Here’s how to safely Exit Explorer in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. Now why would you need to do that? Well there are times when it is useful like for programmers that work with Explorer Shell Extensions like our DWG Columns product to show DWG properties in Explorer.
Hold down Shift and Ctrl, right click on an empty area on the Windows taskbar and click on “Exit Explorer”.
A new feature in the Task Manager is the Restart option for Windows Explorer.
If you don’t see Windows Explorer click on More details at bottom left. If Windows Explorer is selected you will also notice that the End Task button at bottom right changes to Restart.
To start Explorer again, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to start the Task Manager if it is not already running, and use File > Run new task. Type Explorer in the "Create new task" dialog and press Enter.
Now there is the option to use End task on Windows Explorer but if it is as good and clean as the Exit Explorer or not I don’t know. In earlier Windows versions it was not.