How to Restart Windows Explorer on Windows 11 and What Happens When You Do It


How to Restart Windows Explorer on Windows 11 and What Happens When You Do It.


Windows Explorer is the gateway to the Graphical User Interface (GUI) with which we navigate the Windows working system. It is the consumer shell that lets one discover the desktop, the File Manager, the  Start Menu and the taskbar, and a bunch of different issues linked to it. In sure conditions, you might be required to restart it, resembling when a number of of its components begin to glitch or in case your display freezes. 

With Windows 11, Microsoft has significantly propped up Windows Explorer and ‘centralized’ the entire expertise. But the methods to restart it are nonetheless the identical. Here we check out how to restart Windows Explorer and what occurs if you achieve this. 

What occurs if you restart Windows explorer (and when must you do it)?

Restarting Windows Explorer is rather like restarting every other software – it shuts down the consumer shell and begins it back up once more. This implies that all of the processes which might be depending on it, such because the desktop, the taskbar, the Start Menu, and the File Explorer will all reload, thereby fixing any little points that there may need been. If your system is freezing or lagging, restarting Windows Explorer is usually sufficient to resolve the problem.

It is nice to know the way to go about doing in order this is likely one of the quickest methods of fixing a stuttering desktop expertise or an unresponsive taskbar. Windows Explorer must restart everytime you make adjustments to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry as effectively, which is another excuse to know the way to take action.

You also can merely finish Windows Explorer with out restarting it. If you achieve this, you can be left with a clean desktop with no taskbar or the Start Menu. The file explorer received’t be obtainable both. But beginning it back up once more is a cinch. 

: How to Reset Windows 11

Restart File Explorer on Windows 11

Here are all of the methods that you may restart Windows Explorer on Windows 11. Note that though the visible references proven on this information are of Windows 11, these strategies work for Windows 10 as effectively. 

Method #01: Using Task Manager

First up, open the Task Manager by urgent Ctrl + Shift + Esc concurrently. Alternatively, you can too merely right-click the Start menu and choose Task Manager.

Click on More particulars if the Task Manager opens in miniature type. 

Scroll by means of the Processes and discover Windows Explorer. Select it after which click on on Restart in direction of the underside proper nook.

The visible components in your display will disappear momentarily after which return. This implies that Windows Explorer was efficiently closed and restarted. 

: How to Uninstall Updates on Windows 11

Method #02: Using Command Prompt/Windows Terminal/PowerShell

Another option to restart Windows Explorer is thru a Windows Terminal such because the Command Prompt or PowerShell. In our instance, we’re going with the previous however the instructions are the identical for each. 

Press Start, kind cmd (or powershell), after which click on on Run as administrator.

Now kind the next command:

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

Then press Enter. As quickly as you try this, you will note the desktop flip black and the Start menu and the taskbar disappear. This means that you’ve efficiently closed Windows Explorer. To begin it back up once more, kind the next command:

begin explorer.exe

Then press Enter. The visible components will return promptly.

Method #03: Using a batch script

You also can create a batch script to restart Windows Explorer in order that the following time you want to take action, you want solely to double-click on it. Here’s how:

Right-click on the desktop and choose New > Text doc.

Open this Notepad file, then kind the next:

@echo off

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

begin explorer.exe

Alternatively, you’ll be able to copy the above and paste it into the textual content doc. 

Then click on on File.

Select Save as.

Give this file a reputation and save its extensions as .bat. Then click on on the drop-down menu next to Save as kind.

Select All information.

Then click on Save.

Your batch file to restart Windows Explorer is now created on the desktop. Whenever it’s essential to restart Windows Explorer next, merely double-click on this .bat file. 

If the aforementioned strategies appear too elaborate to you, you’ll be able to add an choice to restart Windows Explorer to the context menu for simpler entry. However, to take action, you’ll must create a registry file particular to the duty. Here’s how to go about it:
Open a textual content doc (Notepad file) as proven earlier than. Then kind the next:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorer]”icon”=”explorer.exe””Position”=”Bottom””SubCommands”=””
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorershell1menu]”MUIVerb”=”Restart Explorer Now”
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorershell1menucommand]@=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,74,00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,00
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorershell2menu]”MUIVerb”=”Restart Explorer with Pause””CommandFlags”=dword:00000020

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorershell2menucommand]@=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,40,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,6f,00,66,00,66,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,53,00,74,00,6f,00,70,00,70,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,74,00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,57,00,61,00,69,00,74,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,74,00,6f,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,77,00,68,00,65,00,6e,00,20,00,79,00,6f,00,75,00,20,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,20,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,64,00,79,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,70,00,61,00,75,00,73,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,69,00,74,00,00,00
To simplify the method, merely copy the above and paste it into the notepad file. 

Then click on on File.

Select Save as.

Give this file a reputation and finish it with .reg. Then click on on the drop-down menu next to Save as kind.

Select All Files.

Click on Save.

Now double-click this newly created registry file.

When prompted, click on Yes.

You will now get a affirmation message that the keys and values on this file are efficiently added to the registry. Click OK.

To see the brand new context menu choice to Restart Windows Explorer, right-click on the desktop and choose Show more choices.

