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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 and enjoy your PC. Speed up Windows Explorer and optimize your PC.

How does explorer.exe run?

Process - Explorer.EXE is an instance of a running program. This 32-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 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 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.


What is the community is seeing?What is the community is doing?
About 0.1% of all Boost users have the explorer.exe process running.Of the 0.1% 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.
0.00707% CPU70723.3%
Average CPU utilization across all programs is 0.00001%.
27.7 MB RAM128.6%
Average private memory utilization across all programs is 21.53 MB.
 26 /min1.2%
Average I/O read and write operations for all programs is 2,253 per minute.
315 GDI objects210.0%
Average number of GUI GDI and USER objects for all programs is 150.
66 context switches/sec66.0%
Average context switches for all programs is 100 per second.
Typical file (disk image) location:

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?

Microsoft Windows XP (5.1.2600.131072)
Microsoft Windows XP (5.1.2600.196608)
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows XP Home Edition (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows XP Professional (5.1.2600.196608)
Windows Vista (TM) Home Premium (6.0.6001.65536)
Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate (6.0.6002.131072)
Windows 7 Home Premium (6.1.7601.65536)
Windows 7 Home Premium (6.1.7601.65536)

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: 6.00.2900.5512 (xpsp.080413-2105)
Product version: 6.00.2900.5512
Size: 1009.5 KB
Original file name: EXPLORER.EXE
Windows file protection: Yes

Resource utilization

CPU utilization averages
Total CPU: 0.0150986047%
Privileged CPU: 0.0080262708%
User CPU: 0.00707233394217%
Privileged CPU time: 2356218.94 ms
Privileged CPU time /min: 54 ms
Context switches /sec: 66
Memory utilization averages
Committed memory: 135.39 MB
Peak committed memory: 210.84 MB
Paged memory: 27.7 MB
Peak paged memory: 44.55 MB
Paged system memory: 174.03 KB
Non-paged system memory: 38.7 KB
Working set memory: 21.64 MB
Peak working set memory: 45.69 MB
Min working set memory: 12.8 MB
Private memory: 27.7 MB
Page faults: 487,727
Page faults /min: 254
Process I/O averages
Total read operations: 71,377
Read operations /min: 25
Total read transfer: 18.64 MB
Read transfer /min: 51.4 KB
Total write operations: 1,342
Write operations /min: 1
Total write transfer: 18.63 MB
Write transfer /min: 7.36 KB
Total other operations: 4,099,510
Other operations /min: 1,841
Total other transfer: 153.05 MB
Other Transfer /min: 160.25 KB
GUI Object Averages
GDI objects: 315
USER objects: 163
Handle count average: 570
Thread count average: 15
Thread resource averages

Process details

Runs as (owner): User
Integrety level: Undefined
Windows platform: 32-bit
System Tray: Yes
Parent Processes
Process Commands
"C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE" /IDLIST,:2156:2380,/E,/S
"C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe" /select,"C:\Documents and Settings\Sandilands\Desktop\Abandoned.jpg"
Explorer.exe rundll.exe

Shell open command details

Name: SHCmdFile
Command: explorer.exe

Autoplay handler details

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

Network connectivity

TCP: a23-3-69-59.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com on port 1094
UDP: LISTENING on port 2818
TCP: on port 1041
UDP: LISTENING on port 1668
TCP: localhost on port 4625
UDP: LISTENING on port 1052
UDP: LISTENING on port 2008
UDP: LISTENING on port 7277
UDP: LISTENING on port 1051
UDP: LISTENING on port 4635
UDP: LISTENING on port 4031
UDP: LISTENING on port 1238
Windows Firewall allowed program: Yes

Image hashes

MD5: 12896823fb95bfb3dc9b46bcaedc9923
SHA-1: 9d2bf84874abc5b6e9a2744b7865c193c08d362f
SHA-256: 1e675cb7df214172f7eb0497f7275556038a0d09c6e5a3e6862c5e26885ef455

PE image details

Subsystem: Windows GUI
Langauge*: Microsoft Visual C++
File entropy: 6.74403
File packed: No
Import Table
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