explorer.exe hanged on me and I killed it by clicking on End Process :

enter image description here

I do FileNew Task and started a new explorer.exe process.

However, I'm currently still unable to use my taskbar and my desktop. The new explorer.exe is shown in the process list but it isn't working as expected.

How do we properly restart explorer.exe in Windows XP?

  • The method you are using is the proper method to restart explorer.exe . If you don't get your taskbar back, then it must be some other problem that prevents explorer.exe from starting properly. I would recommend to wait for several minutes and if it does not help - restart the machine Sep 18, 2014 at 10:46

3 Answers 3


I just have a "restart.bat" and type "restart" at the command-line when I want to do this.

It is, roughly:

@Echo off
Echo Killing explorer...
taskend /f explorer
Echo Wait 3 seconds...
sleep 3
Echo Starting explorer...
start explorer

This assumes you have a "sleep" command to wait 1 second, and assumes "explorer" is in your path. And of course that restart.bat is in your path too! :)

  • And that is exactly what my answer is, Pacerier.
    – ClioCJS
    Jul 3, 2015 at 13:31
  • I'm actually not convinced that start explorer would have worked because "file >> new task" is already broken. Something else seems to be the problem. I'll take this as answer for the time being until a better one comes along.
    – Pacerier
    Jul 4, 2015 at 5:49
  • It works as long as start.exe and explorer.exe are in your path. Of course, there could be another problem. Maybe there is a process hanging things up. Could throw a taskend for that process into the BAT file too. It's clunky, but so is Windows :)
    – ClioCJS
    Jul 5, 2015 at 6:25
  • Do you use modern Windows like Windows 8? Or are you a Linux guy?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 8, 2015 at 10:46
  • My solution works for any windows between Windows95 and Windows7. I'd bet money (without any evidence) it would work under Windows8, too, assuming you've met the proper assumptions I gave.
    – ClioCJS
    Jul 9, 2015 at 11:05
  1. Click on Application tab
  2. Click on New Task on below right hand side.
  3. New window will come, there write explorer.exe and click on OK

Other way is to restart the computer.

  • 1
    Why doesn't one just restart the computer and/or logout of the user and just log back in.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 18, 2014 at 10:45
  • 2
    @Ramhound You are right. But the question was how to restart the Explorer after ending the process and I think I answered that. Sep 18, 2014 at 10:47
  • 1
    @Lifestohack Yes that is the correct way, but File → New Task or choosing New Task from Application tab or using run, are not different from one another. You'd suggested what the author has already done and still failed to open explorer.exe. :)
    – Mohi
    Sep 18, 2014 at 10:59
  • @Lifestohack, This doesn't work. It does the exact same thing as File → New Task isn't it?
    – Pacerier
    Sep 18, 2014 at 11:01
  • 1
    @Pacerier - Yes; You have to be more specific other then "it doesn't work" because that's how you launch explorer.exe after manually killing explorer.exe. You can switch to your active windows using the keyboard shortcut, save your work, and restart of course its likely something else is going on and even that won't work.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 18, 2014 at 11:05

The correct way to restart explorer is from any program that can run a windows program, eg taskman or cmd.exe or 4nt.

If nothing is running, then taskman.exe is indeed the correct way to start this.

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