the way I like them, a pukey yellowish green that is really easy on the eyes. I think by making all these classic choices I must have accidentally also cut down some of the performance robbers, though Vista is certainly not the race car my old XP was. It’s appearance definitely resembles the old XP now though.

    This website has sure been a gold mine for tweaking some more usefulness out of Vista. I have happily implemented several of the tips. If I have to ride a pig, it might as well be as good a pig as I can make it.

  29. Old Man Dotes

    @ Wojo: I’d enable ReadyBoost, assuming you have a ReadyBoost capable USB drive connected. It will actually reduce hard disk churning, once the cache is built.

  30. DeeVree

    How do I turn off the above services? Every time I try, Task Manager is telling me “access is denied.” I never had that problem with XP. Also, some of the processes posters suggest turning off are easy to identify. Others, I just can’t recognize from the cryptic abbreviation in Task Manager. Help?!

  31. sul2005tan

    thank you very much geek I like your site, and I have saved to my bookmarks.

  32. Fred

    You see, this is why I keep coming back to you guys and gals for answers. You are the answer man to my questions. If anyone has a problem with their geek stuff, and they ask me. Why? Because I sound geek smart. Why? Because I read yawls stuff. I smile and I refer your site.
    Thanks loads for being here.

  33. Jeremy

    My friend Isaac had his desktop window manager around 100k once, and I told him to end the process, and he did. HE LAGGED TERRIBLY ON Guild Wars… But then he called me up one day and told me he could reduce the memory. He wouldnt tell me how. But, thanks to this website, I found out how. THANKS HOW TO GEEK!!!!!

  34. Anonymouse

    Your CPU is at 80-99%? Mine is at 50%, and that’s because Google Chrome is using 47%. And I have all the visual things left at default.

  35. Jamie

    Wow! What a difference. Thank you.

  36. Jamie

    Since you knew how to increase the speed by adjusting the use of Vista can you tell me what the heck the code 80070490 is when attempting to update Vista – I have not been able to update since a month after I got Vista –

  37. Ed

    You said to disable it, go to Services from control panel. Control panel does not have a ‘services’

  38. arjan

    Great explanations! Thanks

  39. Emily

    Thanks for the help?

  40. Emily

    I meant!

  41. Mark Magill

    JAMIE wrote, “Since you knew how to increase the speed by adjusting the use of Vista can you tell me what the heck the code 80070490 is when attempting to update Vista”

    I found an MS article about this that says it can be caused by a damaged .NET component, and gives a link to a clean-up utility to fix it. Here’s the article:

    Thanks, Geek – Great job on the site. You’re in my permanent bookmarks list.. :)

    Mark Magill

  42. barry

    thank you – have freed up vital memory

  43. Villads

    Rohit wrote this and I fully agree. :-)
    Nice post !

    I like the way you present things in an interesting way!
    I’m impressed!

    To you poore peoble with Wista problems.Look forward to Win 7.
    I think you will find it much better.
    Rigth now it runs with 3 browers with lots of windows open,thunderbird email klient,Photoshop, taskmanager and controlpanel at 12,5mb
    Thats seems to be alright.

  44. Brian R

    I think I have a virus on my new computer. I am running Windows Vista 64bit and randomly there will be the sound of commercials playing on my computer. When I open the task manager, I see that the Internet Explorer is opened 58 times! Usually I close all of the IE’s but then they pop up again later. What should I do?

  45. Zac

    That was the best explination on anything. Very nice in explaining the benifits and those ways around adjusting for it. I agree with most of the people who would turn it down or off for the sake of speed. I can see why some people would the visuals are nice, but as you had said, if you are running a large full screen game, why not turn off the visual service? I guess in a sense explorer is running but I often turn that off too :P
    Anyways, nice work.
    @Brian R
    This really isn’t the place for posting a question, but you have adware/spyware on your computer. There are some that when you run IE it will launch another hidden IE for ads though some will also do this when you boot or periodically (sp?) The most common sense thing to do is to just download a spyware cleaner such as Spybot: Search and Destroy or Ad-Aware. Otherwise, you want to check what is set to boot on start-up (Run>MSConfig) make sure you know what is booting and while you are at it, turn off things that you don’t need booting :P then check your start-up services and see if any of those are it. You can also get a program to monitor your on-line traffic and/or application traffic to eliminate it. Easiest thing to do though, is run Spybot or Ad-aware.

  46. Drogba

    this is crazy, my dwm.exe went from 40,000k to 1,168k when i changed the theme to vista basic…cant believe it. Thanks!!

