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What is viewmgr.exe?

From what I have been able to gather, it’s a component of something called “Viewpoint Media Player” that most people feel is some sort of malware. It is apparently installed when you download and install recent versions of AOL Instant Messenger.

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The consensus seems to be that you can uninstall Viewpoint Media Player if you want to. Go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, select it and hit Remove. It seems that the uninstall is less than complete, however, and you’ll probably still need to go looking for the files – search for viewmgr.exe and delete it. (If you can’t delete it, you may need to fire up Task Manager and end the task first: right click on the clock in your task bar, click on Task Manager, locate viewmgr.exe in the Processes tab, right click on it and select End Process. Now you should be able to delete the file.)

Important Update: Much more information on this topic, including comments from a Viewpoint representative, can now be found in the article Is Viewpoint Spyware?.

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Posted: June 14, 2004 in:
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Leo Who?

I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and "retired" in 2001. I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using all this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

59 comments on “viewmgr.exe”

  1. After i removed viewpoint it came back but i found a file in C:\Documents and Settings\bill\Local Settings\Temp\vmgrremok.exe that when i put my mouse pointer over it said “Viewpoint Installer” this program was trying to make a connection to a server when i tried to uninstall viewpoint from add/remove programs. I deleted it and viewpoint has not come back.

  2. Oh, thank you! You were first on the Google result when I punched in “viewmgr.exe”

    I had yesterday installed AIM, which I’ve uninstalled today when I realized that Trillian offered an alternative.

    So when I got the viewmgr.exe message from Symantec, I was suspicious and denied it access. Fortunately, I was right to be suspicious.

  3. Appreciate the info. I was getting the same alert through ZoneAlarm. Went in and removed teh references as per the initial instructions and posts and removed the offending software!

  4. Does anybody knows if viewmgr.exe is related to iTunes? It looks like it started to work in the background after I installed iTunes…


  5. Yea I have a feeling it might be related to iTunes as well. I was browsing itunes when it popped up for me in ZoneAlarm. I currently have denied it access to the web, though it seems more likely to be the new version of AIM as others have conjectured…

  6. Hi all,

    I absolutely remember getting “Viewpoint Manager” when I downloaded “iTunes.” I had upgraded to “AOL 9.0 se,” and did not see it in my “Control Panel,” it was only after I downloaded “iTunes.” However, “iTunes” runs just fine if I block “Viewpoint Manager” from accessing the Internet. But, there’s absolutely no doubt that I got “Viewpoint Manager” with “iTunes.”

    I’m terminally ill and I spend a lot of time at my computer, so I know what comes in when I don’t request it. This da** program is nothing but a pain in the you know what.

    However, if I allow my Norton to block it, I can still do all I want on the web without any problems. The problem is, the da** Norton warning box pop’s up every sub-atomic second I’m online, and can be really annoying.

    Today – after reading a lot of material on “Viewpoint Manager” – I completely blocked it for good. I really hesitate in removing anything on my system without knowing for sure that I won’t have to reload it. My system isn’t exactly a cheap one, and I have a lot of additional programs I have purchased – such as “PowerDVD,” “MusicMatch,” and other really expensive programs, and I’m not about to go through all the re-downloading and trying to find codes again and setting up passwords again if Norton will block it from sending information I don’t want “Viewpoint Manager” to send.

    So, I’m being cautious.

    Should I have additional problems, I will then remove it and hope to God I don’t need to reload my system just to get it to run properly.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you, on this annoying program called, “Viewpoint Manager.”


  7. Thanks guys its a shame that AOL is up to crap like this. My firewall kept warning me about viewmgr.exe and I kept allowing the program to access the internet until I got curious as to why the program needed to access the internet every day. It makes sense that it is indeed malicious spyware. I found the installer and the file folder and deleted the living daylights out of them.

  8. Hi there, and a big “Thank You.”
    Y’all were the 1rst result in a google search on the subject: viewmgr.exe.
    This thing came to life on my machine recently, and to find it linked to AOH*ll doesn’t surprise me.
    They once tried to bill me for 2 months of service that I never asked for, let alone used.
    As in: you get a bill in the mail from them one day for 2 months of service.
    I recently accessed an old aim account the other day and shortly after that zonealarm began reporting that this spy/mal ware was trying to access the ‘net.
    But thanks to this site, it’s all history now.
    However, this could be a good lesson to sever all ties with those aoh*ll people that you might have on your machine.

