6 Ways to Fix Dwm.exe Crash and Other Issues on Windows 10

Eliminate possible hardware issues before trying these fixes

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • A crash caused by dwm.exe on Windows 10 can indicate malware infection or faulty hardware.
  • You won't know the cause from the start, but you'll get a dwm notification window.
  • Running various system scans is also very helpful to eliminate the dwm.exe system error.

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Dwm.exe stands for a core Windows 10 process called Desktop Window Manager. Even though this is an important process, many users reported a dwm.exe crash on Windows.

They oftentimes experience crashes while gaming, once or more times a day. The screen or screens go black, although the sound is not affected. Indeed, the system sometimes recovers by itself. However, there’s an underlying cause for the issue, and you should investigate more.

Why does dwm.exe keep crashing?

There are a few reasons for these crashes; on top of the list are the following:

  • Malware or widespread virus infections – A dwm.exe crash and many other computing issues can easily be triggered by malware, so we recommend using good and compatible antivirus software.
  • Failing hardware components – It also could result from bad hardware parts, and a replacement may be the best option.
  • Corrupted or outdated drivers and files – If these files remain on your PC, certain functions will start bugging, and it can trigger the dwm.exe crash.
  • Incompatible or conflictual software/firmware interactions – The error may be triggered after a new app is installed. This may mean that there are compatibility issues.

Now, any of these factors can potentially trigger a dwm.exe crash. But there is more to it. Other common manifestations include:

  • Dwm.exe causing black screen – These crashes may make your screen blackout for a few seconds or crash the computer altogether.
  • CPU spikes – The Desktop Window Manager high memory issue may be caused by a recent Intel driver bug.
  • Random or multiple DWM notification windows – While multiple open windows are often associated with malware, it may be a symptom of this error.

 How do I fix DWM crash?

In this article

Before trying these fixes, here’s what you should do:

  • Detach any peripherals, including your controller or USB devices. These may be faulty and can easily trigger a crash.

1. Check your computer for malware

You can make sure that your PC it’s not corrupted with malware and cause Dwm.exe crash by just using your Windows Security antivirus.

1. Type Windows security in the Search tab and click on the app from the results.

dwm.exe crash

2. Select Virus & threat protection.

dwm.exe crash

3. Now, if you have a third-party antivirus installed, it will override the default Microsoft Defender protection, and you can click on the Open app option. (that will take you to the main menu of the antivirus, and you will be able to perform the scan).

dwm-exe-windows-10

4. Lastly, opt for the Microsoft Defender Full or Offline scan options if you don’t have one, and verify that the ethernet not working issue is fixed.

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2. Restart explorer.exe

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start the Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Details tab, then locate explorer.exe, right-click it and choose End Task.
    dwm.exe crash
  3. Now go to File and select Run a new task.
  4. Enter explorer and click OK.

You can also fix this problem by logging out and logging back into Windows 10.

3. Install older graphics card drivers

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open the Power User Menu. Select Device Manager from the list.
    dwm.exe crash
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your graphic card driver, double-click it, and click the Roll Back Driver button to go to the Driver tab.
    dwm.exe crash
  3. Wait for the process to complete.

Users reported that the latest Nvidia drivers can cause dwm.exe to crash, and to fix this problem, users suggest reverting to the older version of Nvidia drivers.

4. Update drivers

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open the Power User Menu. Select Device Manager from the list.
    dwm.exe crash
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your graphic card driver, double-click it, and click the Update Driver button to go to the Driver tab.
  3. Click Search automatically for drivers.

If installing an older driver didn’t get the job done, you might as well try the latest one. If you don’t want to do it yourself, we strongly suggest doing it automatically by using a dedicated tool.

With just a few clicks, you allow driver updater software to scan your device and find any problems with existing drivers or missing or out-of-date components.

5. Run the SFC scan

  1. Right-click on the Windows search and type cmd, then click Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the following line and press Entersfc/scannow
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while); if the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
  4. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

6. Run DISM

  1. Right-click on the Windows search and type cmd, then click Run as administrator.
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. Wait until the procedure ends (it might take up to 10 minutes).
  4. Restart your PC.

Dwn.exe is an important Windows 10 process, and many issues with it can occur, but we hope that you managed to fix those issues by using one of our solutions.

dwm.exe problems can also come in the form of high memory use and high GPU consumption, Sometimes the kernelbase.dll is associated with the crash, but the solutions above should still come in handy no matter the case.

As always, if you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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