PC Doctor February 1, 2012

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor,

What is explorer.exe? I opened up Task Manager and I found it under processes. It was using a lot of memory so I ended the process and then my toolbar and some windows on my computer disappeared! I could only see the Task Manager so I rebooted my computer. Thankfully everything came back and I haven't dared trying to end the explorer.exe process again.


Dear Ben,

Uh oh! It's definitely not a good idea to be ending unknown processes. Be sure to end only the ones that you know are safe. Some executable files (that's what the .exe stands for) are necessary for normal computer use. The “explorer.exe” is a file that's part of your operating system! It is what lets you see the tool bar and your personal folders, like Documents and Computer. There isn't really anything to lose when you kill the process but it certainly isn't beneficial.

If you do (accidentally) kill the process it is really easy to start it again without rebooting your system. If you don't have the Task Manager open still, press Esc+Shift+Ctrl to open it again. From the Applications tab, click on “New Task”. Type in “explorer.exe” and click OK or press enter.

Be careful with playing with your computer and good luck!

            PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor,

            I don't know if you can answer this question since it's not about a computer. I recently got a Kindle Touch for Christmas from my family. I love reading books off it since it's really easy to use. I don't know how to make the words any bigger though. It would make things even more enjoyable if the words were just a little bigger.

Thank you,


Dear Charity,

No problem! I've heard good things about the new Kindles and I've been really interested in trying one out as well. Since I haven't been able to play with one yet, I had to use one of my sources to find the answer to your question. Thankfully it's super easy to change the size of your text!

First make sure one of your ebooks is open on your Kindle. Using two fingers (it's easiest with your thumb and first finger) make a pinching motion the screen. Pinching in will make the words smaller while pinching outward will make your text bigger. Try it out!

            PC Doctor

P. S. Interested in trying out an ebook reader? The Athol Public Library has Nooks and Kindles available to check out— preloaded with plenty of great books to read!

Until next time… happy computing!