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What is shell32.dll?

Part of Windows Shell Common Dll by Microsoft

What is it?

The Windows common shell DLL files (such as Shell32) are operating system (OS) files that contain vital information about the OS and your PC's hardware configuration. The Windows shell is the main graphical user interface in Microsoft Windows, today hosted by Windows Explorer. The Windows shell includes well-known Windows components such as the Taskbar and the Start menu.
Description of shell32.dll from Microsoft
The Windows shell desktop is an array of icons, rendered behind all open windows and taking up the space left by the taskbar.
(shell32.dll is a system file that is installed with Windows)
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How does shell32.dll run?

Process - shell32.dll is an instance of a running program.

How does shell32.dll start?

Shell open command - shell32.dll is typically associtated with identifier name of msstylesfile with and identifier of C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL C:\Windows\system32\desk.cpl desk,@Appearance /ActioC:OpenMSTheme /filC:"%1". 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.
Context menu handler - shell32.dll is typically associtated with identifier name of Open With. Windows Explorer displays a context menu for a file object when it is clicked with the right mouse button. This context menu allows various operations to be performed on the file object from within Explorer, like printing it or opening it with another program.
Search handler - shell32.dll is typically associtated with identifier name of ShellSearch. The Shell supports several search utilities that allow users to locate namespace objects such as files or printers. You can create a custom search engine and make it available to users by implementing and registering a search handler.
Autoplay handler - shell32.dll is typically associtated with identifier name of MSCDBurningOnArrival with and identifier of SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\MSCDBurningOnArrival. 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.
Copy hook handler - shell32.dll is typically associtated with identifier name of FileSystem. Normally, users and applications can copy, move, delete, or rename folders with few restrictions. A program that implements a copy hook handler can control whether these operations take place. For instance, a copy hook handler can prevent critical folders from being renamed or deleted.
Approved shell extension - shell32.dll has a CLSID (globally unique identifier) of {3c2654c6-7372-4f6b-b310-55d6128f49d2} with and identifier of Alphabetical Categorizer. When the system detects that the user is downloading an external program that runs as part of the Windows user interface, the system searches for a digital certificate or requests that the user approve the action. If you enable this policy, Windows only starts approved programs.
Internet Explorer web browser - shell32.dll has a CLSID (globally unique identifier) of {0E5CBF21-D15F-11D0-8301-00AA005B4383}. An IE Web Browser application supplements some of Internet Explorer's user interface components for browsing by adding additional features that interact with the Internet Explorer Browser. This is accomplished by utilizing Internet Explorer's layout and rendering engine and extending it.

Community

What is the community is seeing?What is the community is doing?
About 0.1% of all Boost users have the shell32.dll process running.Of the 0.1% of shell32.dll users, less than 1% have disabled it.
How resource intensive is the loaded module shell32.dll?
Comparison based on the average resource utilization across all programs.
          0.00014917% CPU12.4%
Average thread CPU utilization across all loaded modules is 0.00120%.
Typical file (disk image) location:
C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll

Are there other versions of Windows Shell Common Dll?

What else is related?

What Windows OS versions does this run on?

Windows 8.1 (6.2.9200.0)
Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (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: shell32.dll
Publisher: Microsoft Corporation (verified)
Name: Windows Shell Common Dll
Description: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Version: 6.3.9600.17031 (winblue_gdr.140221-1952)
Product version: 6.3.9600.17031
Size: 20.24 MB
Original file name: SHELL32.DLL.MUI
Windows file protection: Yes

Digital certificate

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

Resource utilization

Total CPU: 0.0001491699%
Privileged CPU: 0.0000438119%
User CPU: 0.0001053580%
CPU Cycle count /sec: 3,681
Module memory size: 20.09 MB

Shell open command details

Name: themefile
Command: C:\Windows\system32\rundll32.exe C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL C:\Windows\system32\desk.cpl desk,@Themes /ActioC:OpenTheme /filC:"%1"

Context menu handler details

CLSID: {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

Search handler details

Name: ShellSearch

Autoplay handler details

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

Copy hook handler details

Name: FileSystem

Approved shell extension details

CLSID: {1531d583-8375-4d3f-b5fb-d23bbd169f22}
Command: Window TXT Preview Handler

IE web browser details

CLSID: {0E5CBF21-D15F-11D0-8301-00AA005B4383}

Image hashes

MD5: 06070d4cc64300d473c55abdc887b63c
SHA-1: 6c50a55b713d1755fb5a7dc033d480061652b8bd

