Windows Explorer or
explorer.exe is a process in Windows that is responsible for starting and displaying the most of the graphical user interfaces (GUI), including the Desktop, Taskbar, “Start” menu and File Explorer.
If any of the components the Windows Explorer is responsible of are freezing, hanging and not responding, before restarting the whole computer you can try to restart the
explorer.exe process only.
In this note i will show how to fix problems with the Windows Explorer by restarting the
explorer.exe from the Windows Task Manager or from the command prompt (CMD).
Restart Windows Explorer
Restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager
To restart the Windows Explorer from the Task Manager:
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut to open the Task Manager
- Click on the “More details”, if it has opened in a compact mode
- In the “Processes” tab search for the “Windows Explorer” process
- Right click on the “Windows Explorer” and click on “Restart”
Disappearing “Start” Menu & Taskbar: While restarting the Explorer, the “Start” menu or the Taskbar may temporarily disappear until it has finished restarting.
Restart Windows Explorer using CMD
To start the Windows command prompt (CMD), press the ⊞ Win + R to launch the “Run” dialog and execute the
To restart the Explorer from the CMD, firstly you should execute the following command to terminate the
C:\> taskkill /f /im explorer.exe - sample output - SUCCESS: The process "explorer.exe" with PID 6084 has been terminated.
taskkill command parameters used to force the termination of the process:
||Terminate the specified process forcefully.|
||The image name of the process to be terminated.|
Once the Windows Explorer has stopped, start it again with this command:
C:\> start explorer.exe