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Filed Under: Spyware & Viruses   

The iexplore.exe file is the executable file for the popular Microsoft Web browser, Internet Explorer. If you open the Task Manager on your Windows XP system by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del when Internet Explorer is running, then you can locate “iexplore.exe” as a running task on the Processes tab. However, if this file is visible in the Task Manager even when Internet Explorer is not running, then it is likely that your computer is infected by a virus. As a result, you may encounter frequent iexplore.exe errors on your computer and your system’s performance may deteriorate considerably. In this article, we will have a look at what causes the iexplore.exe virus and the methods to prevent the problem.

Iexplore.exe related issues

Some of the common issues that you may face with Internet Explorer include:

  • The Web Browser does not start.
  • Browsing is very slow.
  • Undesired pop-up windows keep displaying while browsing.
  • Your search results take you to undesired results—usually promotional and dubious-looking websites.
  • Blue screen errors appear while browsing.

Common Causes

These issues may occur due to many reasons. Some of the most common problems are:

  • Your computer is infected with iexplore.exe virus
  • Your computer is infected with spyware and adware that are hijacking Internet Explorer web pages.
  • There are too many add-ons installed on the browser.

Solutions

How to Deal with Iexplore.exe virus and spyware-adware issues

One of the most common threats that can plant the iexplore.exe virus file on your system is a backdoor, such as Backdoor.GrayBird. In the world of computers, a backdoor is a method used to bypass the normal authentication processes to gain access to a system. Backdoor runs silently on the system and cannot be detected by normal system check up processes.

Symptoms

The backdoor, Backdoor.Graybird is named after a Chinese remote access tool that can be configured to run silently in the background on the computer being hacked. Some of the tasks that a backdoor can perform on a user computer are:

  • Reboot the system
  • Access all files and folders
  • Capture screenshots
  • Turn on your Webcam
  • Steal username and passwords
  • Take full control of your computer

The Backdoor.Graybird is sent to the user computer by a hacker. On the user computer, by default, the backdoor runs silently as “iexplore.exe.” The backdoor keeps trying to connect back to its control server to let the remote server know that it is online on the user computer and can now be controlled. After the hacker gets the message, he or she can now run the server-side software of the backdoor and see all computers on the user network that can be controlled with the help of the backdoor.

In addition to backdoors, Internet Explorer may also be affected by spyware and adware infections. These malware programs may hack the Internet Explorer settings and modify them to their benefit. For instance, you may notice that your home page has changed to some affiliate website and even search results display results that take you to suspicious advertising websites.

Removal

  • Update your anti-malware tool and perform a thorough full system scan to identify and remove virus infections. If your anti-malware tool works in Safe mode, run the scan in Safe mode. In this mode, only essential processes are loaded and therefore, the scan is more effective.
  • If your anti-malware tool does not have anti-spyware and anti-adware features, it would be good to install a reliable security tool that offers these features. This will help you effectively remove these malicious programs from the system and restore the Internet Explorer to its normal behavior.
  • Increase the security of your internet Explorer. For this, on the Tools menu in the Internet Explorer window, select the Options command. Here change the Internet Explorer settings on the Privacy, Content and Security tabs to make the Web Browser more secure from external attacks.

Uninstall Add-ons you don’t need

Internet Explorer add-ons usually include search toolbars. Some programs such as Adobe Acrobat and download accelerator programs also install their own add-ons to the web browser. There are also some spyware and adware programs that may install add-ons to keep track on your browsing activities.

Legitimate add-ons may make browsing easier and offer features that are not included in the core browser. However, having too many such add-ons may make the browser heavier and slow it down. Also, spyware and adware-related add-ons may hijack your web searches and even record your user names, passwords and even bank and credit card details to use them for malicious purposes.

So, to enjoy fast and error-free browsing, it is best to have minimum number of add-ons. To remove add-ons you don’t need in Internet Explorer, click on the Tools menu and select the Manage add-ons command. In the Manage add-ons window that opens, disable all add-ons you don’t use. You can also open Add or Remove Programs control panel to uninstall all add-ons you don’t need. If you are unable to remove malware-related add-ons, run a thorough anti-malware scan on the system.

How to Prevent Iexplore.exe errors

To protect your computer from backdoor infections and prevent errors, such as iexplorer.exe error, you must follow the preventive measures listed below:

  • Do not click links or open attachments that come with unsolicited emails because email is the most used method to plant backdoors on user computers.
  • Do not download or visit websites that you do not trust.
  • Keep your antivirus and anti-spyware software updated with latest definitions to ensure that your PC is well-protected against the latest viruses, backdoors, and spyware.
  • Implement firewall and intrusion protection tools to prevent any authenticated access to your computer or computer network.
  • Keep your computer updated with the latest patches – you must be more careful with patches on computers that are accessible through firewall, such as computers that allow HTTP and FTP access.
  • Implement passwords that are difficult to crack to limit the damage that can be caused by virus and backdoor infection – you must be especially careful with computer passwords on a network.
  • Disable services that you don’t use on your computer; for instance, disable services such as FTP server, Web server, and Telnet because they open up your system to malicious attacks.
  • Configure your email and email server to block file attachments with specific extensions, such as .scr, vbs, .pif, and .bat that are frequently used to spread viruses.
  • Run regular registry scans, to keep the system registry free from malicious entries such as entries related to the iexplore.exe virus file and other legitimate looking malicious entries planted by backdoors.

Additional Recommendations...

Driver Update: Many errors are related to driver problems such as obsolete, outdated or incompatible drivers. A driver update tool is recommended to scan your system for corrupted and outdated drivers and to ensure that all your drivers stay up-to-date.