Please register or login. There are 0 registered and 650 anonymous users currently online. Current bandwidth usage: 326.30 kbit/s June 26 - 04:23am EDT 
Hardware Analysis
Forums Product Prices

  Latest Topics 

More >>


  You Are Here: 
/ Forums / Other Hardware /

  explorer.exe taking up system resources 
 Date Written 
Continue Reading on Page: 1, 2, 3, Next >>
Gregg Burton Dec 22, 2003, 08:02pm EST Report Abuse
I'm running Windows XP SP1 and for the last two days the process explorer.exe keeps taking up 80 - 90% of the CPU resources. I have checked for viruses, I'm running Trend 2004. I added a 40gig hard drive and a video board prior to this happening and have checked the install for both and written to the tech support and they both say that they have not heard of this happening with their products.

Does anyone have a suggest? When I re-boot I do have to sometimes end the explorer.exe task before the system re-boots. I have tried to figure out what causes it to go out of control, sometimes it will be fine for a few hours, other times it will start almost right off the bat.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Want to enjoy fewer advertisements and more features? Click here to become a Hardware Analysis registered user.
Rory Witham Dec 22, 2003, 08:24pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
exsplorer is the windows based system that you use, mine show little to no activity, it maybe that your install is right or the cpu is clocked correctly. btu saying that ou will find moving the mouse will use about 5% of the CPU.

Custom Computers:
Computer maintenance:
Computer repairs:
Matt Callaghan Jan 14, 2004, 03:43pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Hey..I'm having the same problem!!

Every now and then ..(ESPECIALLY when i return from not using the computer and login)
Explorer takes up like 96% CPU...
tough to even bring up the task manager to end the explorer instance....

RichWRX RichWRX Jan 22, 2004, 07:35pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Hi, I am having the same problems, but the strange thing is that it only happens when I login under my profile, other profiles on the PC work fine. HELP PLEASE!!!!

Daniel Carter Jan 29, 2004, 12:11am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I'm running Windows XP and for the last 7 days the process explorer.exe keeps taking up 95 - 99% of the CPU resources. I have checked for viruses, I'm ran I have a 80gig hard drive and 1.4 gb ram and a video board prior to this happening and have checked the install for both and written to the tech support and they both say that they have not heard of this happening with their products. Help Help Help

Brendan Falvey Jan 29, 2004, 01:25am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Have just had a similar problem not sure about the memory usage since I took a diferent approach. Client XP Pro slow to process disk saves for Word and internet downloads. Since it was not application specific it had to be explorer or windows itself. Checked M$ Knowledge base site and looked for slow saves. there is an article on it for XP Pro not on a domain and relates to user switching. You need to find the check box and disable fast user switching. While not startling it certainly improved the performance.

Some pieces of advice about troubleshooting. Start simple
What are the symptoms. remember computers are the tools of the information age therefore think about it and what do the symptoms tell you. Careful appraisal of as many symptoms as possible can eliminate some candidates and confirm others.

The computer is hardware, software and firmware you need to consider all three. too often in these pages see the advice to reformat and rebuild. As home users that is fine and for larger corparations where they have site licences and ghosted hard drives they just blow away the old installation complete with data. What a waste of time for the rest where you have to reinstall the software and maybe reregister or rekey etc.

Hardware problems do show up and can be across the whole installation but typically something doesnt work for example no sound.

Firmware is fundamental but if the system runs the setting are generally OK . If you go chasing performance you do it a step at a time and make sure you know what change did it otherwise its back to defaults and start again. It is not suddenly gong to cause a problem it could be that the new memory stick is not compatible with the rest or the board.

Software is equally fundamental as the other two and often overlooked because it is all too hard. for windows M$ has to have the largest database around check there as many problems have already been identified. If your resources are running at 90% utilisation the system is doing something andf that usually means software is running or a faulty driver is turning the system on its head. Not the hardware

Never be too quick to blame the hardware. It never ceases to amaze me that I can go and get a disparate box of bits throw them in a box install an operating system and 9 times out of ten it springs into life at the smoke test and the other time it is often a very simple fault and easily rectified. This all happens and the really amazing part is that the range of suppliers means that the possible number of combinations is astronomic and yet it works.

