What Is the Purpose of the Explorer.exe Process?


Quick Answer

The explorer.exe is the user interface application that makes the Windows operating system accessible to users. File Explorer windows, the icons on the desktop and even the taskbar are components of the process.

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Full Answer

Located in the Windows directory, explorer.exe makes is considerably easier to access files and send input to the computer. Users can access the File Explorer component of the process by double clicking a folder or pressing E while holding down the Windows key. The Taskbar component is often displayed at the bottom of the main display and includes the Start menu, the pinned and currently running applications, the notification tray, and the time and date panel. The desktop icons are available at all times.

Explorer.exe may sometimes crash. When it crashes, the user can only see the desktop wallpaper and the open applications. In such cases, open the Task Manager by pressing the Esc key while holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys. Click File, then Run and write "explorer.exe" in the box. Click OK to launch explorer.exe.

As explorer.exe is a process that launches automatically on every Windows computer, cyber criminals often develop harmful applications that use the same name. If you see multiple applications by the name of explorer.exe under the Details tab of the Task Manager, you should immediately run a virus scan.

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