A program called Viewpoint Media Player was suddenly installed on my friend's computer and he was so surprised that he had to call me and ask me if I knew why this program was installed on his computer.
I have never heard of Viewpoint before but did a quick search for viewmgr.exe and Viewpoint Media Player to find out that it can be automatically installed with several programs from AOL and other vendors.
The software Viewpoint Media Player is used for several AOL applications like AIM themes. It comes along with a software called Viewpoint Manager which phones home once a day and a Viewpoint Toolbar. Some anti-spyware applications remove viewmgr.exe but it appears again when the user uses a program that requires it for the next time. It's reinstalled so to speak.
I have two solutions to remove viewmgr.exe and all Viewpoint products from the system. The first is to use a software called Viewpoint Killer which removes all traces from your system. It scans the computer and Registry for Viewpoint references and removes the Viewpoint Manager, the Viewpoint Media Player and the Viewpoint Toolbar.
The second option is a trick that I read at Doug Edelman's blog (please note that I have not tried this).
Open AOL and go to "help" on the toolbar. Select "About AOL". Next is the SECRET STEP. You must then press "CTRL+D" to access a "secret" panel to disable all of the desktop and IM fancy features that are associated with viewpoint. This is the only way to prevent AOL from re-installing Viewpoint at AOL startup.
Many users reported performance gains after removing Viewpoint from their system.
Update: Note that Viewpoint Killer is no longer available. The web page is inactive and there do not appear to be downloads available anymore. I suggest you use the second option instead to get rid of viewmgr.exe on your system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.