How to Restart Windows Explorer on Windows 11

Have issues with the Taskbar or File Explorer on your Windows 11 PC? Fix them by restarting Windows Explorer.

How to Restart Windows Explorer on Windows 11

Windows Explorer is essentially a background process that is the core of the graphical interface of the Windows operating system. Most, if not, all of the components of Windows GUI like the Task Manager, File Explorer or the Taskbar are dependent on Windows Explorer.

If you are facing any issues with any elements of the Windows Explorer such as the Task Bar not working or the File Explorer not responding, one easy fix is to restart the Windows Explorer process. Restarting Windows Explorer is quick and easy and most of the time it fixes the issues without the need for a restart or complex troubleshooting.

If you are experiencing any such issues then follow this guide to know about several methods that you can use to Restart Windows Explorer on your Windows 11 computer.

Restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager

The Windows Explorer can easily be restarted using the Task Manager in a few simple steps. First, open up the Task Manager by searching for it in the Start Menu search and selecting it from search results.

After the Task Manager window appears, scroll down to the very bottom until you see ‘Windows Explorer’. Highlight it by clicking on it once and then click on the ‘Restart’ button located on the bottom-right corner of the window.


Restart Windows Explorer by Creating a Batch File

If you have never come across the term ‘batch file’, do not worry. Batch files are simply lines of commands stored inside a text file that can be executed. Once you create the batch file to restart Windows Explorer, you can keep it and use it as a switch to restart the Windows Explorer in one click.

First, right-click over any blank space on your desktop, select ‘New’ and then select ‘Text Document’.

Now, open the New Text Document by double-clicking on it.

Once the Notepad window appears, first copy & paste the following command and then press Enter to move on to the next line.

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe

In the new line, cope & paste the next command, which is:

start explorer.exe

After you enter both commands you have to save the file and assign ‘.bat’ file extension at the end of the file name to turn this text file into an executable batch file.

To save this file, click on ‘File’ and then select ‘Save As…’ or you can use the keyboard shortcut, which is CTRL+Shift+s.

On the ‘Save As’ window, use the text box next to ‘File name’ to assign the batch file a name that you will remember and make use to include the ‘.exe’ extension at the end of the file name without any spaces. Save the batch file in any directory of your choice by clicking on the ‘Save’ button.

After you save it, you will notice that the file icon has been changed from a document icon to a different icon. Now double-click on the batch file anytime you want to restart Windows Explorer.


Restart Windows Explorer Using Command Prompt Interface

The same commands that you used to create the batch file can also be executed using the Command Prompt interface to restart the Windows Explorer. To start, type ‘Command Prompt’ in Windows search. Right-click on the app from search results and select ‘Run as administrator’.

On the Command Prompt window, type taskkill /f /im explorer.exe inside the command line and press Enter on your keyboard. You will see that the Taskbar below has disappeared.

After that, type start explorer.exe in the next command line and press Enter again. Now you will notice that the Taskbar has reappeared which means you have successfully restarted Windows Explorer.


Use these methods to restart Windows Explorer on your Windows 11 computer.