How to restart Windows File Explorer easily in Windows 10

If for some reason, you need to restart your Windows File Explorer in Windows 10/8/7, this is the procedure you can follow. You may use the Task Manager, a desktop shortcut or the Context Menu.

Restart Explorer

In Windows 7, you would start the Task Manager. Select explorer.exe from the processes, and click on the End Process button.

This would kill explorer.exe.

Next, you’d click on File tab, choose New task (Run…), type explorer.exe in the box and click OK.

This will restart explorer.exe.

Windows 10/8 offers the context menu option to Restart Explorer in its Task Manager.

restart explorer

Alternatively, if you find that your explorer.exe freezes frequently or you are really into experimenting and testing customizations, creating a desktop shortcut to restart explorer would definitely be a more convenient option!

To do so, copy-paste the following in a Notepad and and save it as (All files) as a .bat file. Name it as RestartExplorer.bat, if you wish!

@echo off
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

That’s it!

Right Click Restart Explorer adds Restart Explorer option to Context Menu – you might want to check it out!

How to kill explorer.exe in 3 clicks may also interest you.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.