  47. elliot.taylor381

    dwm.exe is ace, but does it work in microsoft 7?

  48. Lil' Princess

    Huge change!!! Thanks !

  49. devaddy

    What Sean asked. (and no one has answered yet)

    Everyone and anyone who develops modern software has to have little daemons running in the background trying to indiscreetly access the Internet anymore. Sometimes they install a cute little harmless looking icon in your tray, they think you will like, and leave it alone. More often they are even sneakier and have 2+ processes running that monitor each other to make sure they are running (in case you kill one). They put entries in your registry to make sure they start up on every boot.

  50. calebstein

    I disabled it temporarily to play a game, and it slowed the game down a lot.

  51. Amused

    I just read a machinetranslation of this page, and it was the funniest thing I had read in a week. A long winded explanation about windows (in a house) some babble about serving in the army, differences of alcaline and acidic substances, and in many cases the writer seemed to be talking about “probing the missus”. Nice to hear the family life works out well! :-p
    Anyone bilingual out there, I dare you to find a funnier machinetranslation! :-D

  52. nicole

    help! dwm.exe is not showing the ones on tab when you highlight it!

  53. DuMe

    This “help” is kind of old. I got here through a Google search — but everything here talks about Vista. Where is the Win7 help?

  54. Emerson Brown

    you guy’s are the Best Iv’e cleaned my computer completely now it loads fast and everything

  55. stephen

    Thank you for this – absolutely, exactly what I was looking for…..can you say “bookmark”…:)

  56. aussieOZ

    it dont start up for me wooow i disabled it for good go to service find it in the list click on it and go up the top to action and then properties and look at startup type and disable it thats it all done

  57. rohn

    thx for your support…

  58. TheAslan

    So what are the benefits if i disable this service permanently in my Windows 7 x64, does it really make my machine faster or does it free some memory??

    If i disable this service does it harm my machine someway??

    Please send answers here!!

  59. Mohammad ahmad ghanem

    Nice !! really useful

  60. Paul

    Educational and informative. Very useful.

  61. Daniel Mark

    Excuse me if I missed a response to Sean’s question, but I have the same question: why does dwm,exe need access to the Internet and if I deny it permanently will it cause any issues?

  62. nogard0

    i have xp sp3 (not vista) and microsoft security essentails told me dwm.exe was a SEVERE backdoor trojan/virus..

  63. Barnesey

    I’ve been getting the following message at startup every time:

    “Could not load or run ‘C:\Users\Dennis\AppData\Local\Temp\dwm.exe’

    I’ve disabled dwm.exe but I still get the messages, how do I disable this as well?

  64. Cliff

    To Barnesey

  65. Virus

    I think it’s a virus, too–or is susceptible to being infected because my anti-virus regularly quarantines this file.

  66. CharlieR

    dwm.exe showed up on my XP system recently. Not sure how I got it…maybe in an email attachment from a coworker. Trend Internet Security Pro did not find it when I did a full scan of my computer, but it did pop up warnings of dwm.exe, a.exe, shell.exe and svchost.exe trying to make changes to my security settings. I ended up paying Trend to remotely diagnose and remove the virus. It took them three hours and several cycles of thinking they had fixed it before it was totally gone.

    Most obvious signature was dwm.exe shown as running in task manager on my XP system. dwm is not an XP system file.

  67. Susan

    On one of my users (the admin) I am getting an error that my dwm.exe file is missing or corrupt?
    Any suggestions on the best way to fix.

  68. Jordan

    I am running XP pro w/ SP3.. I got to say XP is far superior on the computing side then Vista is… I have 2 copies of Worldofwarcraft running/ I am streaming music from the internet I have Email open and Gtalk / AVG is running a scan.. I have no lag. I have a dual core 2,8 GHZ w/4 GB ram. XP pro is alot better when you want to multitask. Oh and my cpu usage right now is 54% and ram usage is 883Mb Tell me vista can do this with lower usage numbers.. I dont think so :) … Love this site btw I come here for all my answers I need….
    <('.'’.’)> KIRBY

  69. mojave

    vista sucks..We Know that Now

  70. leprecaun

    I have the same error as “barnesey”.
    Does anyone have any idea on how to get rid of it? Disabling dwm.exe doesn’t stop it……

  71. Pig

    If you are going to disable the DWM, you will need to change your theme to the Windows Basic theme or else whenever you boot up your pc it will search for DWM to load your animated theme and will most likely result in an error message if the service is stopped.

