What is dwm.exe?

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DWM.exe is an executable file that runs on the Windows platform or operating system. DWM stands for Desktop Window Manager and through the file dwm.exe, window displays on the computer desktop can be viewed with various special effects. Users that have computers installed with Windows Vista, Windows 7 or 8 may encounter that dwm.exe is running in the background when checking for memory usage. The more windows are active or the more programs are run at the same time, dwm.exe will also increase in terms of computer resource or memory usage.

The overall desktop experience is enhanced starting with Windows Vista. Further enhancements were made with Windows 7 and 8 especially on the desktop window front. With dwm.exe running, windows may be viewed with different looks including transparent and glassy templates. A Flip3D option is also included in the desktop experience putting a new effect when switching between different windows of different applications. The original function of dwm.exe is to enable Windows Aero which refers to the guidelines set in the graphical user interface implemented in Windows Vista. The same window manager was then used to enhance window usage and viewing under the Windows 7 and 8 platforms.

The problem with dwm.exe is that it may take so much computer memory to support its function in desktop window management. With more windows opened, dwm.exe may take so much memory that may cause slowdown or crashing of some programs and applications. There are even instances when people suspect dwm.exe as a virus or malware because it is using up quite lot of the computer’s resources. Some experts suggest disabling the Windows Aero feature and check if memory usage is still a concern. If dwm.exe still causes memory problems then this file can also be disabled from running and skip the special effects on the desktop windows.

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