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What is Distnoted.exe and Why is it Running?

You’re probably reading this because you did a search for distnoted.exe and wanted to know what it was, and why it was running on your computer. The good news is that it isn’t a virus. This process was created by Apple and runs along side iTunes to provide mobile device support. For more details, read on.

Why is Distnoted.exe in Task Manager?

According to the official Apple kb article, distnoted.exe “allows iTunes to sync with iPhone and iPod touch.” Or in other words, without this process you wouldn’t be able to exchange data between your phone and computer via USB cable.

The distnoted.exe file is stored at:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\distnoted.exe

A look through Process Explorer reveals that distnoted.exe is started by another process, AppleMobileDeviceHelper.exe and triggered by iTunes being open. If iTunes is closed, distnoted.exe usually also closes within a few seconds.

distnoted.exe started by parent process and iTunes

distnoted.exe in process explorer windows 7 or 8


You shouldn’t be worried if you see distnoted.exe running on your computer, unless you’ve never installed iTunes. This process is safe and created by Apple to provide syncing support for iOS devices. It’s best left alone, and it’s system footprint (RAM usage) is low enough that you shouldn’t even notice it running performance wise.

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8 Responses to What is Distnoted.exe and Why is it Running?

  1. Kendalph Vornëar October 10, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Very clear explanation. Many thanks to you.
    – Kendalph –

  2. T Ya January 12, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    its chewing up 51% of my cpu after closing itunes… Why?

    • Jochem Kuijpers January 29, 2013 at 8:06 am #

      probably a crash, just kill the process via task manager. If things go
      bad, log out and log back in to Windows. Should do the trick (might
      start the process again). Try reinstalling iTunes if that doesn’t help

  3. T Ya January 12, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    and it wont close itself either….

  4. Greg January 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    It’s using more than half of my CPU too, and keeps running after iTunes is shut down.

    It’s crazy because I don’t sync to any devices so apparently I don’t needed.

    It’s really crazy because what could it be doing that takes more than half of my CPU? While iTunes is closed….

  5. filosofi February 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    It caused suddenly lag while playing FPS game. Chewed 25% cpu, iTunes wasnt even open.

  6. Ken March 2, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    Distnoted and mobile helper use upto 98% of cpu time slowing my computer almost to a standstill file transfer to my iPhone nearly at a standstill then they have to be stopped manually.

  7. parul kachhwaha March 26, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    I am using window 8.1. Here i am testing with iOS device. I am facing problem with window 8.1 CPU usage its many time hang. From task manager i have found disnoted.exe taking 35% and total usage display 100%. Can you suggest me how to remove this problem ?

    Thank you !

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