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What is Wininit.exe & Why is it Running on my PC?

Wininit.exe, or the Windows Initiation Process, is a legitimate process file in Windows PCs. It acts as a parent to the rest of the processes running on your computer – keeping them safe and secure.

Wininit.exe stands for “Windows Initiation on Windows NT” and is a special program that loads the operating system's files. It's usually located in C:\Windows\System32, and it only runs when you start up your computer – it isn't supposed to run at other times. Sometimes wininit.exe keeps running in memory even after logging into Windows, which can slow things down.

This article explains what wininit.exe is and why it runs and how to make sure it closes after you've started up your PC. Read on!

What is Wininit.exe?


Wininit.exe is a system process that starts when the computer boots up, and it allows programs to perform actions. This is one of the critical system services that can only be stopped and restarted after the system has been renewed.

In Windows, the name ‘wininit' refers to Windows Initialization, while .exe indicates an executable file. During bootup, Wininit.exe allows programs to perform actions.

Is Wininit.exe safe, or it's a Virus?

safe, or it's a Virus

Wininit.exe is an executable file that is safe to have on your computer. It is a process that runs in the background of your computer, and it is used to start up Windows.

Windows NT uses the wininit.exe process to provide a common environment for running applications. The wininit process allows applications to run in a uniform background before the user logs on.

How to Check if Wininit.exe is Malware or Genuine

 By checking the file location via Task manager

  • When you open Task Manager, you'll see a list of all the running processes.
  • Right-click on the Wininit process and select Open File Location from the contextual menu. This will open Windows Explorer with the folder containing the process pinned to your taskbar.

Checking digital signature

It's also possible to check whether a file has been digitally signed by Microsoft or not by using these steps:

  • Right-click on the file you want to check and then select Properties from the contextual menu;

select Properties

  • Click on the Digital Signatures tab;

Digital Signatures tab

  • Scroll down to the bottom where you can see the name of the person who signed this file;
  • Click on the Details button;

Should I Remove Wininit.exe From my PC?

Should I Remove Wininit.exe From my PC

The wininit.exe process is a non-essential Windows process but should not be terminated unless suspected of causing problems. It is highly recommended to automatically run a FREE performance scan to optimize memory, CPU, and Internet settings.

Remove or Uninstall Corrupted Wininit.exe from Your Computer

1. Scan PC Using Microsoft Defender

Microsoft Defender is one of the best antivirus programs that can help you to scan your PC and find out any malicious files if there are any on your PC. Follow these steps:

  • Select the “Scan for viruses” option in the Microsoft Defender main window and click on the “Scan Now” button to start the scanning process.

Scan Now

  • Wait till scanning completes, which takes a few minutes depending upon the size of your PC memory and hard drive space occupied by files stored on it.
  • After completing the scanning process, you will see a list of scanned files, including the corrupted wininit.exe file, which needs to be eradicated from your PC to ensure smooth functioning without errors or problems.

2. Via the Windows Registry

To remove corrupted wininit.exe from your computer, you need to go through the following steps:

  • Press and hold down the “Windows” button on your keyboard and click “R” to open up a Run dialog box.
  • In the Run dialog box, type in Regedit, and then click OK. This will open up Registry Editor.


  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment and delete Environment32 directory if present. Then right-click on the Environment32 directory and select the Delete option from the context menu.


  • After this, restart your system and check if the corrupted wininit.exe file has been removed successfully from your system or not!

3. Uninstall Via System Settings > Add or Remove Programs

To uninstall corrupted wininit.exe from your computer, you must go through the Add or Remove Programs section in your Control Panel.

  • Click on Start and then Control Panel.
  • Open Programs and Features.

Open Programs and Features

  • Select corrupted wininit.exe from the list of installed programs and click on Uninstall/Change on the top menu bar.

click on Uninstall

  • Follow the instructions on how to uninstall corrupted wininit.exe from Windows.


Q. Is Wininit.exe a Virus?

No, wininit.exe is not a virus. It is a critical system process that should not be terminated or disabled. If your antivirus program detects it as a threat, it may be confusing it with some other malware.

Q. What is the Parent Process for Wininit.exe?

The parent process for wininit.exe is csrss.exe (Client/Server Runtime Subsystem). This process is part of Windows and should not be removed unless you are troubleshooting a problem or installing another program that requires it to be uninstalled first.

Q. How Do I fix the Wininit.exe Error?

This is a common problem caused by any number of things. The most likely cause is a damaged or missing Windows Registry entry. This is why the first thing you should try to do is run a System Restore. If that doesn't work, you'll need to repair or even reinstall Windows manually.

Bottom Line

While it's often safe to let wininit.exe run, there are times when it can cause problems. If you're experiencing issues with startup items or your task manager, you may want to disable or delete this process to see if it helps. We'd recommend this course of action if the process isn't needed in your particular situation or if it's causing problems. Otherwise, your computer will likely run fine with this process enabled.