I am an early adopter of Windows 10, and I am a .NET / Web developer so I like to push the bounds a bit when testing out a new OS. I also try to work against the latest / freshest builds available.

With prior releases of windows, when the Windows button and taskbar became unresponsive you could kill the explorer.exe process in Task Manager.

With Windows 10 (RC), the game has changed a bit. Anyone know how to reset the explorer.exe process?

How can I recover when the OS is hung up and the start button is unresponsive.

I'd prefer not to (a) log out or (b) restart.

This is more of a curiosity than a REAL problem, but thanks in advance!


The new task manager doesn't show process names, and there is an application called "Windows Explorer" but I think its limited to the actual file browser (Explorer) and restarting it has no effect on the start menu.

  • 3
    Wait. Explorer is gone in Windows 10? May 6, 2015 at 1:05
  • 1
    sorry good question. no, its there but it seems to only impact the File Explorer. not the Start button and task bar. May 6, 2015 at 1:10
  • 2
    I suggest you come back to this question after a later build. Windows Explorer is still going to be Windows Exploer thus the process will be explorer.exe that isn't going to change.
    – Ramhound
    May 6, 2015 at 11:07
  • 1
    thanks for all of the feedback. I think we should wait until a later build and re-investigate. I was debugging something in VS 2015 RC on Windows 10 Insider Preview 10074 -- and the start button and taskbar became unresponsive and restarting explorer.exe wasn't effective. thought there was something else. -- will circle back later. thanks again. May 7, 2015 at 13:11
  • 5
    The new task manager indeed shows process names. Click "More Details" then go to the "Details" tab. That replaces the old "Processes" tab. You should see explorer.exe listed. May 8, 2015 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


I have this issue a lot. The start and search functions become unresponsive. My workaround is saving this:-

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe   
start explorer.exe   

As a .bat file and putting it on the desktop. It will restart explorer.exe (which is now hidden away in task manager at the bottom of processes, unless you have File Manager open, in which case it can be found in the apps section of processes.

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