  72. abheet

    dmw.exe takes usually arount 35mb of ur ram . if you have a ram of about 2 gb ,shutting it off wont help much in increasing the speed. i use windows 7 with 3 gb ram. when you use win7 or vista , to get that feel of high defination experience you must keep dmw.exe running!

  73. Anon

    Re: “You are no doubt reading this article because you are wondering why this dwm.exe process is taking more memory than you think it should”

    You are a genius capable of reading minds.

  74. Carol

    I agree with everyone here who finds Vista inferior to XP for the majority of users needs. I would like to make the changes advised in order to speed things up but would not know how to go about it. I think I may have managed to disable the sidebar and thats about it! Please could someone advise where I would find all the features mentioned and how to fix it? Heeeeeelp!

  75. Sandi

    Thanks man. My windows kept crashing when this process’s mem got too high. Switching to basic theme seems to have solved it.

  76. John Frank

    alright. so i’m “cleaning” my computer and looking at all/most of the processes and saw this process going. you said in the article that dwm.exe uses about 30 – 50MB of memory, but mine is useing about 348kB. i’m not sure if this is normal or anything, but i’m pretty sure that’s bad. right?

  77. Random Black

    Nah, John, that’s not bad. all that means (most likely), you just dont have 47 windows up on your scren at a time, which is the only time you should notice something using up 30 MB of RAM. I can tell you this, I know from personal experience that it is a FACT that HP’s come with WAYYYYYY too much useless crap on em nowadays. Most of the cool features they try to sell you – COME WITH WINDOWS! Anytime I have to re-format my Pavilion Desktop, I’m sitting in front of the screen just uninstalling countless gigabytes of useless kid’s programming and HP Updaters and schedulers and timers and gadgets that basically will only cause you to find yourself back at a forum like this in the future if you don’t uninstall most of ’em. But, I do love my HP as soon as get all that…. HP crap of it…

  78. Win7

    Hiya all,
    Couldn’t help but notice that you are all Vista haters here but the post dates for almost all of you is after the release of Win7, why oh why not just change to Win7 it actually works…… unlike Vista or as some of you are just stick with XP in my opinion ppl shud move onward and upgrade to the Win7 OS which is working fine for me since the beta release in 2009 i think it woz or early 2010…

  79. Aussie

    I have used XP Pro and Win7 Premium on the same machine and I have noticed no difference in load times or user performance (actual measures, not guesses) when both systems are set to their minimal “bells and whistles”. Making Win7 have its sweet look really does slow the system down. If you look at many of the “properties” in Win7 you will see often a legacy note about Vista. Win7 is not an entirely new system but merely an upgraded Vista. There is only one way out of this MS mess, migrate to some other OS !

  80. matressKinsTrump

    News Flash for all computer geeks
    windows wants everyone to buy windows 7
    connect tthe dots…
    windows has gone down ever since gates left
    they keep hiring morons to create useless utilities take up more memory.
    pay out your money to MS and stfu

  81. Ivydapple

    @Random Black: Yeh, I have a Compaq, but it wasn’t loaded with too much crap when I got it. The most major one? Norton. DX What a nightmare. HP Support Assistant isn’t that bad. But you can’t really just label HP–every computer manufacturer does that, I’m sure.

  82. Brendyn

    Hey, thank for this guide, it was very helpful, I have just one question though. You briefly mentioned in the guide that it is more reasonable to shut dwm off when playing a fullscreen game, which is exactly the reason I came here. Specifically, I am playing a maplestory private server. A problem I have is that at random times, my screen will start flashing. Let’s say for example if I had my screen magnified at 100%, certain parts of the screen would randomly magnify to 900%. Other things that happen is my screen will just turn into green bars flashing. This is very disturbing to me, as well as disruptive. I minimized my screen, and got a popup saying that my dwm exe process/service is having issues, and needs to restart. (Not exactly what it said, but this is off my memory. So my question is; Since I have reason to believe my screen problems with fullscreen gaming seem to be linked to dwm.exe, will permanently disbaling it like I did in the guide solve my problem completely? Please reply as soon as you can.

  83. William

    Thanks for the guide it is informitive for me. I have a question that was not included in the guide. I am running windows xp home My anti virus program is Mcafee. Mcafee shows that dwm.exe wants access to the internet it is outgoing it is also shown not known publisher. Is it safe to let it have access to the internet? Is there a threat to my system if I do or the software I really need this info on the fact I took my anti virus advice and blocked it from having access, Thanks again for a good guide I went to several sites and I finally found the answers. Most of them anyways.

