Javaw.exe: Virus or Not? How to Check

What is Javaw.exe?

The javaw.exe file is an Internet Explorer plug in for Java created by Sun Microsystems. The executable process has a lot of similarity with the program java.exe.  The only difference between the two is that there is no console window associated with the javaw executable process. The executable process will not display any command prompt when the process is run. However, the executable file will show a dialog box with error information if the executable file fails to launch for some reason.

The javaw.exe handles computer network security and is also referred to as a Java Virtual Machine. The Java Virtual Machine is used by the system to run programs that are written using the Java programming language.  The executable file works mainly with Internet Explorer, but it can also work with other web browsers. Users are advised not to disrupt the process running in the background and to allow the executable file to perform its assigned tasks.

The executable file is run during the Windows boot up process and so, it is not necessary for users to create a desktop shortcut specifically to start the process. There are actually two javaw.exe files residing on your system.

  • The first file is located in C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_09\ jre\ bin\
  • The second file is located in C:\WINDOWS\system32\

Users are advised not to move the executable files from their default locations. Any such action will cause the programs that need the files to malfunction.

Can javaw.exe be a Malware, Virus, or Trojan?

There is a possibility of the executable file being a virus or malware. The reason for this is that malware can create a file with any name to avoid detection and pose itself as a genuine Windows process.

The dubious executable file having the same name can cause your system to slow down and will also affect its performance, thus leading to frequent system crashes. Users are advised to check the memory usage of the process in the Task Manager, which you can open by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

In normal operational conditions, the memory file used by the application is not more than 650 KB of virtual memory.  If you find high memory usage related to the process, you need to scan the system thoroughly with a good antivirus software with updated definitions.

Some Facts about Javaw.exe:

  • Author: Sun Corporation.
  • Part Of: Sun Java
  • Description: Java(TM) Platform SE binary
  • System Process: No
  • Background Process: No
  • Hardware Related: No
  • Application: Yes

You can use the information given above to check the genuine nature of the javaw.exe file on your system. Though there is a possibility of the executable file being a virus, it is not always true. Many antivirus scanners detect the genuine executable file as being infected with a W32/Trojan3.UJ.

The false detection is mainly due to a bug in the antivirus software. Some of the antivirus software companies have already taken steps to fix the bug in their software. If your antivirus is throwing up false positives, you are advised to install all definition updates of the program provided by your antivirus software manufacturer. If this still does not solve the problem, you need to contact your antivirus software manufacturer for a solution.