What is explorer.exe?

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the explorer.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for explorer.exe related errors

Explorer.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with explorer
Explorer.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Windows Explorer or Win or TJprojMain or ams60_launch or AutoPlay Application or Utforskaren or Explorador de Windows or Program Files/MachineLocal/explorer.exe

belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System or Win or Windows Updater or Project1 or Projekt_Neu or Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows or Operativsystemet Microsoft Windows or Sistem de operare Microsoft Windows

by Microsoft ( or PRIVAT or aaaa or air or JADSHGAGAG or P4zx or GIF Image or GI8YjLk.

Description: The original explorer.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. Explorer.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 1,033,728 bytes (16% of all occurrences), 2,871,808 bytes and 327 more variants. 
Explorer.exe is a Windows core system file. The program has a visible window. Explorer.exe is a Microsoft signed file. Explorer.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 4% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify explorer.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is explorer.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true explorer.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Windows Explorer". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are for example TrojanSpy:Win32/SCKeyLog.O or Trojan:Win32/Malagent (detected by Microsoft), and Trojan.Gen or Spyware.SCKeyLogger (detected by Symantec).
To ensure that no rogue explorer.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as explorer.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows folder. Therefore, you should check the explorer.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

The virus? It is called by a script. When deleted, get a black screen. However, functionality is not zero. Ctrl-Alt-Del brings up task manager and you can run programs by typing in their executable name, e.g. "firefox", or "iexplore", etc. All works well. typying in "explorer" brings up the desktop and all looks OK, until one hunts around, and it is clearly a fake.
If the process 'explorer.exe' is stopped via WinTaskMngr, the desktop disappears, but is easily restored by simply going to the Appl tab of WinTaskMngr, if already open, and click on New Task and enter 'explorer.exe.'
Very, Very, Important system.
  Seong-Jun Ham  
explorer.exe is a critical component of Windows. Ending the process will cause the desktop, taskbar and any open windows associated with it to disappear, leaving the computer almost non-functional until it is restarted.
Explorer.exe is located in the Windows directory of your boot disk and it is the file manager, taskbar and start menu of any Windows version in since Windows 95. If explorer.exe crashes, you can re-open it through Task Manager.
exlorer.exe is type of trouble shooting used for corretion of desktop while it hidden any information on desktop and it change its color to white or black
  Beshir Adam  
Crashed my computer! Will not even start up
though you end your "explorer.exe" process from task manager you can get it back just log off and log in to you pc you don't need to shut down.
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of explorer.exe: based on 376 votes with 9 reviews. 196 users think explorer.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 14 users think it's probably harmless. 79 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 24 users suspect danger. 63 users think explorer.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 56 users don't grade explorer.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving explorer issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with explorer. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the explorer.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

explorer.exe [all]