Windows 8 and Later Allow You to Restart Explorer Using Task Manager

UPDATE: This trick can also be used in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Just found another interesting thing in Windows 8 today. Windows 8 Task Manager comes with a built-in option to direct restart Explorer.

To get this feature, simply follow these simple steps:

1. Open Task Manager by right-click on Taskbar and select Start Task Manager or by using keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+Esc".

2. Click on More Details button and go to "Processes" tab.

3. Now look for "Windows Explorer" process. As soon as you click on it, you'll get a new button "Restart" at the bottom-right corner of the window.


You can also right-click on the process and select "Restart" option.

In previous Windows versions including Windows Vista and 7, we need to first end task of Explorer process using Task Manager and then restart it using File -> New Task and then type Explorer.exe.

Its really a wise move from Microsoft.

Also check out following tutorial to learn about various other methods to easily restart Explorer in all Windows versions:

[Guide] Different Ways to Close and Restart Explorer in Windows

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • I have accidently clicked on "end task" right here in this menu. Now i have a blue screen, i cant do anything. What should i do now?

  • Well done! I must have seen it but never noticed! A MUCH better option than previous Windows.

  • Pointless. You could use the run function and type in "explorer" or "start explorer" iirc. If that didn't work, you can always do that from command line.

  • Hey VG...
    Is this possible to do in command prompt....?

    taskkill.exe /f /im explorer.exe /t &&start explorer.exe
    it doesn't work :(

  • @Ozzy just start task manager and click File>Run new task>and type explorer.exe>click OK

  • i hav accidently clicked on "end task" in the task manager for windows i hav a blue screen.i can't anything.wat should i do?

  • Thank you so much, I hate Windows 8 and this trick saved me from losing my work

  • Thanks!

  • @regi

    In Task Manager, go to File -> Run New Task... a dialog will appear, just type 'explorer' (without quotes)

  • Thank you so much for help on running explorer as I also accidentally ended task.

  • Hey, i have made the same mistake as Ozzy but when i try to run a new task (explorer.exe) it comes up with an error saying "no mapping between account names and security IDs was done" how do i fix this??

  • Clicked on it then my whole
    Laptop went purple because that's my format colour, couldn't see anything but a purple screen! Totally freaked out! Couldn't do anything!!! Had to restart my laptop, luckily it went back to normal!

  • No idea what caused my blue screen, seriously had a mini panic attack. I was just trying to clean up some files, which froze up. I opened task manager and hit end task and all of a sudden the blue screen showed up. I looked everywhere for how I could fix it, then I came across this! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • @Anon
    Not pointless at all... saves the hassle of typing it instead and messing with the run function or command line, besides, it's a much easier solution for the non-tech users that aren't familiar using those functions.

  • I had a problem with one explorer window. As long I didn't do anything about it, everything was fine: other windows work fine and start screen also works. But, when I decided to shut the explorer, it won't work at all: no explorer windows, no taskbar, no start screen. And when tried to restart computer, it only says "Logging off" with the circle spinning and spinning. The only working solution to the laptop was to remove battery and power cable and then start again.

  • yeahh it works for me
    thank you!!!!!!!!!@@@

  • This is harmful unless you are running Task Manager.

  • If you accidentally click end task on windows explorer in task manager then what do you need to do in order to get back to the desktop?

  • VG

    ^^ You can restart your system.

    Or you can press Ctrl+Alt+Del keys together to access other options.

    Or you can press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together to launch Task Manager and then go to File -> New task and type explorer.exe and press Enter. It'll launch Desktop again.

  • VG This is working for all and the best way to restart Explorer... Thanks for your help

  • start button, wifi , battery, sound button on the taskbar are not working...but when i restart the explorer it works...this has become my everyday solution.....isn't there a permanent solution for me to work windows explorer normally as before..
    need serious help....
    thanx in advance

  • This is the only thing that worked. Thanks so much..

  • Although this if nice, the Microsoft Engineers are still idiots. They took away the option to "Start New Task". Also took away the option to "Shift + Right Click" Run as Different User using the Search Bar.

    These are two options IT people use a lot. Although the 2nd one, they force us to "Open Folder" and do it on the program itself. About that, that is the way I always taught people how to do it in the first place. After I changed all my help articles to using Search bar, now I have to change them all back to doing it the original way. UGGGGGG.

    Why don't they fix the Daylight Savings Time where your external hard drive time stamps don't change but your PC time stamps do change.

    And why in the world is "Hide Extensions" the default? It leads to clueless people opening viruses because they see .jpg or .xls when it's actually .jpg.vbs or .xlsx.exe. And NO, eliminating VBScript is NOT the answer.

    But I digress

  • related to Start New Task... Ah, as Emily Litella used to say, "Oh never mind". thank you for posting it's under File. I knew I saw it somewhere but when I tried another time I couldn't find it. :D

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