It is possible to repair NT based systems including XP. Try this approach first and use your head not your hands in the first instance. Even 30 minutes of pondring the problem is not that long if it saves several hours of rebuilding and reinstalling and reregistering.

Use the inbuilt tools if for no other reason than they give you a logical faultfinding process and checks making sure you dont forget anything

happy troubleshooting
Brendan Falvey

This argument does not apply to upgrading proprietary brands of hardware since it is often optimised to minimise costs and then does not obey the normal rules.

roland clees Jan 29, 2004, 07:36am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
i got the problem after downloading an corrupted video (p2p).
each time the directory containing the corrupted file is opened, explorer starts up
using up to (95-99)% of system resources.
impossible to rename or to delete the file as usual
the problem can be solved temperory by closing the explorer task with task manager;
then restart explorer with task manager(file/execute/new task->explorer.exe)
as long as you don't access the directory with the corrupted file explorer works fine
i suppose that some system configurations must be changed to allow the deleting of the corrupted file
sometimes i succeded to delete the file after a cold start of th PC
restarting won't give you access to the file; impossible to get the properties.
if someone has a good idea on solving the problem, i would be pleased

Brendan Falvey Jan 29, 2004, 03:13pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources

This sometime happens with some unwanted spyware etc since it is active you cannot delete it. Just check it has not installed some sort of reader. Have a look at what is running. If there is somesort of reader either disable or uninstall it.

Several things ensure that your anti virus and spyware/adware removal is current to make sure that something else is not contributing to the problem. If you are current and using Win2k or XP then proceed as follows:

It may be worthwhile booting into Safe mode
Log on with Administrator rights and try to delete it.
If this fails right button click the directory select properties
Ensure it is not read only
Under security there is a button that allows you to take ownership, do so
Then try to delete.

If this fails you could try booting to command prompt and delete from a DOS screen. This would bypass the problem of the program trying to run under windows

Good Luck

lars petter Jan 29, 2004, 06:17pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Just had a simular problem with a corrupted video file. Delete the file in dos mode!

Go to start, run cmd
write del, space and the path to the file you want to delete, enter and your done. If there's a space in a folder or file name put * on both sides on that name - or else dos won't understand! Ex. del C:\*documents and settings*\*my documents*\swat

This should resolve the problem for the people with corrupted files! For you other guys who don't know, does this happen immediately when windows starts, or occure when trying to open, delete, move or read properties of a file?

Remember to empty you trash can afterwords! Don't have to go to safe mode or anything, this is easy even if you don't know your way around computers


Brendan Falvey Jan 29, 2004, 10:06pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Good one Lars. Keep it simple

However I have had occassions when you need to ensure security is minimal and command window this is not the case. safe mode as you know stops a lot of stuff from loading and if you have a problem it can save a lot of frustration trying to stop stuff loading before it hangs your baby out to dry. But if it works use it

Good info about DOS. Not sure about the * is this for the norwegian version of windows? In the past I have used " as delimiters to define a text string.
Brendan Falvey

lars petter Jan 30, 2004, 05:41am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Listen to Brendan, he's right!

Either way I'm running the english version to simplify problemsolving... About *, maby my memory fails me but to those of you who try it, you'll find out soon enough!!

Good luck!

Nick Tims Jan 31, 2004, 04:04pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
This is an interesting and helpful thread. I'd been suffering exactly the same problem (explorer consuming 99% of resources) - when trying to start a video from a particular directory. Then I noticed that when I tried to start the video from within Media player - when it was the last item played and therefore all I needed to do was press 'play', then it seemed to be fine. In fact, when I go through the open file route from MP, it's fine too.

The constant irritation of not being able to delete certain files is, as stated above, only dealt with within DOS.

Finally, there are several videos in this particular directory and none of them are corrupt. So my thoughts are that it's the directory (or something aruond that sector) that is corrupt.

