You are no doubt reading this article because you are wondering why this dwm.exe process is taking more memory than you think it should, and you are curious what it does. Thankfully for you, we have the answer.
So What Is It Anyway?
Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) is the compositing window manager that gives you all those pretty effects in Windows Vista: Transparent windows, live taskbar thumbnails (that you can resize now), and even the Flip3D switcher that you can disable and replace with Switcher.
What happens in Vista is that applications write the picture of their window to a specific place in memory, and then Windows creates one “composite” view of all the windows on the screen before sending it to your monitor. Because Vista is keeping track of the contents of each window, it can add effects when layering the windows such as the transparency we’re all used to, as well as the live preview thumbnails.
The benefit to using this approach is that Windows Vista can utilize the hardware acceleration features in your video card to create very smooth animations for minimizing and restoring, and even for the transparent effects.
What about Memory Usage?