Is there a way to restart all instances of Windows Explorer? It's useful when explorer starts acting up, eg. high cpu .

; Ctrl F9 - restarts all windows explorer.
    Runwait TASKKILL /F /IM explorer.exe
    Run explorer.exe

Runwait will wait for the command to complete before going to the next line. This is required, else Run explorer.exe might run too soon, and get killed as well.


I have designed a better one using powershell:

$open_folders = @()
$shell = New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application
$shell.Windows() | Foreach {
  $open_folders += $_.LocationURL
taskkill /f /fi "status eq not responding" >$null
Stop-Process -Name explorer -Force
$open_folders | foreach {
  Invoke-Item $_

It will open the folders which were open before restarting of explorer and kill not responding processes before explorer restart.

  • cool, come useful for those who want to preserve the windows.
    – tinker
    Sep 21 '20 at 3:47
; Get a list of all opened explorer windows:
If WinExist("ahk_class CabinetWClass") ; explorer
    list := ""
    ; https://autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=28751#p28751
    for window in ComObjCreate("Shell.Application").Windows
       explorer_path := ""
       try explorer_path := window.Document.Folder.Self.Path 
       list .= explorer_path ? explorer_path "`n" : "" 
    list := trim(list, "`n")
; MsgBox, %list%

RunWait, %comspec% /c taskkill /f /im explorer.exe ,,hide

Process, WaitClose, explorer.exe

; We can now restart the Explorer.exe Process:
Run, explorer.exe
; open all explorer windows we had open previously:
If (list != "")
    Process, wait, explorer.exe
    Loop, parse, list, `n
        Run %A_LoopField% 
  • cool, come useful for those who want to preserve the windows.
    – tinker
    Sep 21 '20 at 3:48
  • the script is erroring out at last 3 lines, putting double quotes on the "n" fixes it. >>> Loop, parse, list, "`n"
    – tinker
    Sep 3 at 7:53

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