  9. I don’t have ITunes OR AOHELL and ViewMgr.exe has just recently tried to access the net from my system too.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but problem NOT solved.

    Besides, I can’t understand anyone with 1/2 a brain still using that POS AOHELL anyway!!!

  10. For what it’s worth. I had this program show up right after accessing Toyotas site and downloading the drivers to view a 3D model of a car. So, I’m guessing if you have recently visited a site to view some type of 3D visual, so you could take a tour of an object, you probably got it from there.

  11. I’m not sure that anyone got this with iTunes I think iTunes somehow wakes it up to transmit information. I got the same firewall alerts when using Windows Mediaplayer as well.

    I had viewed a 3d demo of a product on a webpage beforehand and I’m pretty sure that’s where it came from though it seems to have installed without any action required by me. So much for internet explorer’s security enhancements in SP2. (In case you’re wondering I normally use firefox but the 3d demo wouldn’t load in it – maybe this is why).

  12. viewpoint is a plugin (in my case for IE) that allows you to view VML, a pseudo-3D markup language – i installed it on purpose the other day in order to view some content on the Honda Robotics website. it is not spyware. older browsers (or pre-SP2 winXP systems) may install it automatically when you visit a site w/ 3d content.

  13. I’ve been surfing the web on the same computer for about 4 years and suddently ViewMgr.exe started accessing the internet.I deleted it since i dont want anything odd like that running.SpySweeper said it was spyware.If its ligitimate then why does it keep accessing the internet?

  14. Viewpoint is a browser plugin as already stated. It has nothing to do with AOL. It has nothing to do with iTunes.

    It will download as an update with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    It is a 3D viewer.

  15. My IBM T40 was running like molasses in January, added ‘other I/O’ to Win2KPro task manager, to see this program doing 749,000 I/O’s in the past 8 hours. Whatever it is, I’ve removed it.

  16. Thank you to Scott (above). Of all the messages I’ve looked at online, Scott’s mentions Toyota’s website. I recently looked at Scion is a car made by Toyota. That is absolutely how I got it on my system. It keeps popping up because of ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm. I couldn’t trace the reason it started popping up until I finally saw Scott’s message above.

  17. I don’t recall ever agreeing to download anything called viewpoint manager yet it somehow got on my pc like spyware does. It is in my control panel and when you click it it shows a dialog box with two choices(one saying if you want to disable its autoupdate feature and the other about displying a warning every time it has installed a component). If I had to say I’d say it was spyware (but that may be my paranoia kicking in). It also connected to the internet at a very strange time, while I was playing Day of Defeat. Very peculiar since I close all my programs and disable most services to save resources yet somehow it came up.

  18. Either this morning or last night I got a notice from SpyBot telling me something called ViewPoint or ViewManager wanted to change my registry!!!

    This morning Kerio firewall was giving me notices that ViewPOint was trying to connect to the internet to ip (which has something to do with IBM?)

    I don’t know but I don’t like it. I didn’t ask to install anything. And why does it keep asking to connect to the internet? That’s just wrong. I just uninstalled it, but I wish I had run SpyBot first to see what it did with it.

  19. Thanks for the help. I found ViewMgr files installed 19 minutes after the Adobe\Acrobat6.0\Reader\Plugins folder was created. Just enough time to get the plugins installed and get back to whatever pdf I wanted to view. I’ve had ZoneAlarm blocking it from the net, but it’s still running in the background. Don’t like it. Thanks for the assistance in getting rid of it.

  20. i found this site by googling for Viewpoint+forum.

    The reason for my search was, while at, a popup appeared, so i could download “the Viewpoint Media Player”.

    This was after i added to my ‘Trusted’ list.

    i didn’t click ‘install’, so hopefully i avoided another ‘crapware’ ‘auto-install’

    thanks for the warning & thanks for taking the time to put up & maintain this site, i know it takes a lot of effort, but i, & many others, appreciate it


  21. Hi, my name is Mary. We have Norton Anti-virus on our computer and something called ViewMgr.exe keeps trying to get on. Should I allow it in? What is it wanting on for? Please help. I’m now having problems when I’m trying to use Incredimail. The Internet Explorer doens’t want to work right. Is it because I didn’t let this in and pushed “block” instead?
    Please help.
    Mary Beatty

  22. In addition to Viewpoint Media Player, my computer has something called Viewpoint Toolbar. Is the toolbar part of the Viewpoint Media Player, and should I delete it also?

