How to fix Desktop Window Manager high memory usage in Windows 10

Windows runs a number of different processes and services in the background. They are supposed to run automatically and without them, Windows 10 cannot work. These processes need to be running all the time so that they are designed to be efficient and not to manipulate system resources.

Desktop Window Manager

Fix high memory usage at Desktop Window Manager

Desktop Window Manager or DWM, exe as it appears in Task Manager is an essential system process that manages visual effects (animations, transitions, wallpaper) on your system. He runs all the time and should eat very little memory.

If the Desktop Window Manager process is consuming a lot of memory, try the solutions below.

1. Restart Explorer.exe

Problems with the dwm.exe process can be fixed by restarting Explorer.exe.

  1. Open Executive Manager.
  2. Go to Process tabs.
  3. look for Windows Explorer and select it.
  4. Click on the Restart button at the bottom right.

2. Check graphics driver

An outdated graphics driver can cause problems with the dwm.exe process. Similarly, if you have updated the graphics driver but have a problem with it, it could cause dwm.exe to use a lot of memory.

  1. Open Device manager.
  2. Expand Display changes.
  3. Right-click on the onboard graphics card and select Update driver.
  4. Search online for driver updates and install the available ones.

If you recently updated the graphics driver, try rolling back.

  1. Open Device manager.
  2. Expand display devices.
  3. Double-click the onboard graphics card.
  4. Go to the Driver tab.
  5. Click Roll back driver.
  6. Repeat for the GPU if you have one.

3. Scan the system with Windows Defender

A malicious app or dwm.exe may be due to a malicious app or file. Scanning your system for infections is a good idea.

  1. Open Windows Defender.
  2. go to Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click Scanning options.
  4. Choose Whole scan.
  5. Click Scan now.
  6. Remove any infections obtained.

4. Disable third-party apps

There are many third-party apps that can be installed on Windows 10 to change the way it looks. Rainmeter is one popular example of such an app. If you have installed an app that significantly changes the UI of Windows 10, turn it off and see if dwm.exe process memory usage returns to normal. If it does, the app you are using to modify the system is not augmented and should not be used.


Animation, wallpaper, motion effects are all common OS functions. You cannot disable the dwm.exe process because without it, Windows 10 will no longer look like Windows 10. You can disable animations if you want and this will reduce memory usage but the solutions above should still be used to bring the basic memory usage of the process to normal.

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