What is igfxext.exe, Safe or Virus & How to Fix Error?

  • Amar 
  • OS

igfxext.exe file is a genuine driver for Graphics that is used by Intel.  This application can be found on Windows 10 and older versions only if using an Intel motherboard. When executed, it runs as an Intel Common User Interface process on your system.

igfxext.exe is an acronym for Intel Graphics External Display Switching. It is not a system process, and Windows can boot without it. However, you should avoid terminating it unless you detect any suspicious behavior like high memory usage or it affects performance.

You can get display outputs from multiple devices like a Macbook or an Android phone to the same monitor using utility files like igfxext.exe. The executable file included machine code published by Intel Corporation for “Intel Communications,” and it comes with Intel-based graphic driver installations.

File Location and Size

There will be a total of 2 files of igfxext.exe in Windows 10 that will be located under C:\Windows\System32\ and C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\. The average file size of igfxext.exe is about 214 KB.

Quick Overview:

File name:igfxext.exe
Application type:Executable file
File description:igfxext Module
Digital SignaturesIntel® pGFC | sha256
File version:
Copyright:Intel Corporation
File Size:214 KB

An original igfxext.exe file will always be located under System32 folder and will looks like this:

igfxext.exe location

If the file is present in a different directory, you should further investigate its legitimacy. Use Task Manager for verification:

  1. Open Task Manager by holding down Ctrl + Shift + Esc from your keyboard.
  2. Under the Process tab, locate igfxext.exe.
  3. Right-click on it and choose Open file location
  4. If the file location is other than the System32 folder then it could be a virus.

Why do I have igfxext.exe on your system?

Before we understand the use of the EXE file, we need to know about the DisplayLink software. It detects external monitors apart from the native display and shows them to Windows (or any operating system). The connections must use a DisplayLink video adapter.

The igfxext.exe comes into action when connecting an external monitor or projector to a Windows system with an Intel Graphics motherboard. t allows changing the graphics output from the native one to external or vice versa using the Display Switch Hot Key.

Is it safe or a virus?

igfxext.exe is not a core system file for Windows OS and generally does not disrupt booting or operations. However, it should not be removed from the Operating System.

It is a Microsoft signed file, having a digital signature. If the EXE file resides in a subfolder inside the mentioned directory or a different location, it may be a Trojan or malware disguised as the utility file.

Here you can find software like driver booster.

For instance, if igfxext.exe is in the user profile folder, you should remove it immediately. You can use a third-party malware removal program or antivirus to detect and fix the threat. In case the virus affects the functionality of the original igfext.exe, we advise booting your system in Safe Mode with Networking. Windows loads the critical services and drivers only during startup, and the software can make amends seamlessly.

Here is how to fix Nvidia Control Panel missing.

You can also download and install Microsoft Process Manager to detect malicious processes with unverified signers. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Run Microsoft Process Manager and check “Check Legends” in Options.
  2. Add “Verified Signer” from “Select Columns” in the View menu.

The illegitimate processes always have “Unable to verify” as their status under “Verified Signer.”

You can also check the process’s network utilization, CPU, and memory consumption from the Task Manager window to ensure authenticity. Igfxext.exe does not require a lot of resources to operate.

However, you can improve your computer’s performance by reducing system overload:

How to disable using igfxext.exe 

  1. Hold down Win + R on your keyboard and enter msconfig
  2. Find the process and disable its launch upon startup.

How to check igfxext is consuming high CPU or Memory?

  1. Press Win+R on your keyboard
  2. Type resmon and hit enter button
  3. Resource Monitor will open

Here you can monitor which particular application is consuming system resources.

Why does igfxext.exe keep crashing, and how to fix it?

You may encounter the error message “igfxext Module stopped working and was closed” while using DisplayLink to connect multiple display outputs. The problem occurs when Intel Graphics cannot detect the additional displays.

You can work around the problem by stopping the process’s launch at startup –

  1. Press Windows+R button
  2. Type msconfig and hit the Enter button
  3. Go to the Startup tab.
  4. Find igfxext from the Process list and uncheck it.
  5. Click OK to close the window and reboot your system.

Other similar executable files:

Usbehci.sys, nvvsvc.exe, igfxCUIService.exe


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