  23. I tried to get rid of viewmgr.exe many times using the control panel add/remove along with the task manager, and it kept failing to get rid of it. Something new would pop up everytime. Thankfully, with the help of my Spybot Search & Destory, I was able to get rid of viewmgr.exe by deleting the Viewpoint Media installer in Spybot’s “Uninstall info” in the advanced mode.

  24. Viewpoint Media Player doesn’t do its drive-by installation just from AIM (which I don’t use). As Mike pointed out on October 24, Adobe Acrobat Reader somehow includes Viewpoint Media Player as part of a plug-in update. Spyware? Well, I would categorize any unauthorized installation of an application, tool, plug-in, or BHO as malware at the least. If I didn’t knowingly authorize the installation, it’s malware.

    As for removal, I had previously encountered Viewpoint Media Player, when running a scan using X-Cleaner, which detected and removed it. However, I recently encountered this malware again over the weekend, while authorizing a download and update of Acrobat Reader. This time, however, X-Cleaner detected ViewpointMedia Player, but could not delete it. In fact, trying to delete it caused X-Cleaner to hang.

    I have since submitted a trouble ticket with, but they have yet to respond. In the meantime, I deleted all files and directories under Program Files (Viewpoint Media Player did not show up in Add/Remove Programs. A subsequent scan by X-Cleaner did not find any traces of Viewpoint Media Player, but I will follow the instructions in this post to ensure I have thoroughly removed all residual files and registry entries.

  25. My wife can trace the presence of her own uniquely identifiable copy of viewpoint.exe back to an aborted attempt at installing some type of program offered by the iTunes website.

    The program installer balked, telling her that it could not install on winME, but viewpoint was installed. AT NO TIME WAS SHE EVER MADE AWARE OF THE INTENT TO INSTALL VIEWPOINT ON HER COMPUTER.

    Some may wish to claim that viewpoint isn’t spyware, but viewpoint uses spyware tactics to get their data mining tool onto consumers’ computers. A defense of viewpoint amounts to mere equivocation, and meaningless distinctions.

    It should be considered the sam as, and removed exactly like, any other piece of spyware.

  26. Hey, ViewPoint may not be spyware but while AIM is set to “Don’t start at startup” ViewMgr does start up. That’s the main issue I have with it. I think Xupiter is easier to deal with.

  27. I don’t use AIM or AOL and have SpyBlaster and Lavasoft Ad-aware on my machine. I’m definitely not a newbie and am very cautious, yet I found Viewpoint on my machine a couple of nights ago. The only thing I’ve downloaded in the last few days are MS patches and an Adobe update.

    So far, I’ve seemed to have rid myself of all the files associated with ViewPoint, but I’m still looking. I just wanted to back up Chuck’s assertion (30 Nov. 2004).

  28. I have norton AV. I was reading news on MSNBC when my browser suddenly slowed, minutes later NAV asked if I wanted to allow viewmgr.exe to connect to a server. I found this site and selected always block in NAV. I was not asked if I wanted to install this, it was forced onto my machine. During the uninstall process, several other programs attempted to install/run. I think that this program may open a vulnerabilty in windows that is being exploited by hackers. Thanks MSNBC for putting this on my machine. Also, thanks hackers for trying to screw me over and getting caught. Avoid this program like the plague, end the process in program manager and uninstall through control panel Add/Remove programs… but first end your internet connection. The uninstall process may trigger futher downloads and headaches.

    Thanks for reading,


  29. ‘The Viewpoint Media Player comes bundled with AOL, AIM, Adobe products and most retail computers sold today.’

    they claim to be harmless……..and they probably are….but still annoying….i’m uninstalling

  30. Unlike some of the other stories here, I didn’t get infected by AIM or iTunes.

    Zonealarm noticed the damn thing trying to access the network. I havent installed ANY software lately – the only thing was the other day, yahoo messenger asked for a web update. I think I allowed it, as I’m on a distributed T3 connection here so things like that are quick enough, and it at least stops the damn thing repeatedly asking.

    Only thing is though, that was more than 1 reboot ago. So I can’t be sure it was yahoo that is responsible in this case, but it certainly wasnt AIM or iTunes in my case.

  31. Check out WinPatrol at I have viewpoint on my computer but it appears to be inactive. It’s not in startups, it’s not running, it is just sitting there. It probably came with Acrobat, and now SunBelt’s Counterspy tells me it is spyware. I’m leaving it. I saw who their clients are and I want to see their ads.