I'm going to try moving all the files out of there and deleting all the directory. Course will have to do that in DOS because XP keeps telling me that everything is in use...

Keep this thread going with you what you find out. I's most annoying - right now after just accessing the directory - I can see my system resources going nuts!



Brendan Falvey Jan 31, 2004, 04:23pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I have found many useful threads on this site an I try to regularly browse the Latest topics in the left side bar. There have been the odd useless or purile ones but generally the site is people sharing knowledge and expertise.

I take the view that we al have to learn somewhere and helping people fix there problems remotely can be a challenge even for those of us that have been in PC computing from Intel 4004/8008 days.

Andrew Blankenship Feb 04, 2004, 08:25am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I've been getting the same thing, explorer.exe is consuming massive amounts of resources, up to mid 80%s. Suspect this is also related to a specific video file (or files).

WTF?! Is this a virus or a Windows bug?

I was all set to reformat my drive and start with a fresh OS install. Is there any more info about this anywhere else? Sounds like a pretty major prob, no?

Clyde w Feb 06, 2004, 06:35pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Explorer.exe takes up to 100% of resources on my machine for long periods of time, also the available memory goes down sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly while the machine is idle.

I have a Dell 8200, 512, 80GB HD, 160GB HD. I have disabled most unneccessary services and also tried going to safe mode (Didn't help) .

As mentioned in some other replies i have dl and run video files (sometimes corrupt) from p2p networks. - I wonder if most people that are experiencing this have used video from p2p.

Have run Spybot, Adaware, Norton AV - I really don't want to have to do a clean install - as the problem may surface again anyway. Dell tech support says they don't have a record of this problem even though it appears on a few message boards. Dell's answer is to send me new memory modules which is great I'll replace the old ones - but I seriously doubt that will help.

Let keep talking about this till it's solved!

Clyde w Feb 06, 2004, 06:57pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I found a page at

* [Cut and paste the entire line above to get to site the blue Hyperlink only is half of the link]*

this is a google translation of the german site's page that has some info the translation reads like broken english but well enough to understand.

I'm going to try the reg hack mentioned in section 4, will let you know

Nick Tims Feb 07, 2004, 05:49am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Well found! Look forward to hearing your reply on this one - and a more coherent translation of the German ...


Nick Williams Feb 08, 2004, 09:22pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Omg, this same problem is happening to me right now and has been happening since yesterday. explorer will easily take up 100% of my system resources, but it doesnt happen when i try to access a specific video file or anything. In fact it started while i was in the middle of playing a computer game (warcraft 3). I can run Explorer but when i try to click on just about anything my system resources get drained. I've been accessing everything from the task manager. I would arpeciate any input since I cant really isolate the problem to any particular area, Thanks.

Dave Sallee Feb 10, 2004, 02:18pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I just found this on the MS Knowledge Base. I hope it cures the problem for me and everyone else. Here I go to try.;en-us;819946

Clyde w Feb 10, 2004, 03:17pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
I saw the Microsoft KB article Dave Sallee suggested, that is for a very specific problem (right clicking on on a file in Windows Explorer) The settings they suggest I have implemented normally and still faced the 100% CPU usage.

I provided a link in my last post that proposed a registry hack - which seems to have eliminated the problem for me. The link is:
[NOTE: Cut and paste this link into the address bar as the hightlighted hyperlink is only part of the link]
The registry hack I used is in Step 4. This is a German site translated by Google.

I have'nt been having the 100% CPU usage, but my RAM memory still fades without anything running and all but essential services stopped. (even in Safe mode)

Keep posting solutions.


Nick Tims Feb 10, 2004, 03:19pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: explorer.exe taking up system resources
Any chance of your brief interpretation of the german translation...



Continue Reading on Page: 1, 2, 3, Next >>



  Topic Tools 
RSS UpdatesRSS Updates

  Related Articles 

A weekly newsletter featuring an editorial and a roundup of the latest articles, news and other interesting topics.

Please enter your email address below and click Subscribe.