How to Reduce the Usage of Explorer.exe

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Windows operating systems such as Windows 7 and Vista feature a built-in application called Windows Explorer that you can use to manage your hard disk as well as any optical drives and external storage devices. Explorer shows up as a process called "explorer.exe" on the Windows Task Manager. If you think that it is taking up too much processing power, you can reduce the amount it uses.

  • Open the Windows Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting "Start Task Manager."

  • Click on the tab labeled "Processes."

  • Right-click the process labeled "explorer.exe" located under the "Image Name" section. Point to "Set Priority" and select either "Below Normal" or "Low" to reduce processor resource usage of Windows Explorer.

  • Click "File" and select "Exit Task Manager" to close the Windows Task Manager.

Tips & Warnings

  • The priority level of Windows Explorer reverts back to its default state once you restart your computer. If you want to permanently change the priority level, install a third-party utility such as "Prio" (see Resource section) which adds an option called "Save Priority" on the "Set Priority" submenu.
  • The "explorer.exe" process is available once you launch Windows Explorer. Click "Start" and select "Computer" to launch Windows Explorer.

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