Restart Explorer

ByLine
How to Restart Explorer in Vista
Synopsis
This will show you how to do a manual restart of explore.exe. Doing this acts like a quick computer restart.
How to Restart Explorer in Vista

information   Information
The executable module in Vista that contains the Start Menu, Taskbar, desktop and file manager user interfaces. EXPLORER.EXE is a Windows process that runs automatically at startup and remains an active process. If you have a Explorer error, or you made a change to the system that requires a computer restart to apply, and you do not want to wait for the whole computer to restart to do it, then this gives you a quick restart without restarting the whole system.
Note   Note
If you are using Windows Dreamscene or Stardock DeskScapes, then you will get a Dreamscene failure error and the desktop background will go blank when Explorer.exe is restarted. To fix this, simply select any normal wallpaper, then select a Windows Dreamscene or Stardock Deskscapes Dream.
Tip   Tip
Doing a log off and log on also acts as a quick restart.
warning   Warning
Do not use these methods for a required restart after a program or Windows Update installation. A full computer restart is usually necessary for this.





OPTION ONE
Through the Start Menu

1. To Close Explorer.exe
A) Open the Start Menu.​
B) Press and hold Ctrl+Shift and right click on a empty area of the Start menu. (See screenshot below)​
C) Releas Ctrl+Shift and click on Exit Explorer.​
Start_Menu.jpg


2. To Restart Explorer.exer
A) Do steps 1 and 3 in Option Two below.​






OPTION TWO
Through Task Manager

1. Open Task Manager.​
NOTE: Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc, or right click on the taskbar and click Task Manager.​
2. To Close Explorer.exe
A) Click on the Processes tab. (See screenshot below)​
B) Click on explorer.exe and click on the End Process button.​
Task_Manager.jpg

C) Click on End Process in the confirmation prompt. (See screenshot below)​
Confirm.jpg

D) You will now notice that Explorer has stopped.​
NOTE: The taskbar, deskop icons, and any open Windows Explorer windows are now gone.​

3. To Restart Explorer.exe
A) Click on File in Task Manager. (See screenshot for step 3 above)​
B) Click on New Task (Run...).​
C) Type explorer.exe and click OK. (See screenshot below)​
Open.jpg

D) You will notice Explorer restarting.​
NOTE: The taskbar and desktop icons will be back.​

4. Close Task Manager.​
That's it,
Shawn



 

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Last edited:

sagarun

New Member
we can gracefully restart the explorer.exe by holding ctrl+shift and rightclick on an empty area on the startmenu and clicking exit explorer!!
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Sagarun, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Thank you for sharing. The tutorial has been updated to include this.

Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

sonia

New Member
This works perfectly, and reinstated my Netword and Volume by allowing me to select the relataive icons in the taskbar notification screen from the start menu. However, when I re-boot they are gone again. I have downloaded and tried "reset notifications icons" as well as "enable network" and enable volume" in relative tutorials. These do not restore the icons. Will I have to restart explorer-exe each time I boot!
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Hello Sonia,

I'm sorry, I thought that you had it sorted from your last post.

As a test uninstall and reinstall your network and audio drivers to see if that may help in case they may have been corrupted.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

sonia

New Member
I also thought it was sorted..Now icons only show if I restart explorer.exe (at least I have a work around). Will check the drivers and post again. Many thanks
 

My Computer

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