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In my task manager I find 2 Explorer instances running. Is it suspicious? I was always under the impression Explorer will have only one instance running.

OS: Windows 7

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have Launch folder windows in a separate process checked in the View tab in Folder Options (in the Advanced settings) then you'll get multiple explorer.exe processes when you have multiple folders open.

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But, it is unchecked in my system. :( – iamcreasy Aug 15 '11 at 20:56
@iamcreasy, in your case it could just be a glitch. I get extra explorer.exe processes from time to time, just kill them and start a new one (file -> run -> explorer.exe in task manager) – Windos Aug 15 '11 at 20:58
@windos So, as long as its correctly named as explorer.exe, I have nothing to worry about? – iamcreasy Aug 15 '11 at 21:01
@iamcreasy, you'd need to do a bit of digging (maybe with something like sysinternals Process Explorer) to verify it's legit, however if it isn't coming back regularly I wouldn't worry. – Windos Aug 15 '11 at 21:03

Explorer.exe has two different uses. Its primary purpose is to provide the ability to interface with the file system at all (giving you a desktop and start menu, for instance). It also, though, is used to browse the file system. You can select an option to launch folder windows in a separate process in the Folder Options control panel. It is deselected by default. If it is disabled, the main explorer.exe process is used for this task. It may be turned on though, to improve system stability.

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