The explorer.exe file is an executable file for Windows Explorer. In the Microsoft Windows operating system, the explorer.exe file runs and has a graphical user interface that you can see when you are opening hard drives or files. Sometimes, the graphical user interface of the explorer.exe file is referred to as Windows GUI shell or Explorer.
The explorer.exe file was created to replace the Windows 3.x File Manager, which is the older version of the application embedded on previous versions of the MS Windows environment. The explorer.exe file is executed when the user double-clicks on the My Computer desktop icon and the one found in the Start menu. The explorer.exe file was initially used only to navigate or browse files, but as newer versions of Windows were released, it evolved to being a file management system that is task-based.