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What is explorer.exe?

Part of Windows Explorer by Microsoft

What is it?

Windows Explorer also known as File Explorer, is a file manager application and also a navigation tool that is included with releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It provides a graphical user interface for accessing the file systems. It is also the component of the operating system that presents many user interface items on the monitor such as the taskbar and desktop. Located in the C:\Windows directory, it is sometimes referred to as the Windows shell, explorer.exe.
(explorer.exe is a system file that is installed with Windows)
Download Boost (100% FREE) Speed up Windows Explorer and optimize your PC.

How does explorer.exe run?

Process - explorer.exe is an instance of a running program. This 64-bit program executes with the privileges as the currently logged in user account.

How does explorer.exe start?

Shell open command - explorer.exe is typically associtated with identifier name of SHCmdFile with and identifier of C:\Windows\explorer.exe. A Shell Open Command allows for an association of a file extension and a program. This association allows an application to be run when the icon or a context menu item is clicked upon in the Windows Explorer window.
Autoplay handler - explorer.exe is typically associtated with identifier name of MSOpenFolder with and identifier of SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\MSOpenFolder. Autoplay will scan removable media, when it arrives, looking for media content types (music, graphics, or video). When a removable media arrives, Windows determines what actions to perform by evaluating the content and comparing it to registered handlers for that content. An application will register a handler for Autoplay events associated with a media type.
Scheduled task - explorer.exe is launched automatically by registering itself into the Windows Task Scheduler under the task name '{AD36F1D3-E56E-44BA-A569-280718EB8C51}' and is triggered by the Registration action. Task Scheduler provides the ability to schedule the launch of programs or scripts at pre-defined times or after specified time intervals or even with event-based triggers.
Windows Explorer is loaded by:

Community

What is the community is seeing?What is the community is doing?
About 0.2% of all Boost users have the explorer.exe process running.Of the 0.2% of explorer.exe users, less than 1% have disabled it.
How resource intensive is explorer.exe?
Comparison based on the average resource utilization across all programs.
0.00486% CPU48576.9%
Average CPU utilization across all programs is 0.00001%.
98.56 MB RAM457.7%
Average private memory utilization across all programs is 21.53 MB.
324 GDI objects216.0%
Average number of GUI GDI and USER objects for all programs is 150.
230 context switches/sec230.0%
Average context switches for all programs is 100 per second.
Typical file (disk image) location:
C:\windows\explorer.exe

Are there other versions of Windows Explorer?

What modules are loaded?

A module is a dynamic link library (DLL) or an executable file that is loaded into the process. Below is a list of non-system modules that are loaded by Windows Explorer.

What else is related?

What Windows OS versions does this run on?

Windows 8.1 Pro (6.2.9200.0)
Windows 8.1 Single Language (6.2.9200.0)

About Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft More...
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File details

File name: explorer.exe
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation (verified)
Name: Windows Explorer
Description: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Version: 6.3.9600.16384 (winblue_rtm.130821-1623)
Product version: 6.3.9600.16384
Size: 2.22 MB
Original file name: EXPLORER.EXE.MUI
Windows file protection: Yes

Digital certificate

Certificate authority: Microsoft Corporation
Expiration date: 7/9/2013

Resource utilization

CPU utilization averages
Total CPU: 0.0125711174%
Privileged CPU: 0.0077134231%
User CPU: 0.00485769434232%
Privileged CPU time: 26289.06 ms
Privileged CPU time /min: 0 ms
CPU cycle count: 182,288,695
Context switches /sec: 230
Memory utilization averages
Committed memory: 973.71 MB
Peak committed memory: 1.08 GB
Paged memory: 98.56 MB
Peak paged memory: 121.64 MB
Paged system memory: 1.52 MB
Non-paged system memory: 205.45 KB
Working set memory: 146.88 MB
Peak working set memory: 162.19 MB
Min working set memory: 86.31 MB
Private memory: 98.56 MB
Page faults: 489,731
Page faults /min: 0
Process I/O averages
Total read operations: 5,305
Total read transfer: 19.91 MB
Total write operations: 442
Total write transfer: 2.63 MB
Total other operations: 111,462
Total other transfer: 7.43 MB
GUI Object Averages
GDI objects: 324
Peak GDI objects: 644
USER objects: 319
Peak USER objects: 544
Resources
Handle count average: 2,160
Thread count average: 139
Thread resource averages
windows.immersiveshell.serviceprovider.dll
van.dll
ntdll.dll
ntdll.dll
shcore.dll
combase.dll
combase.dll
twinui.dll
mswsock.dll
clr.dll
windows.ui.xaml.dll
wlidprov.dll
sppc.dll
dui70.dll
winmm.dll
uxtheme.dll

Process details

Runs as (owner): User
Integrety level: Medium
Windows platform: 64-bit
System Tray: Yes
Process Command
C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE

Shell open command details

Name: SHCmdFile
Command: C:\Windows\explorer.exe

Autoplay handler details

Name: MSOpenFolderBackup
Command: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\MSOpenFolderBackup

Scheduled task details

CLSID: {AD36F1D3-E56E-44BA-A569-280718EB8C51}
Command: \{AD36F1D3-E56E-44BA-A569-280718EB8C51}

Network connectivity

TCP: db3wns2011113.wns.windows.com on port 49195
TCP: localhost on port 49158

Image hashes

MD5: 8479dc46e9a09015c0777a16bc22a15d
SHA-1: 69a663e65333f5f2b5f4f66e2bd33c61d008a2e6

PE image details

Langauge*: Microsoft Visual C++
File entropy: 5.93423
File packed: No
Import Table
advapi32.dll
api-ms-win-core-atoms-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-com-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-com-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-com-private-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-datetime-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-debug-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-delayload-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-errorhandling-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-file-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-file-l1-2-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-handle-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-heap-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-heap-obsolete-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-interlocked-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-io-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-job-l2-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-kernel32-legacy-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-kernel32-legacy-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-localization-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-localization-l1-2-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-localization-obsolete-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-localization-obsolete-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-memory-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-memory-l1-1-2.dll
api-ms-win-core-path-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-processenvironment-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-processthreads-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-processthreads-l1-1-2.dll
api-ms-win-core-profile-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-psapi-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-registry-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-registry-l2-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-registryuserspecific-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-shlwapi-legacy-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-shlwapi-obsolete-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-sidebyside-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-string-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-string-l2-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-string-obsolete-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-synch-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-sysinfo-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-sysinfo-l1-2-1.dll
api-ms-win-core-threadpool-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-threadpool-legacy-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-timezone-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-winrt-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-winrt-string-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-eventing-classicprovider-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-eventing-controller-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-eventing-provider-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-power-base-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-security-base-l1-2-0.dll
api-ms-win-security-lsalookup-l1-1-1.dll
api-ms-win-service-management-l2-1-0.dll
d3d11.dll
dwmapi.dll
gdi32.dll
gdiplus.dll
kernel32.dll
msvcrt.dll
ntdll.dll
ole32.dll
powrprof.dll
propsys.dll
rpcrt4.dll
secur32.dll
shcore.dll
shell32.dll
shlwapi.dll
slc.dll
sspicli.dll
user32.dll
userenv.dll
uxtheme.dll
wtsapi32.dll
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