Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He"s written about giải pháp công nghệ for over a decade và was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The new york Times, been interviewed as a công nghệ expert on TV stations like Miami"s NBC 6, & had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read more...

Bạn đang xem: What is winlogon

About How-To Geek
Aug 25, 2017, 8:00 am EST| 3 min read

The winlogon.exe process is a critical part of the Windows operating system. This process is always running in the background on Windows, & it’s responsible for some important system functions.

RELATED: What Is This Process và Why Is It Running on My PC?

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

What Is Windows Logon Application?

The winlogon.exe process is a very important part of the Windows operating system, và Windows will be unusable without it.

This process performs a variety of critical tasks related to lớn the Windows sign-in process. For example, when you sign in, the winlogon.exe process is responsible for loading your user profile into the registry. This allows programs lớn use the keys under HKEY_CURRENT_USER, which are different for each Windows user account.


Winlogon.exe has special hooks into the system và watches to see if you press Ctrl+Alt+Delete. This is known as the “secure attention sequence”, và it’s why some PCs may be configured khổng lồ require you to lớn press Ctrl+Alt+Delete before you sign in. This combination of keyboard shortcuts is always caught by winlogon.exe, which ensures you’re signing in on a secure desktop where other programs can’t monitor the password you’re typing or impersonate a sign-in dialog.

The Windows Logon Application also monitors you keyboard & mouse activity & is responsible for locking your PC và starting screen savers after a period of inactivity.


In summary, Winlogon is a critical part of the login process and needs to lớn remain running in the background. Microsoft also provides a more detailed, technical menu of Winlogon’s responsibilities, if you’re interested.

Can I Disable It?


You can’t disable this process. It’s a crucial part of Windows & must be running at all times. There’s no reason to lớn disable it, anyway, as it just uses a tiny amount of resources in the background to perform critical system functions.

If you try to end the process from the Task Manager, you’ll see a message saying that ending the process “will cause Windows lớn become unusable or shut down”. If you bypass this message, your screen will go black & your PC won’t even respond khổng lồ Ctrl+Alt+Delete. The winlogon.exe process is responsible for handling Ctrl+Alt+Delete, so there’s no recovering your session once you’ve stopped it. You’ll need khổng lồ restart your PC lớn continue.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About the blue Screen of Death

Windows will always launch this process when you start your PC. If Windows can’t launch winlogon.exe, csrss.exe, or other critical user system processes, your PC will blue screen with error code 0xC000021A.

Could It Be a Virus?

It’s normal for the winlogon.exe process lớn always be running on your system. The real winlogon.exe file is located in the C:WindowsSystem32 directory on your system. Lớn verify the real Windows Logon Application is running, right-click it in Task Manager và select “Open tệp tin location”.


The file manager should mở cửa to the C:WindowsSystem32 directory containing the winlogon.exe file.


If someone told you that the winlogon.exe file located in C:WindowsSystem32 is malicious, that’s a hoax. This is a legitimate file and removing it will damage your Windows installation.

Tech tư vấn scammers have pointed to winlogon.exe and other critical system processes and said “If you see this running on your PC, you have malware”. Every PC has the Windows Logon Application running và that’s just normal. Don’t fall for their scams!


On the other hand, if you see the winlogon.exe file located in any other directory, you have a problem. A virus or other type of malware may be camouflaging itself as this process in an attempt to hide in the background. High CPU or memory use from winlogon.exe is another warning sign, as this process shouldn’t use much CPU or memory in normal situations.

Xem thêm: Nitrogen Là Gì ? Công Dụng, Dược Lực Học Và Tương Tác Thuốc Nitrogen Là Gì

RELATED: What"s the Best Antivirus for Windows 10? (Is Windows Defender Good Enough?)

If you see the winlogon.exe file in another directory or if you’re just concerned malware may be running on your PC, you should run a full system scan with your preferred antivirus software. Your security software will remove any malware it finds.

Windows Processes
Executable NameAdobe_Updater.exe | AppleSyncNotifier.exe | ccc.exe | conhost.exe | csrss.exe | ctfmon.exe | dllhost.exe | dpupdchk.exe | dwm.exe | EasyAntiCheat.exe | iexplore.exe | jusched.exe | LockApp.exe | mDNSResponder.exe | Mobsync.exe | moe.exe | MsMpEng.exe | NisSrv.exe | rundll32.exe | svchost.exe | SearchIndexer.exe | spoolsv.exe | shutdown.exe |WmiPrvSE.exe | wlidsvc.exe | wlidsvcm.exe | wmpnscfg.exe | wmpnetwk.exe | winlogon.exe
What Is This Process & Why Is It Running on My PC?