Is there a way to start windows "explorer" process from command line?

Because of some problem in my Vista OS, explorer process crashes frequently (i can not see TaskBar after that) but using the open windows i can access the cmd.exe ( ctrl+alt+delete does not work). If there could be a command to start "explorer" process again or to start the Task manager then that would help a lot.


Edit: explorer command starts the explorer process, but alt+ctrl+del is still not working, any help?

  • Ctrl+Alt+Del is always handled by the system (more precisely, winlogon), and no other programs are ever allowed to intercept it. If the system does not react to CAD, yet you can open Task Manager using other methods, then you have bigger problems.
    – user1686
    Jun 13 '10 at 12:40
  • Then winlogon asks the GINA what to do.
    – Hello71
    Jul 4 '10 at 1:11
  • In CMD, if you just type "explorer" without quotes it should fire up!
    – 0xab3d
    Apr 20 '12 at 14:14
  • And upgrade to Windows 7, it's Vista well-done ;)
    – 0xab3d
    Apr 20 '12 at 14:15

I use Task manager. Click. File -> Run new task and type explorer. You can start task manager by pushing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. The method I described works for me when explorer crashes.


Starting explorer.exe from the Task Manager will indeed work whereas calling the same from a cmd.exe window doesn't start it properly. The Taskbar won't return after you've killed the process for instance.

The reason is actually simply that you need the fully qualified path. Rather than calling explorer.exe or just "explorer" you need to call C:\Windows\explorer.exe

Discovered this thanks to this answer on Stack Overflow.


A good thing to try for more stability is in Explorer > Folder Options and check the option for "Launch folder windows in separate processes". That way a crash in one explorer shouldn't take out all other windows.

  • 1
    This probably should have been a comment since it doesn't actually answer the question.
    – Joey
    Jun 13 '10 at 11:37

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