How to Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process in Windows


Each process running in Windows is assigned a unique decimal number called the process ID (PID) to identify an active process. This number is used to specify the process when for example attaching a debugger to it.

By default, all File Explorer windows, including the desktop shell, run in a single explorer.exe process. If one File Explorer window hangs or crashes, it will cause all File Explorer windows running in the same process to hang or crash until the process restarts.

You are able to use the Open in new process context menu to manually open folder windows (File Explorer) in a new process.

If you like, you can enable to launch folder windows in a separate process by default. This way each explorer.exe process will have its own process ID (PID) to improve stability of the explorer shell.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable to launch folder windows in a separate explorer process by default for your account in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.


 CONTENTS:

  • Option One: Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process in Folder Options
  • Option Two: Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process using a REG file


EXAMPLE: Separate explorer.exe process (PID) for folder windows (File Explorer) in Task Manager
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Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in Separate Process in Windows OPTION ONE Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in Separate Process in Windows
Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process in Folder Options

1. Open Folder Options.

2. Click/tap on the View tab. (see screenshot below)

3. Check (enable) or uncheck (disable - default) Launch folder windows in a separate process under the Files and Folders settings for what you want, and click/tap on OK.

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Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in Separate Process in Windows OPTION TWO Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in Separate Process in Windows
Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process using a REG file


The downloadable .reg files below will modify the DWORD value in the registry key below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

SeparateProcess DWORD

0 = Disable
1 = Enable



1. Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.


 2. To Enable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Enable_Launch_folder_windows_in_a_separate_process.reg

download


 3. To Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process

This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Disable_Launch_folder_windows_in_a_separate_process.reg

download


4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6. When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7. Restart the explorer process or sign out and sign in to apply.

8. You could now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn