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What’s winlogon.exe (Windows Logon Application)? Is it safe or a virus?

Ever logon to your Windows PC? Yes... I'm pretty sure everyone does that. So, if you want to keep having the ability to logon to your PC you should make sure you have this important Windows component. if you found this and you're worried it's some kind of virus, you'd be wrong. Here in Austin, Texas at our cybersecurity labs that focus on executable monitoring, we found winlogon.exe is completely safe and necessary for Windows. So, what does it do on your PC? You might have already guessed...

Winlogon.exe is a crucial system process in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It manages the user login and logoff processes, as well as handles the secure attention sequence (SAS) functionality, such as locking the computer and starting the Windows Security dialog. Additionally, winlogon.exe is responsible for launching the user's shell and running user-specific startup programs. It also manages the activation of the screensaver and the system's ability to auto-lock after a period of inactivity.

(Researched by Jon @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about winlogon.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes winlogon.exe (Windows Logon Application)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of winlogon.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is winlogon.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the winlogon.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find winlogon.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 3, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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