Why Is Explorer.Exe Always Running?

By Ticara Gailliard

When checking your Task Manager on your computer, you may notice a process running called explorer.exe. Whenever your computer is running, this process is usually in the Task Manager. The reason behind this is rather simple.


Explorer.exe refers to the user shell of your computer. This process controls the taskbar and desktop of your computer, as well as other graphical interfaces. Another term for explorer.exe is Windows GUI shell.

Stopping Process

Stopping this process from the Task Manager is not recommended, as you will be unable to access your desktop or taskbar until you restart your system. Explorer.exe helps other processes run and thus should be left alone.

Virus Warning

An instance in which explorer.exe should be terminated and removed is if it is found within the improper file location. If your explorer.exe task menu item is located at C:\explorer.exe or any other location other than C:\Windows, it is most likely a virus and must be removed.