Difference Between Internet Explorer & Windows Explorer

By Terrie Berry

Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, while many times used interchangeably, is not the same program and, in fact, serve very different functions. One serves as a way to access the Internet while the other's function is to search for computer files.

Internet Explorer

To search the Internet, you must have a browser in which to type in searches and web addresses. This is the function of Internet Explorer, and by default it is located on the desktop of Windows-based computers.

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is a way to look at and find various files, programs and folders on a computer system. To access Explorer, right-click on the "Start" button, choose "Windows Explorer" and a new window opens.


Interestingly, it is possible to open Windows Explorer in Internet Explorer. Open Internet Explorer, and in the address field type "C:\My Documents" and press "Enter." You can then see your files displayed in the Internet Explorer window.


Unless you are an advanced computer user, there is no need to actually run Windows Explorer. The average user only needs Internet Explorer to get to Internet sites.


Use caution when deleting files while using Windows Explorer. There are files that can cause the computer not to run properly when deleted.