    Big Irv

  32. Installing without permission, using the internet without user intervention to download more stuff,not fully removing itself, leaving it’s control panel registered, leaving it’s auto-downloader in the Run key… all after running their uninstall (after locating via the web, since they did not put it in add/remove programs).

    This is not the behaviour of an honest program. Adobe should be ashamed of themselves. AOL, well, it’s what we expect of AOL, actually.

  33. Like another post mentioned, this was secretly installed by the iTunes music site on my WindowsXP computer. On March 18, I visited iTunes (I am not a customer and will never be now) to listen to a sound clip of a top ten song they made available. A message popped up stating that additional software was needed to play the song on Windows, and I did not agree to install anything and left the site. A day later, ZoneAlarm popped up a message saying that a program called ViewMgr.exe was trying to access the internet, I denied it permission that one time to see if it would try again on a different day. 2 days later, I was trying to transfer data wirelessly between my main PC and my laptop, but the connection kept getting killed for some reason. I tried to copy a file 4 times without success before I finally went to my main computer to see what was wrong. I saw the exact same message notifying me that ZoneAlarm wanted further instruction on whether or not to allow ViewMgr.exe to access the internet. This is when I realized there was malware on my PC. I scanned with the latest definitions using SpyBot S&D as well as Microsoft Anti-Spyware (formerly Giant) and neither program detected ViewMgr.exe as spyware, but it was obviously trying to phone home after seruptitiously installing itself on my PC, so it is in fact spyware. I did a search of my drive and found that a program called Viewmanager had created a directory on my C Drive (I only install programs on my D drive, so I instantly knew it was secretly placed there by a script). I attempted to remove the program from the add/remove program folder and the moment I clicked ‘remove’, ZoneAlarm popped up another message indicating that yet another program (located in the same directory) was trying to access the internet. Of course, I denied it permission and the uninstall went off without a hitch. There is absolutely no LEGITIMATE reason for any program to ever contact a server over the internet because it is about to be removed. I will never again visit iTunes and forget about ever getting an iPod, since Apple lets its affiliates abuse consumers.

  34. forgot to mention why I know it was iTunes that installed the software: The creation date of the viewmanager directory on my C drive corresponded EXACTLY to the date and time that I visited the iTunes music site.

  35. Today I started getting the message that “ViewMgr.exe” was trying to access the internet. The wierd thing is that it would not stop I kept telling Norton Security not to allow it and it kept coming back in a pattern, three times in about a minute then wait about three minutes and then three times and so on. To my knowledge I do not have AOL or AIM on my computer. I did however access a music service called Rhapsody yesterday, I can’t prove this is where it came from because I may have been in to some other sites as well, it was just when Dave mentioned itunes I am thinking possibly this Rhapsody thin. I uninstalled the program from control panel and as someone else mentioned a message came up that some other program was trying to access the internet, unfortunately I did not write it down. So far no other problems.

  36. I also found ViewMgr trying to access the Internet the other day. I did not knowingly install this and do not know how I got it. I do, however, know that I have never downloaded iTunes or other music services but did download Star Downloader (a download assistant to FireFox) and I visited MSNBC and I would be surprised if any of these downloaded ViewMgr but there it is.

  37. Exactly like Dave said the other day, I noticed 2 charges from AOL for like 8 or 9 bucks and I called AOL to see what crap they were pulling this time. They said I agreed to subscribing to I tunes, I don’t even know how to find it. so they said I have to contact some other india based dept of AOL to have it stopped. more AOL BS so anyway, today I had HIGH level alert which I just happend to check in my Zone Alarm and I did the right click on the file path in alerts and logs the details I got were : ViewMgrInstaller A program running on your computer, which either attempted to send an IP packet over the Internet or is waiting for an incoming packet.
    Filename vmgrremok.exe ViewMgrInstaller Program Version 2, 0, 0, 42 Remote IP Address

    somewhere in the Dallas TX area.God !$*%#@%* that @!$%^&* AOL and their @#&%^^% god @##$^%* crap!!

    So I did the Add Remove and now I will go reboot to see what happened to it. Oh, BTW, does anyone know how to remove Quick time? I do the add remove but it stays right in the add remove list and i still can’t ( after 4 months ) remove the damn thing. Anyway, if the viewmgr file is still there then i will hunt it down and use my grenades, RPGs, or what ever other weapon I still have ammo for, if it comes to that. whoa, flashback, lol sorry way too much far cry last night.

