Disable wmpnetwk.exe in Windows 7

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Microsoft‘s Windows media player is the default media player for all Windows operating system. Many users might be using this as there media player apart from other third party software’s like VLC media player, GOM player, etc. But, if you are the one who is fond of using third party software over Windows Media player (WMP), then you need to disable wmpnetwk.exe. Follow the tutorial why and how to disable the wmpnetwk.exe.

disable wmpnetwk.exe windows 7

Before moving on to disabling procedures, firstly let us know what exactly wmpnetwk.exe is and why it is needed to be disabled. wmpnetwk.exe is a process of Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service in Windows, which runs as background services and enables network sharing. As we know there are lots of background services and dlls running in Windows, wmpnetwk.exe is one such process.

The drawback of wmpnetwk.exe is that it consumes a lot of CPU resource i.e. up to 5-10MB memory and sometimes the resource usage might go beyond 80%. To prevent the high usage of CPU resource, it is necessary to put an end to the process if you are not using the network sharing feature.

It is sometime mistaken as a malware or any form of virus by many users. But, it is a service used to share Windows Media player libraries to other networked players and media devices using universal plug and play.

You can check for the process under process tab in Windows Task Manager by holding Ctrl+Shift+Esc. If wmpnetwk.exe is taking a lot of system resources, then it indicates that something is wrong. So, the best way to get rid of this problem is to disable this service once and for all.

How to Disable wmpnetwk.exe

To disable the wmpnetwk.exe, you need to go to services in Windows. Follow the steps below to achieve this.

  • Open RUN Dialog box by pressing Win Key +R or by going into the Search Menu and type services.msc and hit enter
  • Now, search for the Windows Media player network sharing services in the Services Window
  • Upon getting the service, right click on it and then select stop from the context menu

stop windows media player sharing service

  • Finally, Restart the system.

But there are possibilities that the service might again start up automatically upon restarting your system. To avoid the problem to get enabled automatically upon restarting the system, for this you need to make the service to start manually. To do so, Right click on the service name and select properties. Under the properties, select the General tab and set the start up type as manual. Now, Click OK and exit the services.

Windows Media Player Network Sharing Startup

Upon completion of the above mentioned steps, you will be prompted to start the service only manually and will not be available in the task manager.

Disabling the service will reduce the high CPU usage. This problem may be affecting a very small number of users only and is not something Microsoft is planning to resolve in the upcoming service pack. If you are using third party software other than WMP then you can always disable this service to save system resources and increase the system performance.


Priyanka contributes to the Computer and Gadgets section on Techcular.

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