The choice to Restart Explorer will probably be on the backside. Hover over it to get the choices to Restart Explorer Now or Restart Explorer with Pause.

If you’d wish to take away this feature, create a notepad file and paste the content material talked about under in it.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDesktopBackgroundShellRestart Explorer]

Then click on on File > Save as.

Save the file as a .reg file as we did earlier than and save file kind as ‘All files’. Then click on Save.

Then double-click this newly created registry file.

When prompted, click on Yes, then click on OK.

The choice to restart Explorer from the Context Menu will now not be obtainable.
Fix: Windows Explorer has stopped working

The primary repair to Windows Explorer issues is to restart Windows Explorer using any of the strategies talked about above. This provides all of the visible components of the consumer shell a tender reboot, permitting them to load the information once more and repair any points that they is perhaps having. 

But there are just a few different potential fixes that you could be wish to try as effectively. Here they’re:

Run SFC scan

Windows Explorer could also be encountering points attributable to corrupt system information. Here’s how one can verify for a similar and repair it:

Press Start, kind cmd, and click on on Run as administrator.

Now kind the next command:

sfc /scannow

Then press Enter. This will begin the System File Checker scan. You might have to attend some time earlier than the method is completed.


SFC Scan will discover any potential issues and repair them for you.

Reboot in Safe Mode to determine the issue

Sometimes, corrupt third-party functions could also be the reason for the issue. But to ensure that is the case, we now have to reboot the PC in Safe Mode first. Here’s how to take action:

Press Start and click on on the ‘Power’ button.

Then, whereas holding down the ‘Shift’ key, click on on Restart.

Now, whereas the pc is restarting, you can be taken to the Advanced Restart choices. Select Troubleshoot.

Click on Advanced choices.

Click on Startup Settings.

Click Restart.

Now press the quantity that corresponds to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Check if the issue nonetheless persists in Safe Mode. If it does, right here’s what it’s essential to do.

Boot the pc back up usually, then press Start, kind msconfig, and click on on Run as administrator.

Under the ‘General’ tab, ensure that to pick out Selective startup, however uncheck Load startup objects.

Then change over to the ‘Services’ tab.

Here, click on on Hide all Microsoft companies on the backside to pick out it. Then click on Disable all.

Click OK.

Restart your PC usually. If Windows Explorer is working high-quality, then the problem was precipitated most certainly by a third-party app. You might must seek out precisely which program was interfering with the right functioning of Windows Explorer.

We suggest uninstalling any current apps that you will have put in across the time when this downside began to seem. 

Scan for viruses

You ought to undoubtedly run a full virus scan along with your anti-virus program to search out any viruses or malware lurking in your pc. Viruses are available in varied sorts and have the capability to wreak havoc in your system, and a non-functioning Windows Explorer is likely one of the main signs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Windows Explorer is tied to a wide range of visible components that we as customers work together with every day. It is barely pure then to have questions on its functioning and what all you are able to do after you finish or restart it. Here we reply just a few generally requested queries so you have got all the data it’s essential to make changes to Windows Explorer.

Is it secure to finish Windows Explorer?

Yes, it’s secure to finish Windows Explorer. Doing so received’t result in any issues. In reality, it might probably repair the issues its components could also be experiencing. However, should you solely finish Windows Explorer with out beginning it up back once more, you received’t have entry to these very components which have made Windows 11 stand out from its predecessors. 

How usually ought to I restart Windows Explorer?

Under regular circumstances, you received’t must restart Windows Explorer in any respect. One of the principle explanation why folks restart Windows Explorer is once they’ve made adjustments to the registry the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key and must see the adjustments applied. 

Other than that, Windows Explorer would require a tender reboot if a number of of its components start to malfunction. But should you’re always having to restart Windows Explorer, the issue could also be discovered elsewhere. Refer to our fixes above to kind this problem. 

Why does Windows Explorer keep crashing?

There are just a few explanation why Windows Explorer might not be working as ordinary. But viruses inside third-party functions downloaded from unknown or untrustworthy sources is likely one of the widespread trigger for this. Windows Update can also introduce Explorer bugs with current updates, particularly should you’re on the Dev channel, though it’s not usually the case.

Is any information misplaced when restarting Windows Explorer?

No, your information isn’t misplaced if you restart Windows Explorer. All your information and functions will return to the state by which they have been if you restarted Windows Explorer. The solely components which might be impacted are the UI components which might be depending on Windows Explorer, such because the desktop, the Start Menu, File Explorer, and the taskbar.

Do copy paste keep working or get stopped?

Yes, the copy-paste operate nonetheless retains working if you finish or restart Windows Explorer.

Can you reopen the identical windows once more after restarting Windows Explorer?

Yes, you’ll be able to open the identical windows once more after restarting Windows Explorer. However, should you have been using File Explorer to navigate by means of your drives and folders, you’ll have to open it up from the start and get to the folders you have been accessing if you restarted Windows Explorer.

So these have been the methods that you may restart Windows Explorer and when you have to be doing so. We hope you now have a greater understanding of the processes of Windows Explorer and the methods to handle them. 

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