How-To

What is Distnoted.exe and Why is it Running?

Distnoted.exe: Why is it running? Is it safe?

What is distnoted.exe and why it was running on my Windows computer? The good news is that it is NOT a virus.

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

Conclusion

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.


13 Comments

13 Comments

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

  2. T Ya  

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

    • 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
      you.

  3. T Ya  

    and it wont close itself either….

  4. Greg  

    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  

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

  6. Ken  

    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. 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 !

  8. SeducedByChaos  

    so im using my ipod..on windows 8.1 noticed disnoted was tking a lot of my cpu as well and opening multiple disnoted.exe files… just went into my task manager and kept ending the task but it kept coming back..howeever once i loaded (plugged) my ipod in and itunes was fully loaded i ended it..you dont need that running to use a mobile device..infact windows has its own mobile device exe thats runs simultaneously and you dont even need that one either..in my opinion theyre both pointless and take up unwanted cpu that could be used for other better things so i just end the task on both and my ipod and itunes still function great with no problems what so ever..in fact it works better without them since my computer is not going so slow from the lack of memory or cpu caused by those .exe applications..so my advice is to end those tasks..theyre not needed and no harm will come to your devices by ending them either. Hope this helps <3

  9. asd  

    i just kill distnoted activitiy (end task) thru task manager. Distnoted making noise my fan CPU. Why running and never stop automatic?

  10. Calculon  

    this program was causing my cpu to run 20 degrees Celsius hotter. I ended the task and went for 57 to 37 Celsius.

  11. This program DOES NOT stop automatically and it uses 47% of my CPU and it causes my fan to run continuously as others have noted. I have to turn it off manually through task manager.

    You need to get the facts straight on this one!

    • Dave Pearce  

      As above, this has more than 50% of CPU on my Toshiba Notebook (which normally “flies” but it’s killing it. Task Manager, here I come!

      – I don’t intentionally use Apple but I may have set up “something” (a year or more ago….) in order to download/upload with ipad.

      – I’ve started looking… but does anyone know how to delete the (expletive!) thing?

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