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Why is firefox trying to access explorer.exe by opening it's process?

  • 12 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 43 views
  • Last reply by user1194064

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When opening Firefox, ZoneAlarm reports "Firefox is trying to access c:/windows/explorer.exe by opening it's process". If denied, the browser functions normally.

All Replies (12)

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Correction: ZoneAlarm reports "Firefox is trying to communicate with c:/windows/explorer.exe by opening it's process".

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode {web Link} by holding down the <Shift>
(Mac Options)
key, and then starting Firefox. Is the problem still there?

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Thanks for the reply.

Yes, the same communication attempt is reported by ZoneAlarm in Safe Mode.

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You may have ad / mal-ware. Further information can be found in the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article.

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Firefox seems to function normally and has no issues as described in the link above. The only issue is trying to communicate with explorer.exe upon opening browser as reported by ZoneAlarm. This is a 1 week old new Win 7 system install and Firefox tried to "communicate" with explorer.exe upon it's install. Norton antivirus, Norton Eraser, malwarebytes, zonealarm antivirus, and microsoft safety scanner report no virus or malware.

Does Firefox try to communicate with explorer.exe as a normal function?

Modified by vikingr

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During the first time running, Firefox will look for other browsers to collect there bookmarks. But only asking you if you want to do that.

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So... is it a normal function of Firefox to communicate with explorer.exe upon running the browser not only the first time but also each time the browser is opened?

Modified by vikingr

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vikingr said

So... is it a normal function of Firefox to communicate with explorer.exe upon running the browser not only the first time but also each time the browser is opened?

Do you have ZoneAlarm firewall or antivirus?

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I've used Process Monitor to monitor Firefox's actions. At start-up and while browsing (browsing includes things as simple as typing), it creates and reads many files. ZoneAlarm probably gave you that alert because Firefox performed some actions in the background that could damage your system if its intent was malicious, which it probably wasn't. If an unknown program accessed explorer.exe and that alert appeared, that might prompt you to scan for viruses. The alert would be useful in that case. Essentially, what I just said is that accessing explorer.exe is probably a normal thing for Firefox to do, and ZoneAlarm noticed this. Some viruses access explorer.exe to perform dangerous activities, and ZoneAlarm wasn't sure if Firefox was a virus or not, so it gave you the alert, just in case.

You might as well scan for viruses, anyway. http://s12.postimg.org/453645xyl/activity.png

Modified by user1194064

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Just-A-User said

vikingr said
So... is it a normal function of Firefox to communicate with explorer.exe upon running the browser not only the first time but also each time the browser is opened?

Do you have ZoneAlarm firewall or antivirus?

ZoneAlarm firewall. Norton for AntiVirus.

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Just-A-User said

I've used Process Monitor to monitor Firefox's actions. At start-up and while browsing (browsing includes things as simple as typing), it creates and reads many files. ZoneAlarm probably gave you that alert because Firefox performed some actions in the background that could damage your system if its intent was malicious, which it probably wasn't. If an unknown program accessed explorer.exe and that alert appeared, that might prompt you to scan for viruses. The alert would be useful in that case. Essentially, what I just said is that accessing explorer.exe is probably a normal thing for Firefox to do, and ZoneAlarm noticed this. Some viruses access explorer.exe to perform dangerous activities, and ZoneAlarm wasn't sure if Firefox was a virus or not, so it gave you the alert, just in case. You might as well scan for viruses, anyway. http://s12.postimg.org/453645xyl/activity.png


I thought it could be a normal function too but was looking for confirmation, especially as the browser functions normally regardless of the request being denied or allowed.

Wish I had the knowledge to read the code to know for sure. Thanks.

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vikingr said

Just-A-User said
I've used Process Monitor to monitor Firefox's actions. At start-up and while browsing (browsing includes things as simple as typing), it creates and reads many files. ZoneAlarm probably gave you that alert because Firefox performed some actions in the background that could damage your system if its intent was malicious, which it probably wasn't. If an unknown program accessed explorer.exe and that alert appeared, that might prompt you to scan for viruses. The alert would be useful in that case. Essentially, what I just said is that accessing explorer.exe is probably a normal thing for Firefox to do, and ZoneAlarm noticed this. Some viruses access explorer.exe to perform dangerous activities, and ZoneAlarm wasn't sure if Firefox was a virus or not, so it gave you the alert, just in case. You might as well scan for viruses, anyway. http://s12.postimg.org/453645xyl/activity.png


I thought it could be a normal function too but was looking for confirmation, especially as the browser functions normally regardless of the request being denied or allowed.

Wish I had the knowledge to read the code to know for sure. Thanks.

If the warning appears when you run Firefox, then it's probably OK to ignore. If Firefox is closed and you're just doing something random (typing in Notepad, using Calculator, etc) and that warning pops up, it could be a virus. Some viruses name themselves firefox.exe.