  38. I don’t understand all the confusion. The Viewpoint stuff is part of the Adobe Acrobat Atmosphere Player – that’s all. It was an optional update and you chose to install it – or at least that’s what I did after ignoring it for several months.

  39. I’m posting my comment on viewmgr.exe after searching and searching for info on it. I conclude this: I don’t have AOL ,AOL Instant messenger, itunes, or many of the other programmes other forum users have mentioned , but the one thing we seem to have in common is the fact that we have listened to free music clips, mine were listened thru msn music via windows media player 10. Also have listened thru tiscaly,wanadoo and maybe napster. All via windows media player 10 where you can buy music online.The first I saw of this viewpoint player was a popup over my windows player saying it had just updated itself and it would not close or go away until I clicked NO THANKS to updating some search bar or other.

  40. I’m posting my comment on viewmgr.exe after searching and searching for info on it. I conclude this: I don’t have AOL ,AOL Instant messenger, itunes, or many of the other programmes other forum users have mentioned , but the one thing we seem to have in common is the fact that we have listened to free music clips, mine were listened thru msn music via windows media player 10. Also have listened thru tiscaly,wanadoo and maybe napster. All via windows media player 10 where you can buy music online.The first I saw of this viewpoint player was a popup over my windows player saying it had just updated itself and it would not close or go away until I clicked NO THANKS to updating some search bar or other.

  41. I’m posting my comment on viewmgr.exe after searching and searching for info on it. I conclude this: I don’t have AOL ,AOL Instant messenger, itunes, or many of the other programmes other forum users have mentioned , but the one thing we seem to have in common is the fact that we have listened to free music clips, mine were listened thru msn music via windows media player 10. Also have listened thru tiscaly,wanadoo and maybe napster. All via windows media player 10 where you can buy music online.The first I saw of this viewpoint player was a popup over my windows player saying it had just updated itself and it would not close or go away until I clicked NO THANKS to updating some search bar or other.

  42. I got Viewpoint player as a drive by download after visiting a web site called site ask if I wanted to download the player and I checked NO. I got it anyway.
    Removal was a pain. I uninstalled through the control panel then went to program files and deleted the installation folder. Used Registry First Aid to remove the registry entries. My firewall alerted me that a program called vmgrremok.exe was still trying to call home. I ran a file search and found it in temp files. Could not delete it but could rename it to Vmgrremok.old. I could then delete the file. I hope I have seen the last of this program but will continue to check my firewall logs to make sure. I was really annoyed that this program installed after I refused the install. Only malware or spyware would go to great lengths to get installed on on an unspecting user. The program might serve some usefull purpose, however the underhanded way it was installed turned me off.

  43. People slow down. No reason to place the scarlet letter on viewpoint and create mass hysteria.

    Viewpoint was installed on your computer by adobe acrobat (install or update), Aim, Aol, preinstalled by OEMs, or installed when viewing vet content. It accesses the Internet to receive updates. It is the most sophisticated plug-in available. I wish all my apps updated themselves! AOL paid viewpoint corp. 10 million dollars twice to license their tech and Microsoft also paid them 10 million to license their tech for future versions of their OS. The longhorn OS graphics rendering engine is based on viewpoint tech – code named Avalon.

    Viewpoint is not spyware, malware, adware, etc… lol – it is like calling flash, real player, quicktime or windows player spyware. The viewpoint manager is a mini app that runs off the viewpoint media player.

    The VMP is and has been the fortune 500 graphics delivery engine of choice. Also people this is a public company – not some bottom feeder. You all should really spend some time on their site and read all about them. Even call the company if you want. They are a real company – not some hokey pokey shit! I have been a developer for the web ever since aol was on a floppy disk and I have never been more impressed than I am with viewpoint technology. It makes flash look like an animated gif. I am not kidding either. Also, within 3 to 5 years it will be a household name.

    This is thread is proof that people are sick and tired of crapware! So am I! It drives me crazy but Viewpoint is not in that category. As far as graphics go this is the Ferrari of the group.

  44. Viewpoint was used to send trojans into one of my computers, most anti-virus/spyware programs didnt pick it up as a corrupt file. However finally Norton picked up the trojans and AVG anti virus. Needless to say by the time i started to remove the trojans it was too late, once i removed the trojans the day after the hard drive was shot. This is not the first time Viewpoint has messed up one of my computers.


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