How to restart dwm.exe on Windows 8 because it take too much memory

November 2013.


If you're like me, you seldom restart your desktop computers.

When using Windows 8, I noticed that after a few weeks, the Desktop Window Manager process (C:\Windows\System32\dwm.exe) was taking over a gigabyte of memory. I like my memory, but not when it's used to create memory leaks.


Kill it with fire.

Using Process Explorer

  1. Start Process Explorer as administrator.
  2. Kill explorer.exe.
  3. Suspend winlogon.exe.
  4. Kill dwm.exe.
  5. Resume winlogon.exe.
  6. Start explorer.exe.

Using command line

taskkill /IM explorer.exe /F

pssuspend.exe winlogon.exe

taskkill /IM dwm.exe /F

pssuspend.exe -r winlogon.exe



Do NOT do this when logged in remotely using remote desktop.