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Windows 7: Windows Mail (Winmail.exe) Loads at Startup

05 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Windows Mail (Winmail.exe) Loads at Startup

I understand that Windows Mail does not run on Windows 7, even though the executable is in c:\program files\windows mail\winmail.exe. (It's a hidden file.) Not sure why the executable is still there, but that's not my question.

According to Microsoft/Sysinternals Autoruns, winmail.exe is loading at startup. Is it safe to prevent Windows Mail from loading at startup? (It means backing up the applicable registry keys and then deleting them.)

Before I go ahead and do this, I just want to be sure that I won't be causing myself a problem.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Daddyman,

No, by default winmail.exe should not be running at startup. It should be fine to remove it, but if you like, you could just disable it and test first to see if there are any problems with doing so.

Startup Programs - Change

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

I disabled starting winmail.exe (with AutoRuns) and nothing bad happened. I'll leave things that way for a few days, and if there continue to be no problems I'll permanently prevent winmail from running at startup. Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Sep 2011   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're most welcome. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2015   #5
Microsoft MVP


I just used AutoRuns for the first time on my Surface Pro 3 and noticed that the hidden/system file C:\Program Files\Windows Mail\WinMail.exe is loading on startup. I don't see it in task manager, and running the executable myself doesn't seem to do anything and it immediately exits, not at all unlike progman.exe in Windows XP SP2 (before SP2 you could actually run Program Manager on Windows XP), or write.exe alias on all versions of Windows from 95 onward.

So no idea why it's there, but I'd but it's for backwards compatibility with programs that were written to need it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Mail (Winmail.exe) Loads at Startup

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