rwinsta.exe | Part Of Windows Reset Session Utility

Like many executable files on this site, rwinsta.exe is indispensable for the proper operation of the Windows Operating System. But also, as with many other .exe files, PC users can feel a bit alarmed when they see them pop up as error messages.

That’s because a file with a .exe extension could just as well be associated with spyware or malware.

That’s not the only concern we have with a (.exe) file. Sometimes, these files popup as error messages. They could be corrupted and affect the regular operation of windows, or mess up the execution of a related application.

When such messages appear, no need to panic as rwinsta.exe is part of Windows reset session utility.

Luckily, there are several ways to check its authenticity, fix it, or even delete it. Read on to know all about this file, the most common issues related to it, and the best ways to troubleshoot them.      

What Is rwinsta.exe?

Is rwinsta.exe safe?

This executable file is associated with the reset process utility. It’s a subcategory of the more comprehensive WIN32.exe files. It was among the OS software developed by Microsoft in a series of updates from the 2000s till now.

rwinsta.exe first appeared in Windows XP around 2001. Its latest update came about in 2015 in Windows 10, but similar attributes were also in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, where the rwinsta.exe runs various utilities.

Typically, you wouldn’t come across this file at all. But if you did, then that must’ve been in an error message. And chances are, it was while running Windows or a program in that operating system.

Don’t worry, it’s all fixable. But first, let’s make sure this error is not prompted by malware.    

How Can You Tell Whether rwinsta.exe Is Legit Or A Virus?

Plenty of users think that you need to be computer-savvy to answer this question and deal with its consequences. In fact, you don’t.

Just follow the simple procedure we’ll talk about in a jiffy, and you’ll be able to tell the good files from the wicked ones.

Check the Location of the rwinsta.exe File

Spyware and malware are often smuggled in odd locations. This contrasts sharply with good executable files that fit neatly in places that make sense.

In this case, you should expect the rwinsta.exe file to be in a location that has a similar path to this one:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Corporation\Windows 10 Operating System\rwinsta.exe

But here you’d ask a rational question: how do I find the path? That’s seriously easy. Just follow these steps.

Step 1: Open the task manager

Step 2: Look for ‘View’

Step 3: Select ‘Columns’

Step 4: Click on ‘Image Path name’

Step 5: Take a look again at the task manager. It should have a new column with the path of a process

Step 6:  If you find a path that doesn’t resemble the one we gave above, then you need to inspect that file.

Step 7: If no such thing appears, then your PC is in good shape. You have nothing to worry about.

Check the Signature Verification

Checking the File Signature Verification is one of the smartest tricks we have to spot the wicked malware. It’s also a piece of cake, and takes a few minutes to do. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Run the Microsoft Process Explorer. It doesn’t need setting up or anything, just click on it, and it’s ready for action.

Step 2: Go to ‘Options’

Step 3: Select ‘Check legends’

Step 4: Go to ‘View’

Step 5: Click on ‘Columns’

Step 6: Add ‘Verified Signer’

Step 7: Look at the description of the process in that new column

Step 8: If it says ‘Unable to Verify’, then there’s a high possibility that this process is part of a malware intrusion. But bear in mind that it could also be an unverifiable legit process from Windows. This happens from time to time. 

Check The Size Of The rwinsta.exe File

The size of a file can also be a neat indicator of whether or not it’s authentic.

The genuine rwinsta.exe file should have a size of up to 17408 bytes. How do you find that piece of data? Again, go to the task manager, and find the location of the file. When you click on it, you’ll get all the data you need. Including the size.

If you read out a very different value from the 17408 bytes, then that’s definitely a reason for concern.

So what if one of the above parameters blinks red and points at a culprit? The location, verification, size, or all three of them could call out that this is indeed a virus. Then what?

Keep reading, we’ll sort this out in the next section.

What if It’s a Virus?

What if rwinsta.exe is a virus?

In this day and age, viruses are quite common. Luckily, Antiviruses are just as widespread. There were times when combating malware was a bit deficient, but recently this gap has narrowed down significantly.

It should be noted though, that an executable file that’s a part of malware, often has a defensive mechanism. It would reinstall itself whenever you take it out. That’s why trying to delete the file is rarely sufficient.

Using the right kind of Antivirus is crucial to the success of weeding out the intruding malware.    

How To Remove The rwinsta.exe File?

If you’re not 10000% sure that the rwinsta.exe file is malicious, then you shouldn’t attempt to remove it. It might be a part of the normal operating system, or a regular program. Deleting this file would almost certainly disrupt the operation of your software.

The best way to make sure that this file is bugged is by scanning it. If it’s flagged, the antivirus would most probably remove it automatically. In addition to the rest of its attachments, of course.

If for any other reason, you see the need to remove the rwinsta.exe file, you might need to uninstall Windows 10 or 8 entirely, then reinstall it. 

Other Error Messages That Involve rwinsta.exe

“rwinsta.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

Have you ever seen this error message? Chances are, you have. And it’s certainly inconvenient! Here are a few more error messages you might encounter:

“rwinsta.exe not found.”

“Error starting program: rwinsta.exe.”

“rwinsta.exe failed.”

“rwinsta.exe is not a valid Win32 application.”

These annoying messages would pop up in as you do one of the following activities:

  • While installing a new program
  • As you run an app
  • At the startup of Windows
  • As you shutdown Windows
  • When you reinstall Windows

Here’s a pro tip: to troubleshoot your system effectively, you should write down when exactly the problem occurred? And what was the process running at the time. 

So what exactly are you supposed to do in these cases? There’s a way to prevent them from happening in the first place, which is keeping your system updated at all times. This eliminates corrupted files, and minimizes performance hitches like the ones listed above.

Once they do start to occur, then don’t panic. There’s a way to fix rwinsta.exe, without needing to uninstall and reinstall windows. Keep reading!

How to fix the rwinsta.exe file?

You wouldn’t really be fixing the rwinsta.exe file specifically. Rather, you’d be fixing up your whole system. And as you do that, most errors and glitches get ironed out, and your PC once again runs like a well-oiled machine.

Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a good Antivirus and scan your system for malware
  • Enable the Windows Auto Update feature
  • Clean the hard disk from clanky junk files
  • Uninstall dysfunctional, obsolete, shady, or surplus programs
  • Set recovery points for the system

If all this fails to fix the rwinsta.exe file and get it back on track, then you’d need to uninstall Windows, and put it back on. No worries, it’s not that painful. And it gets your PC running like a wild horse!


Reading the (.exe) extension anywhere on the screen, usually raises some suspicion. That’s not overreacting at all. And most of us have experienced matware and the havoc it could do to our computers. That’s why, it’s always best to be safe than sorry.

So take a closer look at the file’s location, size, and verification. If it checks out fine, you’re good to go, if not, we’ve detailed all the right moves to fix it.

Lastly, keep your system happy and well by scanning it often, cleaning up the clutter, and keeping the system files updated.  

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