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IE has been starting spontaneously on my computer and I don't know why. The browser window itself isn't coming up and doesn't appear in the taskbar but the process is running in my task manager. I have no idea why this is happening. W/in 45 sec it is eating up 145k of RAM and goes up from there. (I checked just now: 2 min ago it wasn't there, but just now running strong at 229k :mad:) When I kill the process it comes back w/in 30 sec to 2 min or so (it varies).

This is new(ish) behavior. I am a committed Task Manager user and I check it several times per day just to see what is going on, since I like to run lean. Until 2 months ago I never noticed it autostarting (maybe I just totally missed it but I don't see how) and I have no idea why it is doing so now. I can't imagine that I did anything to make IE start doing this. I don't even like IE (never touch it) and use PaleMoon. I hear uninstalling IE is a bad idea but I'm willing to try just to solve this. I turned of Windows update totally (I hear IE is necessary for Windows auto update feature) but it hasn't made a difference.

Desperate, I changed my LAN settings from "auto detect" to "use proxy server" and set it to 0.0.0.0 so that IE can't connect to the net (for some reason it doesn't affect Palemoon). It still starts spontaneously but hovers at about 25k ram useage. That's a pain though because the 0.0.0.0 keeps other programs from connecting (iTunes, etc) so I wind up going back to "auto detect" the 0.0.0.0 on an ad hoc basic.

Is there any way to kill it so that it stays off? I'd like to keep IE around if I can, just to play it safe but if it has to go, so be it. Please, please help.

Win 7x64
Dell XPS15 (10 mo. old)
 

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It could be malware which is simply given the same executable filename as the genuine one to make you think it must be okay.

Although parts of Internet Explorer are used by other Windows processes (which is why removing IE would break Windows) the iexplorer.exe process should not be running when IE itself is not open. (do not confuse this with explorer.exe which is the Windows shell)

Please post on the malware forum as we aren't allowed to give specific malware removal instructions on the other forums: Virus/Trojan/Spyware Help - Tech Support Forum
 
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