In this guide, we will show you numerous methods to restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC. Quite a few apps and programs have undergone a major UI revamp in the latest iteration of the OS. These include the likes of Taskbar, Settings menu, and Windows stock apps such as Photos and Store. Along the same lines, File Explorer has also been blessed with a few user interface tweaks,
In this regard, the changes to the icons styles seem to be amongst the most prominent ones. And considering the fact that is one of the most interacted apps on your PC, these customizations will definitely be welcome by one and all. On the flip side though, it might occasionally go through a rough patch as well, and when that happens, it would spell out trouble for the users.
From the File Explorer crashing to not working along the expected lines, from the issues with indexing files or even identifying them in the first place, there are quite a few problems that it could get bugged with. Fortunately, most of these issues could easily be rectified via a single tweak- by restarting the Explorer app. And in this guide, we will show you how to do just that. So without further ado, let’s get started with the steps to restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC.
How to Restart File Explorer in Windows 11
We have shared five different methods to carry out the said task. Go through each of them and then try out the one that is in sync with your requirement. With that in mind, let’s get started.
Method 1: Restart Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer houses the Taskbar, Start Menu, File Explorer, and other related apps. So in order to restart the File Explorer, you should first start off by restarting the Windows Explorer. Here’s how it could be done
- To begin with, use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc shortcut keys to open the Task Manager.
- Then go to the Processes tab and select Windows Explorer from the Apps section.
- Now, click on the Restart button situated at the bottom right.
- If you see more than one instance of Windows Explorer, then make sure to Restart each of them.
- That’s it. This should restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC.
Method 2: Restart File Explorer’s Executable
If restarting the Windows Explorer’s Process didn’t work out in your favor, then your next course of action should be to restart the explorer’s executable file. Here’s how:
- Use the Windows+X shortcut keys and select Task Manager from the menu that appears.
- Then go to the Details tab and select explorer.exe.
- Finally, hit the End Task button situated at the bottom right.
- Now wait for a few seconds, and File Explorer shall automatically restart on your Windows 11 PC.
Method 3: Restart File Explorer via CMD
If dealing with commands is your daily cup of tea, then this is just the right method for you. All you need to do is just execute a couple of commands and the task stands complete.
- So head over to the Start Menu, search CMD, and launch Command Prompt as an administrator.
- Then type in the below command and hit Enter. Doing so shall stop all the processes of File Explorer.
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
- At this point, you might see the desktop turning black and the Start menu and the taskbar disappear. But fret not, just execute the below command in the CMD window and the taskbar will be up and running again:
- As soon as the above command is executed, it shall restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC.
Method 4: Restart File Explorer Via Batch Script
In this method, we will be creating a batch script file with the commands required to restart the Explorer. You just need to open that file once and the rest will be taken care of by that file itself.
- So right-click in an empty location on your Desktop and select New > Text Document.
- Now copy-paste the following commands in this Notepad file:
@echo off taskkill /f /im explorer.exe start explorer.exe
- Once done, go to File > Save As. Then change the Save As type to All Files.
- Now give it any name of your choice but make sure to add the .bat extension at the end (let’s name it Restart_Explorer.bat). Then, hit Save.
- Now just launch this Restart_Explorer.bat file. It will stop the Windows 11 File Explorer process and then subsequently restart it, all on its own.
Method 5: Restart File Explorer Via Context Menu
In this method, we will be adding the Restart Explorer option in Windows 11 Right Click Menu. This is perhaps the quickest method to do restart the Explorer, however, it does require a few efforts in setting it up for the first time. So keeping that in mind, let’s get started.
- To begin with, right-click on your desktop and select New > Text Document.
- Then copy-paste the below commands in this Notepad file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer] "icon"="explorer.exe" "Position"="Bottom" "SubCommands"="" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\01menu] "MUIVerb"="Restart Explorer Now" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\01menu\command] @=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,74,\ 00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,\ 69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,\ 00,78,00,65,00,20,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,74,00,20,00,\ 65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,\ 00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\02menu] "MUIVerb"="Restart Explorer with Pause" "CommandFlags"=dword:00000020 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\02menu\command] @=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,40,\ 00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,6f,00,66,00,66,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,\ 63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,53,\ 00,74,00,6f,00,70,00,70,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,\ 6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,\ 00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,\ 65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,74,00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,\ 00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,\ 78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,26,\ 00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,\ 6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,57,00,61,00,69,\ 00,74,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,74,00,6f,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,\ 74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,\ 00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,77,00,68,00,\ 65,00,6e,00,20,00,79,00,6f,00,75,00,20,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,20,00,72,00,65,\ 00,61,00,64,00,79,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,\ 70,00,61,00,75,00,73,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,\ 00,74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,\ 78,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,69,00,74,00,00,00
- Once that is done, go to File > Save As. Then change the Save as type to All Files. Now give it any name of your choice but keep the extension .reg (let’s name it Restart_Explorer.reg) and hit Save.
- Now double-click on the Restart_Explorer.reg to open it.
- You will get a confirmation dialog box, click Yes. That’s it, the option will now be added to the context menu and you shall be notified of the same.
- To test it out, right-click on an empty location on your desktop and select Show More Options. You should now see the Restart Explorer option.
- Hover your mouse cursor over it and you should get two options: Restart Explorer Now or Restart Explorer with Pause. Select the one according to your requirement and that’s it, it shall restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC.
However, if you are done with this feature and wish to remove it from the right-click menu, then here’s what you need to do:
- Create a new Notepad file on your desktop and copy-paste the following two lines of commands:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer]
- Give it any name of your choice but add the .reg extension at the end (say, Remove_Restart_Explorer.reg)
- Now double click on this Remove_Restart_Explorer.reg file.
- Finally, click Yes in the confirmation dialog box and that’s it, the restart option will be removed from the context menu.
With this, we round off the guide on how you could restart the File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC. We have shared five different methods for the same. Do let us know in the comments section which one you ultimately decided to settle for.
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