When operating your computer, you might observe that your system is running at a reduced speed compared to its usual performance. This could be caused by a process called ‘dwm.exe’, which stands for Desktop Window Manager and is responsible for handling the visuals on your screen such as wallpaper, windows, and taskbars. 

If this process is using an unusually high amount of your computer’s CPU resources, it could be a sign that something is wrong. In this article, we’ll explain how to understand if dwm.exe is safe and how to fix high CPU usage associated with it. 

What Is dwm.exe? 

dwm.exe is a process related to the Windows Desktop Window Manager, which is responsible for managing the visual aspects of your Windows computer such as wallpaper, windows, and taskbars. It’s an essential part of the operating system and is usually safe to run. 

However, if you notice that it’s using an unusually high amount of CPU resources (CPU usage over 40%), it could mean that something is wrong. 

How to Check If dwm.exe Is Safe? 

The easiest way to check if the dwm.exe process is safe or not is to run a security scan on your computer. This will detect any potential viruses, malware, or other malicious programs and alert you if there are any problems. You can use a free security scan tool such as Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast to do this. 

It’s important to note that while the dwm.exe process itself is safe, it could be exploited by malware. If you come across any harmful files or software on your computer, it’s advisable to promptly eliminate them. 

How to Fix High CPU Usage By dwm.exe? 

If you find that the dwm.exe process is using an unusually high amount of CPU resources, there are a few things you can do to fix it: 

1. Adjust Screen Resolution

As mentioned earlier, a high screen resolution can cause dwm.exe to consume more CPU resources. To fix this, you can adjust your screen resolution to a lower setting.

2. Update Your Drivers

Outdated or corrupt drivers can also cause dwm.exe to consume more CPU resources. Therefore, updating your drivers, especially your graphics card driver, could resolve this issue.

3. Check for Interfering Applications

Some applications may interfere with dwm.exe, causing it to consume more CPU resources. You can identify these applications by opening the Task Manager and checking which applications are using a lot of CPU resources alongside dwm.exe.

4. Restart the Desktop Window Manager Service

Sometimes, simply restarting the Desktop Window Manager service can fix the high CPU usage issue. To do this, open the Services window, find the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager, and restart it.

5. Perform a Repair Install

If all else fails, you might need to perform a repair install. This process will reinstall Windows without deleting your personal files and applications.


The dwm.exe process is an essential part of Windows and usually runs without any issues. However, if it starts using an unusually high amount of CPU or memory resources, there are a few steps you can take to diagnose and fix the problem. Run security scans to make sure your computer is free from viruses or malware, update your Windows version, disable unnecessary start-up items and services, change your power settings to high performance, and if all else fails – reinstall your operating system.