Handle Leak in explorer.exe on Windows 10 System

  • 20 March 2019
  • 5 replies

Badge +1
got this on your report. what is it and what dod I do?

5 replies

Hello @llcwml,

Welcome to the Webroot Community.

When it comes to handle leaks there is not a lot you can do. Some programs, particularly browsers, tend to leak memory, especially if they are left open for long periods of time. It's a known issue, but one you'd have to take up with the author of the software, in this case, Microsoft, but I doubt they'd even address it. To keep it to a minimum, I suggest restarting your browser from time to time. You can also monitor the resources your browser is using in the Task Manager. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it as it really won't have an impact on your system unless you are severely lacking in the RAM department.

You can find more info on this subject in this KB Article.

Hope this info helps,
Badge +1
thank you
Userlevel 7
Badge +28
You said explorer.exe, which is the Windows File Explorer. The Internet Explorer browser is iexplorer.exe. @BurnDaddy's answer isn't incorrect. However, I wanted to make sure you realized that you referenced the program that allows you explore the folder structure on your PC/network and not a web browser. This way you either realize you meant iexplorer.exe or shut down folders, not your web browser. Just wanted to make sure anyone reading this thread realized the difference.

Just to add to what @NicCrockett posted.

I went ahead and assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the OP meant iexplorer.exe as it is frequently reported to leak in the System Analyzer. I don't think I've seen explorer.exe reported to leak, not that it couldn't happen, I've just never seen it. But thanks for pointing that out as it could confuse others.

If it is explorer.exe that is showing the leak, then Windows Explorer could be restarted using the Task Manager or by rebooting the PC. I would think that this would only happen if you had many windows/tabs open at one time, but other than restarting the leaking program, there isn't a lot that can be done about it, afaik.
Userlevel 7
Badge +28
@BurnDaddy, I figured you were assuming Internet Explorer and honestly, I would too. It's a common problem in all browsers, especially Chrome. However, I have run into an issue with the Windows File Explorer (explorer.exe). Specifically with my laptop where I'd leave my laptop on with several folders open and just close the lid, putting it into a sleep state. For some reason this would cause an issue with Windows File Explorer if I left these folders open and close the lid several times. After doing so, the laptop would start doing weird things until I restarted it. I've also seen Windows File Explorer cause issues if you have too many folders open or have a folder open with tons of files in it. When I say tons, I mean 1000s of files. Windows doesn't like opening a folder with that many files in it.