Explorer.exe server execution failed on Windows 10/8/7

You might at times, get this error message on Windows 10/8/7 -: Explorer.exe server execution failed. This might happen because the Shell folder values might be incorrect or they might be missing. In this article, I’ll suggest you few methods to resolve it.

Explorer.exe server execution failed

Step 1:

Method 1 is using the Microsoft Fixit. Microsoft has a knowledge base article on “Error 1606: Could Not Access Network Location” that error message happens for the same reason like this one. So we could run the Microsoft Fixit tool provided in that article KB886549 to resolve the problem. What this does is it will restore the default settings in following registry locations:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Once you run the Fix It, reboot the system and test it and see if that works.

Step 2:

Method 2 is to manually change the values from the Shell folder location.

Note: Make a backup of your registry before making any changes.

Once you have created a backup, open regedit and navigate to the following keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Explorer.exe server execution failed

Here are the default values:

More for information refer the Microsoft article KB886549 mentioned above.

Step 3:

If both the steps fail to resolve your problem, then create a new Windows Profile. For more assistance to create new Windows Profile and transferring the files, visit this article on how to fix a corrupted user profile, create a new user profile and copy files to the new user profile.

Hope something helps.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.


  1. Don Lorusso

    Thanks so much. Step one fixed it right away.

  2. Vsomtoo

    i uninstalled my ie and now can’t be able to play any movie using my media player, help please?

  3. Nick Hexum

    Fix It did not work. This “tool” was totally useless and ineffective for solving this problem, even despite your claims. All procedural steps were taken as outlined, and I’m still receiving “server execution failed” errors, even after rebooting.

  4. Ken

    This was happening to me because I had the “My Document” folder mapped to a network drive and the network drive was not active/connected. Once I connected he Network Drive manually all was well. Hope that helps.

  5. NB: This error is often caused by disconnecting external drives where you have something in the shell tied to content on those drives, e.g. inclusion of external drive folders in a user library, or desktop shortcuts that point to content on the drives. I went nuts with this for a few days until I tried plugging my external drives back in (I only use them for archival, so I’d been disconnecting them when not in use to save wear and tear). Solve the problem immediately.

  6. Egon

    HURRAY, after applying STEP 1 the win7 explorer worked again right away. Before that I tried numerous things, they all failed, but this fix did the job. THANK YOU to the poster!

  7. Jeff

    The error message I’m getting comes upon the startup screen (Windows 7) “Server execution failed: Oxe001003e” just before I sign in. Everything seems to work ok, but what is the problem here?

  8. Patricia

    I think we would all like to know WHY all of a sudden this is happening, I for one have not changed anything before having problems,

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