Windows 10: Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10  

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    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10

    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10

    How to Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10
    Published by Category: General Tips
    31 Mar 2017
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 20,868

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    How to Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10

    information   Information
    The explorer.exe process is the user shell for Windows, and is used by such items as the desktop, File Explorer, Start menu, and taskbar. Restarting the explorer.exe process is to stop and start it to effectively refresh explorer.exe. When the explorer.exe process has been stopped (aka: "end task"), you will see a blank black desktop with your mouse pointer showing until explorer.exe has been started again.

    The explorer.exe file is located in the C:\Windows folder.

    This tutorial will show you how to restart the explorer.exe process as needed in Windows 10.

    Note   Note
    If you have set to turn off hard disk after idle, then you will experience a delay if you restart explorer since you will have to wait for all disks turned off to spin back up and turn on before explorer is restarted.


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: To Automatically Restart explorer.exe Process in Task Manager
    • Option Two: To Manually Restart explorer.exe Process in Command Prompt
    • Option Three: To Exit Explorer from Taskbar Context Menu
    • Option Four: To Start explorer.exe Process in Task Manager






    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10
    To Automatically Restart explorer.exe Process in Task Manager

    1. Open Task Manager.

    2. Select Windows Explorer in the Processes tab, and click/tap on the Restart button. (see screenshots below)

    OR

    2. Right click or press and hold on Windows Explorer, and click/tap on Restart.

    3. When finished, you can close Task Manager if you like.

    Name:  Restart_explorer_in_Task_Manager.png
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    Name:  Restart_explorer_in_task_manager-2.png
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    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10
    To Manually Restart explorer.exe Process in Command Prompt

    1. Open a command prompt.

    2. In the command prompt, copy and paste the command below, and press Enter to stop the explorer.exe process. (see screenshot below)

    taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

    3. In the command prompt, copy and paste the command below, and press Enter to start the explorer.exe process. (see screenshot below)

    start explorer.exe

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10
    To Exit Explorer from Taskbar Context Menu

    1. Press and hold the Shift + CTRL keys, right click or press and hold on the taskbar, release the Shift + CTRL keys, and click/tap on Exit Explorer. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Exit_Explorer.png
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    2. If you like, you can use Option Four when ready to start explorer.






    Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10 OPTION FOUR Restart explorer.exe Process in Windows 10
    To Start explorer.exe Process in Task Manager

    Note   Note
    This option is for when the explorer.exe process has already been stopped, and you are stuck with a blank black desktop with only your mouse pointer displaying.


    1. Open Task Manager (Shift+Ctrl+Esc).

    2. Click/tap on File (menu bar), and click/tap on Run new task. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Start_explorer_in_Task_Manager-1.png
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    3. Type explorer.exe, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Start_explorer_in_Task_Manager-2.png
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    4. When finished, you can close Task Manager if you like.



    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Posts : 3,506
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3
       10 May 2015 #1

    Alternate OPTION ONE action:









    highlight/select
    Windows Explorer Task

    open Context menu
    (right click selected task)

    pick Restart
    from the menu
    Name:  expRestart-b.png
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Size:  25.1 KB
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 20,868
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       10 May 2015 #2

      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    12 Jul 2016 #3

    Brink said: View Post
    Hi

    Nice tutorial but unfortunately, doesn't all go according to plan!
    I had extremely slow transfer speed from an external HDD with circa 60,000 files (8Gb) of XLS/XML/word/text created in Office 2010 from a W7 machine using USB2 that copied form 7 to Ext HDD in about 30minutes total without issue
    the transfer to W10 machine was a joke - for another forum! - but there was an Explorer window hanging for some time so I clicked on red cross and closed it so Explorer shut down and I got Black screen
    I ran CTRL/ALT/DEL to open task manager and then "new task" and "Explorer.exe" as Option 4 above and ....nothiogn changed
    Tried couple more times and still no change.
    Then checked "Processes" and noticed 4xExplorer sessions all doing nothing
    Closed 3 of them and tried Option 1 "Restart" as above and Nothing happened
    Finally I was forced to shut down PC and reboot
    not very clever and after all these years of SW development, its a major step backwards when something this simple fails so badly as is the transfer form HDD to W10 machine - thought W10 was an improvement over W7 but STILL snags that should not exist
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 20,868
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       12 Jul 2016 #4

    Hello Jimi, and welcome to Ten Forums.

    It sounds like you had one stubborn explorer process hanging. If it happens again, end task all explorer processes to see if that may allow you to restart it once they have all finished closing.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 37
    Windows 7-pro-sp1 and windows 10-pro-1607
       10 Nov 2016 #5

    Hello Brink, one question. I wanted to try your method 2. Just an experiment. Normal user with basic rights - in cmd windows explorer stopped and started just fine. But when I, still as basic user, did cmd > Run as Administrator, explorer stopped fine, but does not start again. And so the only thing remaining on the screen is the command windows. Icons, taskbar, shortcuts, all gone. Any idea why?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 20,868
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       10 Nov 2016 #6

    Hello 91fw,

    I just tested on my system to see it there may have been a bug, and it worked for me, so I'm not sure why it wouldn't start for you again as well. It doesn't matter if the commands are used in a command prompt or elevated command prompt.

    Did you repeat the start explorer.exe command to see if it may work after a second time?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 37
    Windows 7-pro-sp1 and windows 10-pro-1607
       10 Nov 2016 #7

    Yes, I did repeat. See photograph - you may have to zoom in. I dislike puzzles like this. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	startExplorer.JPG 
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    Last edited by Brink; 10 Nov 2016 at 15:28. Reason: attached your uploaded image
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 20,868
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 16199
    Thread Starter
       10 Nov 2016 #8

    It should, so I'm not sure why it didn't.

    You can press Shift+Ctrl+Esc to open Task Manager. Next, click on File (menu bar), click on Run new task, type explorer, and click/tap on OK to restart explorer using OPTION FOUR instead.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 37
    Windows 7-pro-sp1 and windows 10-pro-1607
       10 Nov 2016 #9

    Thanks for attaching my picture. I did allow this site to use javascript in NoScript, no idea why I had trouble. Back to explorer - yes, I know I can do it via Task manager. But I'm specifically interested in this method 2, because I smell something isn't correct. It should work. Might there be ownership issue? rights issue? Perhaps you can offer some hints of thing what might be responsible. Oh, and thanks for your wonderful tutorials. Windows10 would be unuseable without so many of them.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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