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I was trying to help a friend with a file sharing problem, and opened up the security tab, clicked on Edit and Advanced to see if there were any relevant settings. Now, I am unable to close the Properties dialog.

enter image description here

Things I have tried which do not work:

  • Alt-F4
  • Clicking X in upper-right corner
  • Close button
  • Opening properties dialog for the folder again (via right-click) just jumps to that instance
  • Closing all Explorer windows
  • Deleting the folder xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

However, after deleting the folder and pressing Close/X/Alt-F4, I am presented with this dialog:

enter image description here

If I press Continue then that new dialog goes away and I am still unable to close the Properties dialog. If I press Cancel then I get this warning:

enter image description here

Unfortunately pressing Edit or Advanced on the Security tab does nothing.

Also I can't reboot for a few days because I have several long-running processes which can not be interrupted. I would kill processes but I'm not sure which process belongs to this dialog. I suspect it's the dllhost.exe (COM Surrogate) process but I have ~200 processes running and I would hate to kill something important.

How can I kill this dialog? Yes, I could just ignore it, but I can't even minimize it so it keeps popping up and driving me nuts.

share|improve this question
Try running this command from a command prompt: taskkill /im explorer.exe /f – and31415 May 5 '14 at 12:39
That works, but the UI is gone afterwards. Pressing ctrl-alt-del > Task Manager > New Task > Explorer got it back. Submit this as an answer and I'll accept it. – glenneroo May 5 '14 at 14:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted


  1. Open a command prompt, type or paste the following command, and press Enter:

    taskkill /im explorer.exe /f
  2. Bring back the Windows Explorer shell by running this command:

    start explorer.exe

    As an alternative, follow these steps:

    • a. Press Shift+Ctrl+Esc to open the Task Manager.
    • b. Open the File > New Task (Run...) menu.
    • c. Type or paste explorer.exe, and press Enter.
share|improve this answer

You had started changing permissions of the folder, and the windows in your second screenshot were not visible to you (sometimes those windows don't grab the top-most position on the screen, or maybe you flipped to another program, or the windows were on the second screen and you weren't looking over there).

A way to perform a master all-windows-minimize is by pressing ALT+D. That will hide your annoying window.

If you've already deleted the folder, then there's no reason to be concerned at all about any inconsistent permissions on deleted files.

share|improve this answer
I could also just drag the dialog out of view. But as a programmer, I'm slightly paranoid about leaving random un-closeable dialogs open (memory leaks, corrupt handles, file locks, etc.). – glenneroo May 5 '14 at 14:50

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