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WINWORD.EXE *32 in Task Manager

I often see WINWORD.EXE *32 in the Task Manager process display using 50% of the CPU. There is no office program running. The location for the .exe derived from task manager is :
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
Is this a virus?
Frank C


Staff member
Vista Guru
Gold Member
That is a a legit Word process, but only when Word is running. I would run a full anti virus scan and download and run a full scan with malwarebytes. If these are negative make sure that Word is not active and see if the process is still present.

Taken from File.net
Some malware camouflage themselves as winword.exe, particularly if they are located in c:\windows or c:\windows\system32 folder. Thus check the winword.exe process on your pc whether it is pest.
Thanks for the reply Richc46 and Patonb
I ran Malware Bytes.There were no viruses found. I have the complete AVG internet security running all of the time. I also have Spybot resident active. I do not see the exe this morning after a overnight shutdown. I did run a short Word test. When I closed Word the Winword.exe was not present. I will try to determine what events cause Winword.exe to launch and report back.
Patonb, I use Thunderbird for Email. My ISP is Verizon
Frank C
I encountered this phenomenon again today
The occasion was printing Auto Insurance cards from my insurance company (USAA), they were in PDF format. There were two occasions of Winword,exe*32. One at 50% CPU and one at 48% CPU. Stopping the application with Task manager did not clear them. Stopping the two processes did clear them.

This is a mystery to me
Frank C
I think I have isolated the event where WINWORD.EXE.*32 is not closed when Word is closed. This happens when I am using Word to prepare a label or envelope for mailing.
Word > Mailings Create Labels > Click Book symbol to access Outlook addresses > Choose Profile -Outlook > OK > Show names from Contacts > select required name.
Now, when I close Word and look at Task Manager WINWORD.EXE.*32 is still running. If I repeat the entire process I get another copy of WINWORD.EXE.*32. The CPU will now be close to 100%.
My Microsoft Office (including Word) is 2007. However My Outlook is 2003. A new outlook did not come with office 2007.
There is probably no fix for this. I will just have to remember to check task manager and close WINWORD.EXE.*32 after doing a mailing.
Frank C