PE image details

Subsystem: Windows GUI
Langauge*: Microsoft Visual C++
File entropy: 6.24730
File packed: No
Import Table
api-ms-win-core-debug-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-errorhandling-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-file-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-handle-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-heap-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-interlocked-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-io-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-localization-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-localregistry-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-memory-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-misc-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-processenvironment-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-processthreads-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-profile-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-string-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-synch-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-core-sysinfo-l1-1-0.dll
api-ms-win-security-base-l1-1-0.dll
gdi32.dll
kernel32.dll
kernelbase.dll
msvcrt.dll
ntdll.dll
shlwapi.dll
user32.dll
Export Table
appcompat_rundllw
assoccreateforclasses
assocgetdetailsofpropkey
cdeffoldermenu_create2
checkescapesw
cidldata_createfromidarray
commandlinetoargvw
control_rundll
control_rundlla
control_rundllasuserw
control_rundllw
dad_autoscroll
dad_dragenterex
dad_dragenterex2
dad_dragleave
dad_dragmove
dad_setdragimage
dad_showdragimage
dllcanunloadnow
dllgetclassobject
dllgetversion
dllinstall
dllregisterserver
dllunregisterserver
doenvironmentsubsta
doenvironmentsubstw
dragacceptfiles
dragfinish
dragqueryfile
dragqueryfilea
dragqueryfileaorw
dragqueryfilew
dragquerypoint
drivetype
duplicateicon
extractassociatedicona
extractassociatediconexa
extractassociatediconexw
extractassociatediconw
extracticona
extracticonex
extracticonexa
extracticonexw
extracticonw
findexecutablea
findexecutablew
freeiconlist
getcurrentprocessexplicitappusermodelid
getfilenamefrombrowse
ilappendid
ilclone
ilclonefirst
ilcombine
ilcreatefrompath
ilcreatefrompatha
ilcreatefrompathw
ilfindchild
ilfindlastid
ilfree
ilgetnext
ilgetsize
ilisequal
ilisparent
illoadfromstreamex
ilremovelastid
ilsavetostream
initnetworkaddresscontrol
internalextracticonlista
internalextracticonlistw
islfndrive
islfndrivea
islfndrivew
isnetdrive
isuseranadmin
launchmshelp_rundllw
openas_rundll
openas_rundlla
openas_rundllw
openregstream
options_rundll
options_rundlla
options_rundllw
pathcleanupspec
pathgetshortpath
pathisexe
pathisslowa
pathissloww
pathmakeuniquename
pathqualify
pathresolve
pathyetanothermakeuniquename
pickicondlg
pifmgr_closeproperties
pifmgr_getproperties
pifmgr_openproperties
pifmgr_setproperties
preparediscforburnrundllw
printersgetcommand_rundll
printersgetcommand_rundlla
printersgetcommand_rundllw
readcabinetstate
realdrivetype
realshellexecutea
realshellexecuteexa
realshellexecuteexw
realshellexecutew
regenerateuserenvironment
restartdialog
restartdialogex
runasnewuser_rundllw
setcurrentprocessexplicitappusermodelid
shadddefaultpropertiesbyext
shaddfrompropsheetextarray
shaddtorecentdocs
shalloc
shappbarmessage
shassocenumhandlers
shassocenumhandlersforprotocolbyapplication
shbindtofolderidlistparent
shbindtofolderidlistparentex
shbindtoobject
shbindtoparent
shbrowseforfolder
shbrowseforfoldera
shbrowseforfolderw
shchangenotification_lock
shchangenotification_unlock
shchangenotify
shchangenotifyderegister
shchangenotifyregister
shchangenotifyregisterthread
shchangenotifysuspendresume
shclonespecialidlist
shclsidfromstring
shcocreateinstance
shcreateassociationregistration
shcreatedataobject
shcreatedefaultcontextmenu
