How to Restart Windows Explorer in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users steps to restart or reset Windows Explorer when using Windows 11. Windows Explorer is a program process that allows one to view and manage all file resources on a Windows computer.

When you run into situations where the Taskbar, Quick Settings and Notification area of the taskbar isn’t working, you can quickly restore functionality simply by restarting or resetting Windows Explorer.

Occasionally, Windows File Explorer and other features including, the Start menu, Taskbar and Quick Settings may stop functioning or behave strangely. One can simply restart their PC to regain control and continue working. However, restarting Windows Explorer could also resolve these issues without resulting to restart the entire PC.

If restarting Windows Explorer doesn’t work, you can go further by restarting your computer to regain control and fix the offending issues, and below show you how to do that.

How to reset Windows Explorer when using Windows 11

As mentioned above, Windows Explorer is a program process that allows one to view view and manage all file resources on a Windows computer. In cases where a Windows computer stops responding, restarting Windows Explorer may help resolve the issues.

Below is how one can restart or reset Windows Explorer.

To restart Windows Explorer, first open Windows Task Manager. You can do that by right-clicking on the Start menu to launch the Power User Menu, which as the Task Manager command.

Alternatively, click on the Start menu, then search for Task Manager. Under Best match, select the Task Manager app to open.

search task manager on windows 11

If you launch Task Manager and it opens its minimized interface, click More details at the bottom to see the detailed interface.

Under the Process tab, you will see apps and background processes that are currently running on your PC. Scroll down the list and locate Windows Explorer

Once you locate Windows Explorer, click the Restart button at the button right corner of the window.

restart widnows explorer in windows 11

That’s all you should have to do. Your Taskbar and other areas of the screen will quickly close and reopen. If the steps above was successful, you should be able to regain control of your PC.

Alternatively, right-click Windows Explorer and select End task.

file explorer end windows 11

Next, click File and Select Run new task.

windows 11 file new task manager

In the New task box, type explorer.exe and click OK

explorer task box windows 11

That should reopen Windows Explorer.

That’s it!


This post showed you how to restart or reset Windows Explorer to resolve common issues in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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