What is Winlogon.exe?
The winlogon.exe file is part of the Windows Login Manager.Â The process handles the login and logout procedures in Windows and checks the Windows activation code. The process is critical for the stability of your Windows OS and should not be terminated even if you encounter errors related to it. The default file location is the sytem32 folder on the C drive. The file is loaded while the Windows OS boots up.
Can Winlogon.exe be a Virus, Malware, or a Trojan?
It is not uncommon to see a malware program creating a process with a similar name, such as winlogonpc.exe, to pose as the genuine process. The virus creates a startup key named winlogon, with the value of the key being â€œwinlogonpcâ€. You can also find a process named winlogon or winlogonpc.exe on an infected system.
Security experts have also found instances where the winlogon process is a trojan on an infected system. The trojan facilitates attackers to access your computer from remote places with the intention to steal confidential data such as usernames, passwords, internet banking information, social security numbers, and personal data. The following malware entries have been found to be related to the winlogon executable file infection:
- W32.Netsky.D (%SystemRoot%)
- Backdoor.Win32.SdBot.ada (%SystemRoot%winlogon.pif)
- Troj/Madr-B (%SystemRoot%System32wins, %SystemRoot%System)
The common errors a user gets when the winlogon executable file is infected with a virus, malware, or trojan are:
- Winlogon.exe not found.
- High CPU usage
- Blue Screen of Death or “STOP 0xC000021A”
The winlogon executable file should only exist in the C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory. If an executable file with same name also exists in another location, then there is the possibility of a malware or virus residing on your computer. In most cases, the winlogon executable files lead to high CPU usage, which in turn can make other programs crash. You can check the instance of the winlogon process by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
Additional Problems Caused by the Winlogon.exe Virus:
Besides stealing confidential data, a winlogon virus is also known to advertise pornography on the infected system. The virus also causes an inconvenience to the user by continuously displaying advertisements and pop-ups.
Tips to Solve Problems Related to an Infected Winlogon.exe File
If the winlogon executable file is infected, it will utilize most of the system resources, causing other applications to crash. Â Users are advised not to manually remove or delete the executable file. The best solution to fix this problem is using a good antivirus tool to scan the system and clean the infection from the system. Users are also advised to regularly download and install the updates provided by Microsoft for your version of Windows OS.
Some security software companies also provide a specialized winlogon virus removal tool to specifically remove the winlogon infection. All you need to do is download the winlogon virus removing tool, install it, and run the application to get rid of infection. This method is useful if your antivirus software is unable to get rid of the winlogon.exe infection.