What is Distnoted.exe and Why is it Running?

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


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.



  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 !

  8. SeducedByChaos

    July 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    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 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 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 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 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

    August 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

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

  10. Calculon

    August 26, 2015 at 12:41 am

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

  11. Grace Curtis

    October 7, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    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

      December 5, 2015 at 9:20 am

      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?

  12. Ghyslain

    August 7, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Started to have problem with my PC right after I wanted to cancel an app on my iPhone.

    I had to download iTunes, go to iTunes Store (never had a so bad experience has to just cancel an App anywhere). Took me more than an hour and still after the cancellation, I received email from that app company, asking for my credit card info.

    Then my PC started to act weird.
    Right away I did a FixMeStick and FMS found a “distnoted.exe” file and deleted it.

    So, for me, YES that files was a virus and I got rid of it.

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