How to restart Windows Explorer – 9 ways

How to restart Windows Explorer: Many users will find useful information on how to restart File Explorer in the Windows operating system. Restarting Explorer can quickly resolve system issues, freezes, and so on.

While working on the computer, the user notices that there are freezes in the work of programs, running applications do not open for a long time, the system “thinks” for a long time before performing any action. Often this happens due to the fact that, for various reasons, the Explorer process “explorer.exe” loads the system, and it does not respond, or responds with a slowdown to user commands.

Therefore, you need to restart Windows Explorer to release the process in the operating system. After that, in most cases, everything will start working as usual.

Windows Explorer is a file manager, a “shell” of the operating system for working on a computer. Explorer is responsible for the Desktop, the Start menu, and other system elements, it performs the necessary actions with files and folders.

How to restart the File Explorer process? There are two options to restart the file manager:

  • restarting the computer;
  • restarting Explorer from a running operating system.

In the first case, all processes in the system will be terminated, and after rebooting, Windows will start again on the computer, not loaded with the processes that caused the hang.

The second option involves terminating the “explorer.exe” process to restart Explorer, without restarting the computer. How to use these methods is described in the instructions in this article.

Restarting Explorer using Windows

If Explorer hangs, it opens a window with information that the program is not responding and offers several options:

  • Restart the program.
  • Close the program.
  • Waiting for a program response.

Click on the “Restart the program” item to start the Explorer using the Windows operating system.

How to restart File Explorer in Windows 10 – 1 way

Consider the process of restarting Explorer in the Windows 10 operating system using the Task Manager.

You need to follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Control Panel, in the context menu, click on “Task Manager”.
  2. In the “Task Manager” window, in the “Processes” tab, find the “Explorer” process.
  3. Right-click on the process, select “Restart” from the context menu.

Windows will restart the system file manager.

Restarting File Explorer in Windows 10 – Method 2

Another fairly simple option to restart File Explorer in the Windows 10 operating system.

  1. Press the keyboard keys “Ctrl” + “Shift”, and then click on an empty space on the Taskbar.
  2. A context menu will open, in which you need to click on “Exit Explorer”.

To launch File Explorer, do the following:

  1. Press the “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Esc” keys to launch the Task Manager.
  2. After opening the Task Manager window, press the key combination “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “F10”.
  3. In the Task Manager, the “File” menu will become active, press the “Enter” key.
  4. In the context menu, click on the “Start a new task” item.
  5. In the Create Task window, type “explorer” (without quotes) and then click OK.

The explorer will start up again.

How to restart File Explorer in Windows 8 (Windows 8.1)

On Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 operating systems, you can use this method, among others, to restart Explorer:

  1. Press the “Ctrl” + “Shift” keys.
  2. Click on an empty space on the Taskbar.
  3. Select Exit Explorer from the context menu.
  4. Press the keys “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Esc”.
  5. In the Task Manager, go to the “File” menu, select “Run a new task”.
  6. In the Create Task window, type “explorer.exe” (without quotes).

How to restart File Explorer in Windows 7

On the Windows 7 operating system, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the start menu.
  2. Press the “Ctrl” + “Shift” keys, and then right-click on an empty space in the “Start” menu, for example, near the “Shut down” button.
  3. In the context menu, select Exit Explorer.

The explorer process “explorer.exe” will shut down, the screen will only display the wallpaper. In some cases, File Explorer will automatically restart itself.

We need to enable Explorer again to continue working on the PC:

  1. Press the “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Esc” keys to launch the Task Manager.
  2. In the Task Manager window, click on the File menu.
  3. In the context menu that opens, select “New task (Run…)”.
  4. In the “Create a new task” window, enter “explorer” or “explorer.exe” (without quotes), click on the “OK” button.

After that, Explorer will restart and start working on the computer.

How to restart Windows Explorer using the keyboard

In some situations, the mouse may not work on the computer, which does not respond to pressing the buttons of the manipulator. The operating system freezes, to fix the situation, we need to restart the Explorer process in the Windows Task Manager.

This method works the same in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 operating systems.

Follow the steps of the first step:

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Esc” at the same time.
  2. The Task Manager window will open in the Processes tab.
  3. By pressing the “↓” key (down arrow) go to the “explorer.exe” process (in Windows 7) or “Explorer” (in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8).
  4. Press the “Delete” (“Del”) key.

If a Task Manager warning window opens with a message about the forced termination of the system process, press the “Enter” key.

Explorer is disabled, the Task Manager window is displayed on the screen. It’s time to move on to the second stage: launching Explorer.

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “F10”.
  2. The File menu will be highlighted in the Windows Task Manager window.
  3. Press the “Enter” key.
  4. A context menu will open in the “File” menu, press the “Enter” key again.
  5. In the “Create a new task” window, in the “Open” field, enter “explorer” (without quotes).
  6. Press the “Enter” key.

Explorer will restart.

How to restart File Explorer from the command line

Now we will try to restart the Explorer through the Windows command line.

  1. Run command prompt as administrator.
  2. In the command line interpreter window, run two commands in sequence. After entering each command, press “Enter”.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

start explorer.exe

Restarting Explorer in Windows PowerShell

You can restart File Explorer using Windows PowerShell in the following way.

  1. Run Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
  2. In the Windows PowerShell window, run two commands: one command ends the File Explorer process, the other command starts File Explorer on the computer.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

start explorer.exe

Restart explorer with batch bat file

The user can independently create a special file with the “.bat” extension to restart the Explorer. At the right time, the user will run a file that will shutdown and restart the application.

  1. Open Notepad, enter the commands (you can copy from here):
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
start explorer.exe
  1. Enter the “File” menu, select “Save As …”.
  2. In the File Type field, select All Files.
  3. Give the file any name, such as “Explorer.bat”. Be sure to add the “.bat” extension to the file name.
  4. Save the file on your computer.

When you need to restart Explorer, run this file.

Article Conclusions

If, while working on the computer, it becomes necessary to restart Windows Explorer, the user can perform this operation in several ways: in the Task Manager, using keyboard keys, by executing commands on the command line, in Windows PowerShell, in a specially created “.bat” file.

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