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 8/7/Vista is through the Task Manager.
You right-click the Taskbar, open Task Manager, select Process Tab, right-click explorer.exe and select End Process.
But 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.
Windows 10/8 offers the context menu option to Kill explorer (End Task) as well as Restart Explorer in its Task Manager.
In Windows 10/8.1, you can even exit explorer using the Taskbar context menu. You will see the option to Exit explorer. Thanks Jeremy for this small but useful tip.
Right Click Restart Explorer adds Restart Explorer option to Context Menu. How to restart Windows Explorer easily with a shortcut may also interest you.