How to disable the DW20 executable

by Linas Kiguolis - -

Windows users are very likely to get a random dw20.exe error pop-up. So if you are one of them and now wondering what the error means, check out this article. 

how to disable dw20.exe

The dw20.exe process is easily removable if it is the legitimate Office component, however, users can also be dealing with a malicious application masqueraded as the DW20 executable.[1]


The genuine DW20 executable is tied with older versions of Microsoft Office products. The process is an error reporting tool and appears automatically every time when an office programs crash or become unresponsive. 

In addition, this tool enables users to send a crash report to Microsoft. 

The process was removed from ulterior Microsoft Office when the Office 2003 suite was released. The error reporting tool was not a relevant component of any Microsoft Office included software. It has been removed from the Office 2003 more than 10 years ago and no longer supports it.

Security threat? 

The Windows Error Reporting tool DW20 is a relatively old program, so it is easy to check if it is a genuine and legitimate process or a malicious infection.[2]

First of all, users should not see the Windows Error Reporting tool on their systems if they have never installed Microsoft Office 2003, or any of its applications. So if the error window appears even if you do not have any of the Microsoft Office 2003 suite programs, you are probably dealing with malware which camouflages as the dw20.exe process.

If you want to be sure, you have to check the location of the Windows error reporting tool process. In order to do this, you have to open Task Manager at the time when the dw20.exe prompt appears, find the process in the Processes tab.  Further, by right-clicking on the process Open File Location

If the location is C:\\Windows\\Microsoft.Net\\Framework\\\\, then the process is legitimate, however, if it appears to be anywhere else, then you are probably dealing with a malware. We would recommend you scan your system with an antivirus and remove the malware.

Disable the dw20.exe process

If you want to disable the legitimate dw20.exe process, and do not receive popups, the most effective way is to disable it via Registry Editor. In order to do so, follow the following steps:[3]

1. Open a Run window, press Windows key + R, and type ‘regedit’ in a search box. Hit Enter and open Registry Editor

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Policies\\Microsoft\\PCHealth\\ErrorReporting\\DW by using the left pane of Registry Editor and right-click on the right pane and select New > Dword (32-bit) value, rename it as DWReportee and set its value to 1

3. Then again, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\Software\\Policies\\Microsoft\\PCHealth\\ErrorReporting\\DW and do the same, right-click on the right pane, choose New > Dword value, rename it to DWReportee and set the value to 1

3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\Software\\Policies\\Microsoft\\PCHealth\\ErrorReporting\\DW and right-click the right pane to choose New > Dword value, rename it to DWReportee and set the value to 1

4. Do the same with HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\Software\\Microsoft\\PCHealth\\ErrorReporting\\DW, right-click on the right pane and select New > Dword value, rename it to DWReportee and set its value to 1

5. Finally, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\Software\\Microsoft\\PCHealth\\ErrorReporting\\DW and do the same

6. Close Registry Editor and restart the system. The next startup should be started with the Application Error Reporting tool and the prompt will no longer annoy you. 


About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Senior IT developer

Linas Kiguolis is a senior IT developer and news editor at He has a major in Applied Computer Science because IT has been his passion for a very long time even before he went to college.

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