shcreatedefaultextracticon
shcreatedefaultpropertiesop
shcreatedirectory
shcreatedirectoryexa
shcreatedirectoryexw
shcreatefileextracticonw
shcreateitemfromidlist
shcreateitemfromparsingname
shcreateitemfromrelativename
shcreateiteminknownfolder
shcreateitemwithparent
shcreatelocalserverrundll
shcreateprocessasuserw
shcreatepropsheetextarray
shcreatequerycancelautoplaymoniker
shcreateshellfolderview
shcreateshellfolderviewex
shcreateshellitem
shcreateshellitemarray
shcreateshellitemarrayfromdataobject
shcreateshellitemarrayfromidlists
shcreateshellitemarrayfromshellitem
shcreatestdenumfmtetc
shdefextracticona
shdefextracticonw
shdestroypropsheetextarray
shdodragdrop
shechangedira
shechangedirexw
shegetdira
shell_getcachedimageindex
shell_getcachedimageindexa
shell_getcachedimageindexw
shell_getimagelists
shell_mergemenus
shell_notifyicon
shell_notifyicona
shell_notifyicongetrect
shell_notifyiconw
shellabouta
shellaboutw
shellexec_rundll
shellexec_rundlla
shellexec_rundllw
shellexecutea
shellexecuteex
shellexecuteexa
shellexecuteexw
shellexecutew
shellhookproc
shellmessageboxa
shellmessageboxw
shemptyrecyclebina
shemptyrecyclebinw
shenableserviceobject
shenumerateunreadmailaccountsw
shesetcurdrive
shevaluatesystemcommandtemplate
shextracticonsw
shfileoperation
shfileoperationa
shfileoperationw
shfind_initmenupopup
shfindfiles
shflushsfcache
shformatdrive
shfree
shfreenamemappings
shgetattributesfromdataobject
shgetdatafromidlista
shgetdatafromidlistw
shgetdesktopfolder
shgetdiskfreespacea
shgetdiskfreespaceexa
shgetdiskfreespaceexw
shgetdrivemedia
shgetfileinfo
shgetfileinfoa
shgetfileinfow
shgetfolderlocation
shgetfolderpatha
shgetfolderpathandsubdira
shgetfolderpathandsubdirw
shgetfolderpathex
shgetfolderpathw
shgeticonoverlayindexa
shgeticonoverlayindexw
shgetidlistfromobject
shgetimagelist
shgetinstanceexplorer
shgetitemfromdataobject
shgetitemfromobject
shgetknownfolderidlist
shgetknownfolderitem
shgetknownfolderpath
shgetlocalizedname
shgetmalloc
shgetnamefromidlist
shgetnewlinkinfo
shgetnewlinkinfoa
shgetnewlinkinfow
shgetpathfromidlist
shgetpathfromidlista
shgetpathfromidlistex
shgetpathfromidlistw
shgetpropertystoreforwindow
shgetpropertystorefromidlist
shgetpropertystorefromparsingname
shgetrealidl
shgetsetfoldercustomsettings
shgetsetsettings
shgetsettings
shgetspecialfolderlocation
shgetspecialfolderpatha
shgetspecialfolderpathw
shgetstockiconinfo
shgettemporarypropertyforitem
shgetunreadmailcountw
shhandleupdateimage
shhelpshortcuts_rundll
shhelpshortcuts_rundlla
shhelpshortcuts_rundllw
shilcreatefrompath
shinvokeprintercommanda
shinvokeprintercommandw
shisfileavailableoffline
shlimitinputedit
shloadinproc
shloadnonloadediconoverlayidentifiers
shmappidltosystemimagelistindex
shmultifileproperties
shobjectproperties
shopenfolderandselectitems
shopenpropsheetw
shopenwithdialog
shparsedisplayname
shpathprepareforwritea
shpathprepareforwritew
shpropstgcreate
shpropstgreadmultiple
shpropstgwritemultiple
shqueryrecyclebina
shqueryrecyclebinw
shqueryusernotificationstate
shremovelocalizedname
shreplacefrompropsheetextarray
shresolvelibrary
shrestricted
shsetdefaultproperties
shsetfolderpatha
shsetfolderpathw
shsetinstanceexplorer
shsetknownfolderpath
shsetlocalizedname
shsettemporarypropertyforitem
shsetunreadmailcountw
shshellfolderview_message
shshowmanagelibraryui
shsimpleidlistfrompath
shstartnetconnectiondialogw
shtesttokenmembership
shupdateimagea
shupdateimagew
shupdaterecyclebinicon
shvalidateunc
signalfileopen
stgmakeuniquename
strchra
strchria
strchriw
strchrw
strcmpna
strcmpnia
strcmpniw
strcmpnw
strncmpa
strncmpia
strncmpiw
strncmpw
strrchra
strrchria
strrchriw
strrchrw
strrstra
strrstria
strrstriw
strrstrw
strstra
strstria
strstriw
strstrw
waitforexplorerrestartw
win32deletefile
wowshellexecute
writecabinetstate
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