An anonymous visitor asked “Does owstimer.exe host a .NET runtime (Common Language Runtime)?”.


The short answer is yes. The SharePoint Timer Service (owstimer.exe) is a Windows service. Services in Windows must be created in a Windows Service application project or another .NET Framework–enabled project that creates an .exe file when built and inherits from the ServiceBase class. The owstimer.exe was likely compiled using managed as an .exe assembly unmanaged code that runs outside the Common Language Runtime (CLR), but has code that starts the CLR automatically by using the mscoree.dll when the .exe is executed.

For more information about Windows services visit Introduction to Windows Service Applications.

For more information about hosting the Common Language Runtime visit Hosting the Common Language Runtime.

For more information about SharePoint’s owstimer.exe visit SharePoint 2010 Architectures Overview and Creating Custom Timer Jobs.

Thank you for your question and please feel free to follow up with any additional questions you may have about the SharePoint Timer Service.


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About Author

Christine Weaver has been the technical lead on projects designing, developing, deploying, supporting, and delivering solutions for SharePoint since 2003. Christine’s knowledge and experience leans heavily on her 10+ years as a software consultant and from being a Microsoft certified professional. Christine has been a regular presenter at TechDays Canada and runs the Halifax SharePoint User Group.


  1. Owstimer.exe isn’t a native managed process. It does however host a .Net runtime in order to execute jobs implemented in managed code.

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