explorer – Windows Blog by Brink

explorer

Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11

The explorer.exe process is the user shell for Windows, and is used by such items as the desktop, File Explorer, Start menu, notification area, and taskbar. Restarting the explorer.exe process is to stop and start it to effectively refresh explorer.exe. When the explorer.exe process has been stopped (aka: “end task”), you will see a blank black desktop with your mouse pointer showing until explorer.exe has been started again.

If you are having issues with the explorer.exe process (ex: hang), restarting the explorer.exe process may sort it without having to restart the computer.

If you are applying a registry tweak, sometimes you can just restart the explorer.exe process to apply instead of having to restart the computer or sign out and sign in.

This tutorial will show you how to add Restart Explorer to the desktop context menu of all users in Windows 11.

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Restart Windows Explorer.exe Process in Windows 11

The explorer.exe process is the user shell for Windows, and is used by such items as the desktop, File Explorer, Start menu, notification area, and taskbar. Restarting the explorer.exe process is to stop and start it to effectively refresh explorer.exe. When the explorer.exe process has been stopped (aka: “end task”), you will see a blank black desktop with your mouse pointer showing until explorer.exe has been started again.

If you are having issues with the explorer.exe process (ex: hang), restarting the explorer.exe process may sort it without having to restart the computer.

If you are applying a registry tweak, sometimes you can just restart the explorer.exe process to apply instead of having to restart the computer or sign out and sign in.

This tutorial will show you how to restart the explorer.exe process as needed in Windows 11.

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How to Enable or Disable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process in Windows

Each process running in Windows is assigned a unique decimal number called the process ID (PID) to identify an active process. This number is used to specify the process when for example attaching a debugger to it.

By default, all File Explorer windows, including the desktop shell, run in a single explorer.exe process. If one File Explorer window hangs or crashes, it will cause all File Explorer windows running in the same process to hang or crash until the process restarts.

You are able to use the Open in new process context menu to manually open folder windows (File Explorer) in a new process.

If you like, you can enable to launch folder windows in a separate process by default. This way each explorer.exe process will have its own process ID (PID) to improve stability of the explorer shell.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable to launch folder windows in a separate explorer process by default for your account in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

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