Restart File Explorer Windows 11

3 Ways to Restart File Explorer (explorer.exe) in Windows 11

Windows Explorer is the file management application

The file explorer in Windows 11 has been completely rebuilt and redefined. It’s a Windows system application that’s accountable for various tasks. In extremely unusual circumstances, you may need to restart Windows’ file explorer. It may stop working correctly due to a mistake or a corrupted file, resulting in a system crash or other difficulties. In this situation, you will need to restart Windows 11 file explorer to get it working correctly again.

You’re not alone if you’ve run into this problem on your Windows PC and don’t know how to restart file explorer (explorer.exe) in Windows 11. In this post, we’ll explain how to restart Windows 11’s file explorer in a few simple steps. The file explorer is also available on Windows 11’s taskbar via explorer.exe. To learn more about it, read the post to the conclusion.

How to Restart File Explorer (explorer.exe) in Windows 11

Method 1: Using command prompt

The command prompt is the quickest and easiest way to restart and terminate the file explorer in Windows 11. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to close the file explorer first before restarting it. Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through how to get rid of it. Let’s look at how to restart file explorer in Windows 11 step by step.

  • First, open the command prompt; you can open it by searching cmd in the start menu or pressing Windows+R, then type cmd in the run dialogue box and Enter.
  • Now run the following command; you can copy-paste the command and hit enter to run it.     
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
  • As soon as you run the command, it will terminate the file explorer in Windows 11; to restart it, copy-paste the following command in the command prompt and hit enter.
start explorer.exe
  • Now, whenever you run the second command, it will restart the file explorer, and everything will start working like a charm as it was doing before.

Restart File Explorer via CMD

Note: While you terminate the file explorer, some shortcuts like Windows+I and Windows+R will also stop working, and the taskbar, start menu, and desktop will disappear. But don’t worry; it will go back again whenever you run the second command or restart the file explorer.

Method 2: Using Taskbar

You can use the taskbar approach if the command prompt method doesn’t work for you or if you run into problems while running the command. We’ll use the taskbar and the most basic technique to restart the file explorer.

  1. To begin, you’ll have to open task manager in Windows. You can open Task Manager in Windows by right-clicking on the start button and then clicking on task manager, or you can also open it by pressing a CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keyboard shortcut.
  2. Now navigate to the Processes tab and find out Windows Explorer
  3. As soon as you find out Windows Explorer, right-click on it and now click Restart from the menu that appeared.
  4. Done

In some rare cases, it fails to restart the file explorer automatically. In this case, you will have to restart Windows explorer manually. To manually restart the Windows 11 Explorer, open task manager, click on new (appear on the top left corner), and then click on Run new task; now enter explorer.exe and press enter.

Restart File Explorer via Taskbar

Method 3: Using the Desktop Context menu

While we recommend the first and second methods to restart file explorer in Windows, if somehow none of the methods worked for you, you will have to restart it using the Desktop context menu. Let’s see how we can restart Windows 11 Explorer using the Desktop context menu.

  1. First, download the zip file from this Google drive link and save it on your PC.
  2. Now extract the zip file, and you will find two registry files: Add restart explorer context menu and Remove restart explorer context menu.
  3. Now double click on the first file, i.e. Add restart explorer context menu, and it will open the dialogue box; now click on Run.
  4. Now click on the Yes button whenever the UAC dialogue appears and make sure to allow all the permissions it asks for. You’ll get a confirmation at the end.
  5. Now navigate to the desktop and right-click, then click on Show more options, then click on Restart Explorer, then click on Restart Explorer.
  6. As soon as you click on the restart explorer button, it will successfully restart the File Manager in Windows.

Having that said, what do you think about the Windows File Explorer, and have you ever met an issue where you have to restart the file explorer in Windows 11? Do let us know by dropping a comment in your words below.

About Chandan Pandit

He is a Tech Journalist at Dealntech. He writes on Mobile and Android related news. Keeping the contents as simple as possible with proper information is his goal. He enjoys researching all kinds of tech products, especially fascinating latest mobile phones and gadgets. In his free time, he loves playing mobile games. Email: [email protected]

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