Bonjour for Windows: Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Bonjour is Apple's implementation of the Zero Configuration Networking Standard. Bonjour for Windows includes a System Service that helps applications discover shared services on the local network, printer discovery wizard, and IE plug-in for discovering local Web servers.

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Q. Why do I have Bonjour on my Windows system?

If you didn't install Bonjour for Windows manually, the most likely reason is that it was installed by an application that relies on Bonjour functionality. For example:

  • iTunes uses Bonjour to find shared music libraries, to find AirPort Express devices for streaming music to, and to find Apple TVs.
  • Safari uses Bonjour to find devices advertising web pages on your network. Many of today's network printers, network cameras, and wireless gateways provide a web interface for status and configuration, and many of these devices (especially network printers) now advertise those web pages using Bonjour, to make them easily discoverable in Safari.
  • Internet Explorer, via the Bonjour toolbar plugin, also provides easy discovery of Bonjour-advertised web pages.
  • The Bonjour Printer Setup Wizard uses Bonjour to discover and set up Bonjour-advertised network printers.
  • Adobe's Creative Suite 3 applications use Bonjour to discover digital asset management services.

Q. Why is Bonjour a System Service that runs all the time?

The Bonjour System Service runs in the background, and builds a cache of Bonjour-advertised services it sees on the network. This gives two benefits.

  • Network efficiency
    By passively observing the queries and answers generated by other devices on the network, the Bonjour System Service can avoid having to generate its own, thereby conserving network bandwidth.
  • Speed
    When a program such as iTunes asks the Bonjour System Service to discover services or devices on the network, the Bonjour System Service can return the list of results it already knows, giving near-instantaneous results.

Q. Why does my system report Bonjour as spyware/malware?

In order to provide you accurate information about services on your local network, Bonjour needs to run continuously in the background. Some security systems have not yet been updated to recognize Bonjour as legitimate system software.

Q. How can I temporarily turn off the Bonjour System Service?

To stop and start the Bonjour System Service, use the Windows Services applet. Disabling Bonjour is effective until the next reboot, when it starts up again.

Note: Disabling the Bonjour System Service may limit the functionality of programs that use Bonjour.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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