There may be times when you may want to kill explorer.exe in Windows, maybe because your Windows explorer freezes frequently. The usual way of terminating the explorer process in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista is through the Task Manager.
Kill explorer.exe in Windows
Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 8.1
You right-click the Taskbar, open Task Manager, select Process Tab, right-click explorer.exe and select End task.
Windows 10/8 offers the context menu option to Kill explorer (End Task) as well as Restart Explorer in its Task Manager.
You can even exit explorer using the Taskbar context menu. You will see the option to Exit explorer.
TIP: Right-Click Restart Explorer adds Restart Explorer option to Context Menu.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
Windows Vista & Windows 7 actually offers you a faster way to do it … in 3 clicks!
Click Start button > Hold down Ctrl+Shift & Right Click on an empty area in the Start Menu > Click “Exit Explorer”.
To re-start it, you will have to do so as usual through the Task Manager. Click Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Start Task Manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Then launch explorer.exe manually.