How-To Geek

Restart the Windows Explorer Process in Windows 8


Sometimes when you install a program in Windows, or when you apply a registry hack, you need to log out or restart Windows. However, the same thing can usually be accomplished by restarting the Windows Explorer (explorer.exe) process.

We have previously written about how to restart the explorer.exe process in Windows 7 and Vista. This article shows you how to use the new Task Manager in Windows 8 to easily restart the Windows Explorer process.

While on any screen in Windows 8, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. If the Windows Task Manager displays like the following image, click More details to access the detailed interface.


Make sure the Processes tab is active. Notice that the standard End Task button is available in the lower, right corner of the dialog box, like in Windows 7.


Scroll down in the list of Processes until you find the Windows Explorer process. When you select the Windows Explorer process, the End Task button becomes a Restart button. Click Restart. The Windows Explorer process closes and restarts automatically.


To close the Task Manager, select Exit Task Manager from the File menu.


This is one of the more useful, time-saving changes made in Windows 8.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 10/25/11

Comments (2)

  1. Roi

    Why does everything look so minimalistic and boxy? Windows 8 is starting to feel and look worse over time! The only good thing it has going for it is the ribbon in Explorer and the new task manager but that’s it!

  2. Hieu

    Help me, please!
    My Windows 8 explorer always close and restart automatically everytimes I try to access a file. I can still access the file, but the folder will be closed immediately. What happened with Windows 8 explorer?

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