If you do a Google search you will find numerous complaints of multiple instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager. This could problem could be malware or non-malware related. For example, there are worms like W32/Lovgate-AD that will cause the same problem you are experiencing. In addition to other files it drops iexplore.exe in C:\Windows\system32. The legit iexplore.exe is located in the C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer folder.
For others the problem was related to the Yahoo toolbar and uninstalling it was the correct solution. Prior to doing this all anti-virus and anti-malware scans found nothing suspicious.
Another possible cause has been traced to instant email notification settings at various board forums. A new instance of iexplore.exe was created each time the user opened an email, clicked a link and visted a forum. They were also using Spyware Doctor and the problem only occurred if that program was actively running in the background. When Spyware Doctor was disabled, the problem did not occur.
Determining whether a file is malware or a legitimate process depends on the location (path) it is running from. You can download and use Process Explorer
or Glarysoft Process Manager
to investigate all running processes and gather additional information to identify and resolve problems. These tools will show the process CPU usage, a description and its path location
The Process Explorer window shows two panes by default: the upper pane is always a process list and the bottom either shows the list of DLLs loaded into the process selected in the upper pane, or the list of operating system resource handles (files, Registry keys, synchronization objects) the process has open. In the menu at the top select View > Lower Pane View to change between DLLs and Handles.
If the file has a legit name but is not located where it is supposed to be, then submit it to jotti's virusscan
. In the "File to upload & scan
" box, browse to the location of the suspicious file and submit (upload) it for scanning/analysis.
If your computer seems to be slow, read Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware
. There are reasons for slowness besides malware - i.e. disk fragmentation, disk errors, corrupt system files, too many startup programs, unnecessary services running, not enough RAM, dirty hardware components, etc. As your system gets older it becomes filled with more files/programs and has a natural tendency to slow down so cleaning and regular maintenance is essential.