What is iexplore.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 iexplore.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 iexplore.exe related errors

Iexplore.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with iexplore
Iexplore.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Internet Explorer or NirCmd or Windows Explorer or Stub or Updater or ultimo

belongs to software Windows Internet Explorer (version 9, 8, 7) or Microsoft Windows Operating System or Internet Explorer (version 11, 11 Release Preview) or Microsoft Windows or Adobe Flash Player ActiveX or Adobe Flash Player (version 10 ActiveX, 11 ActiveX) or Super DVD Creator (version 9.8 Full, 9.8 Trial, 9.8 Trial Version) or WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

by Microsoft ( or OTAN or NirSoft ( or WinUpdate.

Description: The original iexplore.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The file iexplore.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files" or sometimes in a subfolder of the user's "Documents" folder (generally C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\). Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 638,816 bytes (29% of all occurrences), 625,664 bytes and 169 more variants. 
The file is a Windows system file. It is a Microsoft signed file. The process uses ports to connect to or from a LAN or the Internet. The file is certified by a trustworthy company. Therefore the technical security rating is 6% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You can uninstall the program Microsoft Internet Explorer, update it, or ask Customer Support for help. Go to to update it, go to for support, or go to Microsoft Internet Explorer in Windows Control Panel (Software or Programs section) to uninstall it.

Recommended: Identify iexplore.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is iexplore.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true iexplore.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Internet 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 instance Backdoor.Generic.250497 (detected by F-Secure), and Win32:Malware-gen (detected by Avast).
To ensure that no rogue iexplore.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 camouflages itself as iexplore.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the iexplore.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

iPLmDzDy.iexplore.exe - Application Error This pops up and when I close the popup Internet Explorer closes
  Eliena Olivier - elienaolivier2  
I have no idea why people say that the process is dangerous. It is the process for the default web browser. Not only that, it is important to Windows Help and third party applications to render certain HTML elements. If you see processes like IEexplore.exe, internetexplorer.exe or IDOEXPLORE.exe, it will either be a backup of the oringal process or malware.
  ..   (further information)
My review is it's good to use, but my mother calls it "Inter-next Exploder".
  Devin Schweiss  
Kaspersky TDSSKiller will fix the problem
  Bob   (further information)
IEXPLORE.exe is the main file for Internet Explorer Web Browser. If you have many IE Browser windows open at the same time, you will also find many instances of IEXPLORE.exe running. Sometimes, if you close all of the IE Browser windows, some instances IEXPLORE.exe will remain running. These are basically leftovers of IE Browser windows that failed, like when you sometimes click on a link in IE and nothing happens. Just use Windows Task Manager to find these and then click "End process". It is possible for a virus to have the same name as IEXPLORE.exe, or IEXPLORER.exe (IEXPLORER.exe, with an extra "R" is definately a virus).
This is Internet Explorer, a normal component of Windows, the most common virus
  Bill Gates  
This is important file for windows, but there is a virus that will make the process run when you do not have the program open at all,
my iexplorer.exe is a virus from mcafee
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of iexplore.exe: based on 325 votes with 9 reviews. 59 users think iexplore.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 13 users think it's probably harmless. 66 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 50 users suspect danger. 137 users think iexplore.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 50 users don't grade iexplore.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving iexplore issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with iexplore. 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 iexplore.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

iexplore.exe [all]