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What is ielowutil.exe and why is it running on my computer?

If you're anything like me, you've noticed that Internet Explorer 8 and 9 seem to be accompanied by a child process named ielowutil.exe. The file properties description for this process isn't very helpful, and, in fact, might lead you to believe that it has something to do with your computer's microphone!

The file description reads: Internet Low-Mic Utility Tool. This sure sounds like it's doing something with your microphone, doesn't it? It turns out that this is a misleading description.

MIC stands for Medium Integrity Cookie (or so it seems). The Low-Mic process is intended to broker low- and medium-integrity process API calls. It has to do with increasing security (reducing malware attack vectors) in IE8 and IE9.

This MSDN blog entry describes IELowUtil.exe:

So the short answer is that IELowUtil.exe is the broker process that handles operations which require processing at a Low Integrity level.

IELowUtil.exe and other than IE browsers

If this process is linked to IE, then should we keep it running while we use Firefox, not IE? It is not a RAM hog, but why clutter processor with unnecessary processes?

Ask Microsoft

I assume that it's running because other software uses Internet Explorer's core engine, even if you never run Internet Explorer (which is just a shell UI around the browser engine)... so even though you never actually "run" Internet Explorer (the browser UI), various built-in system components, and third-party apps, make use of Internet Explorer and thus IELowUtil.exe will run... and it's damn difficult to remove Internet Explorer from Windows completely because it's hooked in to Windows and Windows is dependent on it.

But then I'm just guessing. So you might want to ask Microsoft for a definitive answer.

I Wonder If You Switch Browser?

I was wondering maybe if we change internet browsers from Internet Explore to Firefox, I'm not sure if that will make a difference. But from reading the some of the comments maybe not. I had the same issue with applesycnotifier.exe error which is also an exe files and when I switched browsers it actually eliminated this error. Great post, I think that I will do more research.


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