How to Restart Windows Explorer [Complete Guide]

How To Restart Windows Explorer

Have you ever tried navigating through windows, and you find out it is stuck? Well, a lot of times, most computer users don’t know how to restart windows explorer. They panic too quickly, and the next line of action they take is to call a repairer to come to have it fixed. So, if you fall into the category of not knowing how your windows explorer can be restarted, then this article is just for you. To gain more insight, it is recommended that you keep reading, as it promises to be educational or rather informative. 

However, before we go deep into the topic of discussion, we should explain what windows explorer is. So what is it? 

What is Windows Explorer? 

 In a simple term, windows explorer is more or less like the soul of windows. What this means is that it is the user interface that makes it possible to link or connect with all windows programs, like the start menu, the file explorer, the desktop, and not to mention all the dialogue boxes. 

Interestingly, you can decide to restart windows manually or automatically depending on the one you deem fit. So, without wasting much time, below are some of the ways you can restart windows explorer. 

How to restart windows explorer 

Through the use of Task manager

Windows task manager serves a lot of purposes as this management tool can tune up performances and even manage processes along the way. It is an important tool that can put an end to processes that either choose not to quit, remain stuck, and are unresponsive. To achieve this, below is a detailed explanation of how to execute it.  

The Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard should be pressed together as this would lead to the task manager opening. When that is done, you would have to locate “more details,” which is at the bottom left, and click on it. Thirdly, before you click on the restart, you would have to right-click the windows explorer processes that can be located just under the processes tab. 

 Finally, once you have been able to achieve that, the explorer. exe processes would have no other choice but to shut down. Plus, you can now finally close the task manager as the process of restarting has been completed. 

Through the use of the command line

If you do not know how to restart windows explorer, you need to learn how to use the command line. With the Powershell and the command prompt, explorer.exe processes can better still be restarted. To effectively achieve this through the using of the command line, you would have to carry out the following to perfection 

Enter “taskkill /f /im explorer.exe.” 

Once that is successful, the next line of action to take would be to enter the command “start explorer.exe.” By doing so, you would invariably be restarting the process. 

Add Restart Explorer Shortcut to Context Menu

Most times, people want to address a situation as quickly and effectively as possible. So, to rectify your windows explorer, you would have to execute it from the context menu. A good thing to bear in mind is that while shortcuts are limited, doing it with a context menu is relatively a better fit. However, it should be made known that although you can get results as quickly as possible, you may have to tweak the Windows Registry. Also, you may have to avoid making a mistake, as mistakes can invariably lead to the windows functions being affected negatively. Opening the registry is a relatively simple thing to do as you would have to press windows+R keys. Once the Run icon pops up, you would have to type in “Regedit” and then press the OK button. 

Restart Windows Explorer using an automatic batch file

Another alternative way to restart windows is through the use of an automatic batch file. To achieve this, the first line of action to take would be to right-click on a blank space after going to the desktop. The blank space should open a context menu that would have to select the text document after you have already expanded New. Then, you would have to paste the script below after you have already opened the text document: 

taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe

start explorer.exe


Once this is done, the next step would be for you to have it saved. So now, the last line of action would be for you to fill in the name of the file. The ideal name to save the file would be “RestartWindowsExplorer.bat.” After which, you would finally save it, and then a new file would be created. In addition, there is no specific place to store the batch file. It can be stored anywhere of your choice, but you should also create a shortcut to the batch file so that it can be easier to address when faced with such a challenge. 

A lot of times, people make it a habit of restarting the explorer.exe very often. This type of activity should be limited to the barest minimum, except the situation is a bit critical, and you have no other choice than to proceed ahead. 

Also, know that all the data should be saved to avoid a loss of files, most especially the programs that make use of the processes. 


When being faced with a glitch or explorer being stuck, the next thing that comes to users’ minds is to reboot the computer. However, there are several ways to restart windows explorer without having to reboot the computer. 

How to restart windows explorer has a relatively easy process to go about. As a user, you can decide to make use of the task manager, the command line, or even an automatic batch file. It all comes down to the one you feel comfortable using. 

Lastly, having explained in detail the several ways to restart windows explorer, the next time being faced with a challenge, it can then be assumed that you know the appropriate steps to take to restart the windows explorer. 

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