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What’s the Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) Process in Windows 10?

In Windows 10, the Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is a system process that manages the display of application windows, is responsible for visual, 3D effects, and Windows themes, creates window thumbnails for preview on the taskbar, and supports high-resolution devices, among other things. This procedure gathers graphical data from all currently running applications and produces the final image that the user sees on the screen.

Each program saves its window image to a distinct memory location. Desktop Window Manager merges them into a final image and transmits all visuals through the multimedia integration level. DWM can now apply numerous effects like transparency, window motion, and so on.

What is the function of the dwm.exe process in Windows 10?


The dwm.exe process runs in the background and consumes very little computer resources. Open Task Manager and go to the Process tab in the Windows Process section to discover the Desktop Window Manager. The process typically consumes 0.5-2 percent of the CPU and up to 50 MB of RAM (depending on the screen resolution, the number and the type of running applications).

Go to details by right-clicking the Desktop Window Manager process. On the Details page, you’ll see a list of processes that are currently running on Windows 10. As you can see, this process is associated with the C:WindowsSystem32dwm.exe executable file.

As you can see, there are two dwm.exe processes operating on the system in this situation. This is owing to the fact that two users are simultaneously connected to this Windows 10 PC (local session and remote logon via RDP). As a result, the system launched two independent processes dwm.exe for each user to process the graphic representation of the desktop (DWM-1, DWM-2).

Desktop Window Manager (located in the services.msc console in Windows Vista and Windows 7) was a specific service that could be stopped or disabled in Windows Vista and Windows 7. (all visual effects are turned off). This service is not available in Windows 10/Windows 8.1, so you can’t stop or modify the dwm.exe service.

The dwm.exe process might consume a lot of computer resources in some instances (CPU and RAM). If you notice that the Desktop Window Manager process is using more RAM or CPU than usual, you might attempt the following:

  • Update the graphics card or built-in graphics adapter’s drivers. Because Desktop Window Manager transfers the majority of the work from your processor to your GPU, the CPU load can increase if the video driver fails to perform properly.
  • Viruses should be checked on your PC. Some viruses may disguise themselves as the dwm.exe process and cause issues with the Desktop Window Manager;
  • In Windows 10, try turning off transparency (Settings > Personalization > Transparency effects > Off).

Also try to turn off Windows visual effects (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System > Advanced System Settings > Performance > Settings  > Adjust for best performance);

Remove all third-party apps one by one (mostly graphics and video processing applications) and look for one that places an unusually high demand on the DWM process.

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