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  • Properties:
  • System Process: Yes
  • Background Process: Yes
  • Application Process:Yes
  • Common Path:
    C:\ Windows\ system32\ wins.exe
  • Uses Network:Yes
  • Uses Internet:Yes

The Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) or the wins.exe process is the Windows implementation of the Network Basic Input/output System (NetBIOS) Name Service. The NBNS is a name server and service to provide NetBIOS name resolution on a TCP/IP network. It is broken down into two parts:

The Server Service which manages the actual encoded Jet Database via server to another server replication, service requests, and conflicts;

The IP/TCP Client component that manages the clients registration, renewal of names and takes care of queries.

The wins.exe file provides a distributed database for registering and querying on the network the NetBIOS names mappings to IPv4 addresses. This file is designed to provide the name resolution of NetBIOS in routed IP/TCP networks that have multiple subnets. Thus, without it, you should maintain the Lmhosts file, which maps the NetBIOS names to its corresponding IP addresses for local text hosts situated on remote subnets.

Using the wins.exe process provides client requests for name resolution to be sent directly to a WINS server. If the server can resolve the name, the process wins.exe sends the IPv4 address directly to the client. This way, a broadcast is no longer needed and broadcast traffic is greatly reduced. But if the server of WINS does not possess the precise appropriate mapping, this is the time where in the direct WINS client will be able to use the broadcast in order to have the name resolved.

In order to eliminate the need for local or centralized Lmhosts files, the wins.exe process dynamically updates the WINS database to keep it current by using the DHCP on networks along with the name resolution of NetBIOS. It also provides the computers browsing capabilities across subnets and domains and the list of computers in My Network Places. Aside from this, the wins.exe application provides a way of keeping the client names unique on the network.

Normally, networks have not more than just one WINS server as well as each should actually be in pull/push replication. A pull replication requests updated WINS database entries from other WINS servers at configured interval while a push replication notifies other WINS servers of the need to duplicate their database entries when a specified number of entries have changed.


This is a safe process. There is no necessity to remove this process from your system or change it in any way.