  84. Cory RS

    I have always loved Vista. It’s still my favorite OS, even after owning Windows 7. I hear what people say about Vista… you either have a cheap/bad computer or you simply aren’t ready to upgrade. Windows Vista is simply more powerful than XP. I have found that Vista has been MORE compatible with the software/hardware I use.
    Vista always runs smooth for me. I don’t understand why everyone else has problems with it, but that’s okay. Because everyone hates it, it’s cheaper than buying XP or 7, which is good for me.

  85. Tim

    Here is what I found:
    This is a new type of virus. It’s new so that even Norton and other antivirus software can’t find it.
    I’ve manually removed it and it’s not getting back any more.
    I had this problem for many days. It’s gone and no more.
    It include the following files and settings in registry

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\csrss.exe

  86. Tim

    Here is what I found:
    This is a new type of virus. It’s new so that even Symantec and other antivirus software can’t find it.
    I’ve manually removed it and it’s not getting back any more.
    I had this problem for many days. It’s gone and no more.

    It includes the following symptoms, files and settings in registry

    The symptom is
    1. Symantec constantly complaint about a virus file conhost.exe showed up in system. After clean up, it showed up next time after reboot.
    2. Browser (Mine is firefox) sometime re-direct your web search to some sort of web site. The icon is an “S”
    3. If use firefox, check Tools – Options – Advanced – Network tab – Connection – Settings button, you’ll see you have been set up with a proxy to local host and some port (mine was 53152).
    4. If you open task manager, you will see two csrss.exe are running: one as System and the other as Administrator – this is virus.
    5. If you open task manager, it will show up some weird running program shortly from time to time and disappear, like 10.exe 11.exe 12.exe 13.exe 14.exe….

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\csrss.exe
    – this is a critical files in Windows if it’s in system32 directory, don’t touch.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\dwm.exe
    – this is a system files in Windows if it’s in system32 directory, don’t touch.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\conhost.exe
    – this is a system files in Windows if it’s in system32 directory, don’t touch.

    I don’t remember where exactly they are, but it’s easy to find them. In general, two places: conhost.exe and dwm.exe are in the same place, while csrss.exe differs. Search for the following items/strings:
    1. csrss.exe
    2. conhost.exe
    3. dwm.exe
    If they are with some path like the above, it’s for virus. Delete them. If it’s with string for system32, don’t touch.

    Here is what I’ve done so removed them.
    0. Check above and confirm the problem
    1. In Windows Start – Run, type in msconfig and click OK to run it.
    2. In msconfig, click on ‘Boot’. Find csrss.exe and conhost.exe and dwm.exe. Uncheck them. Click OK.
    3. Don’t reboot your PC
    4. Open regedit in Windows Start – Run.
    5. Find the above viruses. Delete properly, not system entries. Close regedit.
    6. Reboot PC
    7. Go to the above application data directory delete those virus files. If you didn’t do the above actions, you would be unable to delete them.
    8. If you open your web browser, you’ll see it complains about proxy refusing your open request. Go to Tools – Options – Advanced – Network tab. In Connection, click on Settings button. Select No proxy.

    That’s all about it.

    Disclaimer: since this has touched registry, it includes risks for all kinds. I don’t take any responsibility if you screw things up ;-)

  87. Yoshiyah

    @Cory RS I agree. Vista is a very good system to me. I never had any problems with it at all. All of my software installs just fine and devices are all compatible with 64-bit. Perhaps it is like Corey said. People just aren’t ready to upgrade to Windows Vista.

    I have 8 GB DDR3 G.Skill Ram so I could care less if Vista uses 2 GB of it. I suggest either people purchase more than 4GB of ram, or just stick with Windows XP, if they cannot afford to upgrade.

  88. d

    Thanks for the tutorial in disabling this! It was killing my framerate!

  89. JayMaxx

    Thanks alot! Really appreciate the help!Big up!!

  90. Dewi Isn

    Thanks, it’s really helpful since my RAM is quite lame

  91. vince

    i need help my computer has totally lost the desk top and i do not know how to get it all back its just gone and there is just the wall paper left i deleted or turned off some thing and cant find it please give me some help this sucks

  92. vince

    o ya there is not even that little bare at the bottom of screen that shows battery and internet power ether i have a gateway NV Series

  93. Naki

    You are missing the point completely.
    It is not the RAM usage, this process gobbles CPU cycles. Please edit the above article and comment the CPU usage instead of the RAM!!

  94. mike

    dmw.exe is taking up 70k memory on mine :L

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