Fix: Windows explorer.exe does not start at startup

I have realized that corruption in the Windows registry can lead to all sorts of problems. Some of you may have faced this problem, that after you logged on to your computer, you might have seen just a blank screen. No desktop, no Taskbar! This may happen because explorer.exe which is supposed to start-up automatically, did not start at all. While some registry error might have caused this issue, it is certainly possible the problem could be due to some virus infection too, which blocks the explorer.exe from running.

Windows Explorer Icon Fix: Windows explorer.exe does not start at startup

In such situations where your Windows 7 | 8 or Windows Vista explorer.exe fails to start-up automatically on every boot, here are a few steps you can try out:

Windows explorer.exe does not start

1) Start Windows in safe Mode and see if your explorer.exe will start in safe mode. If it does, then obviously something is interfering with its normal start in regular mode. I suggest you scan for malware in safe mode, remove infections if any and reboot.

2) See if a System Restore helps you.

3) Open command prompt as admin and Run sfc /scannow.

4) Back up your Windows Registry first, and then open regedit and navigate to the following :

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Winlogon Fix: Windows explorer.exe does not start at startup

In Winlogon, on the right side, you should notice a value called “Shell“. In the RHS Pane, ensure that the default string value of : Shell is explorer.exe.

Double-click this value. Make sure only ‘explorer.exe‘ is given the value of Shell. If you see anything else there, simply delete it and leave only ‘explorer.exe’ .

Exit the Registry Editor.

Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Post ported from WVC

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • http://meena-tech.blogspot.com/ Meena Bassem

    does that work for windows 8.1?

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Yes, it should. :)

  • http://meena-tech.blogspot.com/ Meena Bassem

    well, what actually worked for me was replacing the corrupted Windows.UI.Immersive.dll from another windows installation and replacing the corrupted files.

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Oh that’s good! Thanks for the useful feedback. Hope it helps someone someday. :)

  • Snetterton

    No help for me. My RegEdit settings are OK according to this. I have to start Task Manager and start Explorer in Administrator mode to get it to start. This is annoying, but some features don’t work when explorer is in administrator mode, and I can’t turn that off to fix other problems.

  • Arthur

    Another way to open windows:
    Immediately on starting computer, tap F8 repeatedly until “Repair Your Computer” shows. Select it. — “System recovery” shows/ select “US” and then “next” —– System recovery again shows. Either enter your password or, if none, select “OK”.
    On next menu select “Windows Memory Diagnostic” and choose “restart now”
    NOW WAIT 7-8 MINUTES while it does its thing.
    When it is done it will reopen windows on your desktop with everything working, possibly faster than before.
    Arthur

  • Aditya

    That did not work. Instead everytime after startup you can press ctrl+shift+esc then run the task explorer.

  • Jonathan

    Thanks a ton. This worked for me.

  • Jose

    i open regedit but the root in HKLM just show current version alone, winlogon or other dont exist in that carpet

  • Esmond Mazorodze

    your post helped me a lot but i found out that i did not have a shell file in my register, so i simply added it as shown on your photo, restated my pc and walla my explorer was up and running again

  • http://www.thewindowsclub.com Anand Khanse

    Yes, you did the right thing and glad it helped you.

  • koukou

    guys my brother has modify the explorerframe.dll and remplace it with another now when windows startup there is nothin no dektop ne icon no nothing exept a window show’s that explorer.exe has a probleme

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