What is javaw.exe? Should I remove it?

by Linas Kiguolis - -

Javaw.exe is a legitimate system file that can be used to spread threats 

Javaw.exe is a legitimate executable used by Java Runtime software, published by Sun Microsystems.[1] Therefore, do not be surprised if your Task manager is displaying this file if you previously installed any product from Java – even if you removed it. Nevertheless, some applications running Java might get jeopardized because of the incorrect uninstallation – that is when users encounter problems and various error messages. 

Name javaw.exe
Type System files
Relation Java Runtime Environment, JVM, JDK.
Danger level File itself is not harmful but it can be replaced or mimicked by malware
Elimination Removal is only needed if the file is malicious. In that case, use Reimage

Just like any other executable file, Javaw.exe can be abused by cybercriminals. Malware[2] is known to replace or duplicate legitimate file, mimicking it. And, because some trojans, spyware, keyloggers and other malicious software might lack symptoms completely, making it hard to detect and eliminate.

However, if you use reputable anti-malware software (such as Reimage or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus) and keep it up to date, you can be sure that no cyberthreats are affecting your machine. That being said, do not remove javaw.exe process manually, unless you know what you are doing and you are sure that this file has relation to malicious processes. 

Java Runtime is required by many websites and the main Java application. So an error window might appear, displaying the following message:

Windows cannot find 'javaw.exe'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

The easiest way to fix this error is by downloading and reinstalling Java. Otherwise, you should go to Task manager > Startup and check if Java is there. If it is, uncheck it, close down the task manager and see if the problem persists.

To conclude, Javaw.exe is not malicious in its original form. Nevertheless, the executable could be replaced by malware, and you most likely to see multiple instances running in the task manager. Another red flag is the location of the file – check if it resides in C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. If not, beware. Finally, scan your computer with anti-malware software to be sure.

Malware spreads using deceptive techniques – and you should be aware of them

Malware can spread via various deceptive methods, and you should take some preventive actions to stop it. The following are the most prominent virus distribution practices:

  • file-sharing sites, such as peer-to-peer ones;
  • email attachments;
  • fake software updates;
  • via weak RDP

So if you open an attachment from a spam email or download illegal content, you are at a higher risk of malware infection. Lesvirus.fr[3] notes that you should be while browsing the internet. It does not matter if you are opening a legitimately-looking email or search the web, beware that danger may be behind every click.

Elimination javaw.exe malware

Javaw.exe removal is not mandatory if the application is legitimate, as many sites still rely on Java to display the content. However, if the file is malicious, we suggest you immediately get rid of it. 

We do not recommend you tamper with system files and try to eliminate it by yourself. Better trust Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus and Malwarebytes Anti Malware for the job, as this security software is designed to detect and eliminate even the most robust computer parasites. Alternatively, you can use any software of your liking. But please make sure that it is legitimate first.

Finally, if the virus doesn't allow you to remove Javaw.exe, you should reboot your machine and enter Safe Mode with Networking.

verdict - status of the file:
diagnosis required
Advice: If your computer seems sluggish, or you are suffering from unwanted advertisements and redirects to unknown websites, we highly recommend you to scan it with reputable anti-spyware program. Do some FREE scan tests and check the system for unwanted applications that might be responsible for these problems.
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About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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