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Restart Windows Explorer

Posted: 2018-06-14
By: dwirch
Viewed: 488

Filed Under:

Tip, Software Hack/Tweak, Tutorial, Windows

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When performing certain operations, such as registry edits, you may be directed to restart Windows. However, some items only require the restart of the Windows Explorer process. Here's how to do it.


Note that this will not work with all registry type tweaks. However, it works great for things that Windows Explorer "touches", which are usually things that you can see on screen.

You can skip the reboot and restart Windows Explorer by simply opening Task Manager, and restarting the Explorer process. The exact steps are:

  1. Right-click the taskbar, and select Task Manager from the context menu.
  2. On the Processes tab, find the entry for Windows Explorer.
  3. Right-click the Windows Explorer process, and select Restart from the context menu.

Windows Explorer will restart, during which you'll see some things disappear, and shortly thereafter reappear. Any changes that you made should now be visible.


You can also restart Windows Explorer via PowerShell, with a single command:

Stop-Process -processname explorer

Issuing this command will kill Windows Explorer, and it will automatically restart. At least it does on my machine. ;)

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