What is igfxext.exe?

The genuine igfxext.exe file is a software component of Intel® Common User Interface by Intel Corporation.
Where an external monitor or projector is attached to a computer with Windows XP or later and Intel® Graphics hardware and drivers, “igfxext.exe” responds to the Display Switch Hot Key by switching graphics output from the native display to the external one, or vice-versa. (Windows Vista (and later) supports display switching natively.) It is part of the Intel® Common User Interface which installs alongside Intel® graphics drivers and provides the user with a convenient graphical interface to configure the graphics card or onboard chipset. It should reside in “C:\Windows\System32”; if it is in a subfolder of that, or especially in the Windows temporary files folder, it may be disguised malware. It can be uninstalled via “Add/Remove Programs” or “Uninstall a Program” in the Control Panel. Remove and reinstall it if the message “Intel igfxext.exe not running” appears. Intel was founded in 1968 and is based in Santa Clara, CA, USA.

igfxext stands for Intel Graphics External Display Switching

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 igfxext.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 igfxext.exe related errors

Igfxext.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with igfxext
Igfxext.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as igfxext Module belongs to software Intel® Common User Interface or Intel® LDDM Ultra Mobile Media by Intel (

Description: Igfxext.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Igfxext.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 163,840 bytes (18% of all occurrences), 94,208 bytes and 34 more variants. 
The program has no visible window. Igfxext.exe is not a Windows core file. The file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 12% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify igfxext.exe related errors

Important: Some malware disguises itself as igfxext.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the igfxext.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

Requested to install when upgrading to XP on Dell GX260
Appears to be a video driver. Got error when reinstalling W XP
It is a graphics driver located (for me) on my Dell Drivers and Utilities CD. Just borrow one from a Dell owner. WinXP asks for it in an upgrade and it is persistent but keep cancelling and put in the Dell cd and it will find and install the required support drivers for Graphics.
  John Austin  
needed for intel grafics card, included file in the setup of the vga card
i dont have it and need it
it belongs to the INTEL grapics adapter
when you browse a DVD or movie clip,it appears and WMP does not work.
Jphn Ausyin is correct, xp will not upgrade on my del 4700 without IGFXEXT EXE
I need a copy that is Microsoft Logo Tested. I have a problem with the video controller on my Toshiba Satellite 1135-s1551 laptop.
I cannot complete the XP setup without it because I have an onboard Intel VGA Chipset
Windows xp install
  Chris Hensel  
Seems harmless enough but it is quite annoying.
Ran into same problem. I copied the entire contents of another Dell's System32 folder (350mb) to a CD and fed it to Windows. XP will keep asking for different Intel files, so igxext.exe is not enough. It'll ask for more. On the second try, Windows accepted it.
another MS bug. It does not exist on my best puter so just cancel every time it askes for it. I do and all is fine
The error message says "Intel (R) Graphic Media Accelerator is needed"
  nsc   (further information)
Onboard VIDEO drivers. (using the Intel Extreme Graphics)
It's a file needed for those using Gateway, Dell, ect PCs. It's a file for the onboard chipset drivers.
Trogan horse BackDoor Generic11.MDQ was hiding in it.
i think it is the problem trend micro is not working plus it stoped java in it tracks
not a bug. it is installed with Intel drivers for a particular video card. you cannot just copy it between computers. visit the Intel site to find drivers for you chipet.
installed Samsung Central Station on two Toshiba notebooks. Got the error on the first reboot and ever since.
  Mike H.  
Everytime a message saying "Inter (R) Graphics Media Accelerator is needed" then just cancel it, you will have to cancel it a couple of times. After that, XP will continue to install
I have a toshiba netbook and it came when I got it 3 yrs ago no problems(YET)
After upgrading(?) from Win 7 Pro to Win 10, the first and only error message I got was "Intel igfxext.exe not running Disable Display Switch hot key" Otherwide Win 10 installed and worked. Can't find where/how to "disable Display Switch hot key" (didn't even know I had one)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of igfxext.exe: based on 33 votes with 25 user comments. 16 users think igfxext.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 8 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 2 users suspect danger. One user thinks igfxext.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. 5 users don't grade igfxext.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving igfxext issues

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

igfxext.exe [all]