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Is wmpnscfg.exe safe and how to fix wmpnscfg.exe issues?

By Eunice Samson | February 6, 2019 |

greater than 5 minutes

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When you start to notice that your PC is performing slower than usual, you might instinctively open the Task Manager to see what’s using up so much system memory. It is possible that you’ll see Wmpnscfg.exe and wonder if it is safe. Well, you should know that it is an essential Windows Media Player process. However, this executable file can be compromised and used by hackers to spread malware on a device.

It is true that the error message associated with Wmpnscfg.exe does not illustrate high CPU usage. However, you might notice it reappearing whenever you try to close the error text. Executable files like this carry essential information that developers provided for opening a program. They are crucial Windows components, and the operating system will not function properly without them.

These days, people who develop viruses take advantage of this feature to push malware into computers. Since the Wmpnscfg.exe error noticeably affects the performance of your PC, you need to fix it immediately.

Don’t worry if you share the same problem. In this post, we are going to teach you how to fix Wmpnscfg.exe issues on Windows 10. Moreover, we will give you a background of the problem. This way, you will be able to prevent it from coming back.

What is Wmpnscfg.exe?

If a new media file opens across an entire network while running Windows Media Player, Wmpnscfg.exe will use the System tray to send a notification to the user. Clicking that notification will instruct your system to launch Windows Media Player again, prompting it to share that particular file. It is essential to know that the primary function of Wmpnscfg.exe is to allow Media Player Network Sharing. Basically, it lets you share a media file from your computer to a third-party network, such as Xbox 360.

As we’ve mentioned, this process can get compromised. Virus developers can disguise malware under the name of valid executable files like Wmpnscfg.exe. Most of the time, they are distributed across dodgy websites and spam e-mails. Once you click the link, malware can find its way into your computer, making your system unstable. As such, before you download any type of executable file, we recommend you scan it with a powerful antivirus like Auslogics Anti-Malware.

What Causes the Wmpnscfg.exe Error on Windows 10?

Apart from a malware attack, there are other reasons why the Wmpnscfg.exe error occurs. Here are some of the events responsible for causing the issue:

  • The registry keys associated with Wmpnscfg.exe or MSDN Disc 3715 have been corrupted.
  • You’ve installed a similar program with a process that may conflict with Wmpnscfg.exe.
  • You’ve unknowingly erased Wmpnscfg.exe and other executable files.
  • The program you recently installed got rid of executable files like Wmpnscfg.exe.
  • You were not able to download the components and reference files of Windows updates successfully.
  • The uninstallation of a program file was forcibly cancelled.

Here are some of the error messages that accompany Wmpnscfg.exe:

  • Wmpnscfg.exe is not a valid Win32 application.
  • Wmpnscfg.exe Application Error.
  • Cannot find Wmpnscfg.exe.
  • Windows failed to start – exe.
  • Error starting program: Wmpnscfg.exe.
  • Faulting Application Path: Wmpnscfg.exe.
  • Wmpnscfg.exe is not running.
  • The file “Wmpnscfg.exe” is missing or corrupt.
  • Wmpnscfg.exe failed.

How to Tell If an EXE File Is Disguised as Malware

Just by looking at an executable file, you will not be able to tell if it is malware in disguise or a valid Windows process. However, there is one quick way to find out:

  1. On your keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Doing so will launch the Task Manager.
  2. Now, go to the Processes tab.
  3. Right-click Wmpnscfg.exe and choose Open File Location from the options.

File Explorer should lead you to this path: C:\Windows\System32. If this is the case, then there is nothing to worry about because the EXE file is a legitimate Windows component. However, if you see a different file location, then it means the executable file is malware in disguise.


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How to Fix Multiple Instances of Wmpnscfg.exe Slowing Down My PC

As we’ve mentioned, Wmpnscfg.exe can affect the performance of your PC. So, it is essential that you fix it immediately. We’ve put together a list of solutions that will teach you how to fix Wmpnscfg.exe issues on Windows 10. Work your way down the methods until you discover the one that will help you resolve the issue permanently.

Solution 1: Terminating the Process via the Task Manager

Keep in mind that the first solution we will provide is just a temporary workaround. Moreover, it won’t keep the Wmpnscfg.exe issue from coming back. However, if you have urgent things to do and you need to get the error out of the way immediately, this will do. Here are the steps.

  1. Launch the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
  2. Once the Task Manager is up, click More Details.
  3. Go to the Details tab.
  4. Select Wmpnscfg.exe, then click the End Task button.

Solution 2: Performing a Full Virus Scan

Windows 10 has a built-in security tool that you can use to protect your device from common viruses and malware. You can also use this program to get rid of the Wmpnscfg.exe error. Simply follow the instructions below:

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  2. Type “Windows Defender Security Center” (no quotes).
  3. Click Windows Defender Security Center from the results.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu, then select Virus & Threat Protection.
  5. Click the ‘Run a new advanced scan’ link.
  6. On the new page, select Full Scan.
  7. Click Scan Now.

Keep in mind that the process may take a while to complete. That said, it is still possible for Windows Defender to miss threats, especially when they are more intricately developed. As such, we recommend running another full scan, using Auslogics Anti-Malware. This security program can detect threats that your main antivirus may miss. It can spot malware no matter how discreetly it runs in the background. What’s more, Auslogics Anti-Malware has been designed not to conflict with Windows Defender.

Solution 3: Disabling the Network Sharing Service for Windows Media Player

Since Wmpnscfg.exe is associated with Windows Media Player, disabling the program’s Network Sharing service might help you get rid of the error. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key+R on your keyboard to launch the Run dialog box.
  2. Once the Run dialog box is open, type “services.msc” (no quotes), then click OK.
  3. Now, you need to find the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service in the Services window. Scroll down until you locate it.
  4. Double-click the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.
  5. Make sure you are on the General tab.
  6. Click the drop-down list beside Startup Type.
  7. Select Disabled from the options.
  8. Click Apply and OK to proceed.

Solution 4: Running the System File Checker

The System File Checker (SFC) is a Windows utility that allows you to identify and repair corrupted, damaged, or missing system files. To resolve the Wmpnscfg.exe error, you can try running an SFC scan. Here are the steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S.
  2. Type “Command Prompt” (no quotes), then right-click Command Prompt from the results.
  3. Select Run as Administrator from the options.
  4. Now, type “sfc /scannow” (no quotes), then press Enter.

The System File Checker will take a couple of minutes to identify and repair damaged system files. Make sure you do not interfere with the process.

We’re certain that there are more methods for resolving the Wmpnscfg.exe error.

If you know one, please do not hesitate to share it in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.


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