Some users have been wondering about the purpose of tv_w32.exe (or tv_w64.exe) after discovering that the process is using quite a lot of system resources in Task Manager. Although the legitimate tv_w32.exe and tv_w64.exe processes are executables of TeamViewer (which is safe), there have been reports of malware (particularly trojans) that are camouflaging as the two executables in order to avoid security checks.
What is TeamViewer?
TeamViewer is a proprietary software that allows remote control, desktop sharing, file transfer and online meetings between computers. The software package is generally trusted among computer professionals and is known not to contain malware.
Legitimate Component or security threat?
Generally, if you know that the TeamViewer software is installed on your system you can assume that the two executables are legitimate (tv_w32.exe and tv_w64.exe). Even if you didn’t install the software yourself but you used the services of a remote technician, chances are the software was used to repair your computer.
However, there is a malware from the Trojan family (Backdoor.Doksen) that specifically targets these two executables by camouflaging as them in order to avoid being picked up by security systems.
One way to confirm that the executable is not a security threat is to view its location. To do this, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), right-click on the tv_w32.exe or tv_w64.exe executable and choose Open File Location to see where it leads. If the revealed location is different than C:\ Program Files \ TeamViewer \\, you might be dealing with a malware infection. If you’re dealing with a malware (trojan), you can remove the infection by using a reliable antimalware suite. If the built-in solution isn’t enough (Windows Defender), follow our in-depth article (here) on using Malwarebytes to remove the virus infection.
How to remove tv_w32.exe or tv_w64.exe executables?
If you determined that the TeamViewer processes are legitimate, you can take the appropriate steps to remove tv_w32.exe or tv_w64.exe. Deleting only the executable is not viable since the software will automatically recreate the missing component once it needs it.
The best way to make sure that the tv_w32.exe or tv_w64.exe executables are permanently removed from your system is to uninstall the whole TeamViewer suite. To do this, open a Run window (Windows key + R) and type “appwiz.cpl“. Then, scroll down through the Programs and Features list, locate TeamViewer, right-click on it and choose Uninstall. Then follow the on-screen prompts to completely remove the software from your system.
Once the software is removed and your system rebooted, you should no longer see the tv_w32.exe or tv_w64.exe executable in Task Manager.