Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Exit Explorer in Windows Vista

Sometime it can be useful to close Windows Explorer. For example when working with shell extensions or even if you make an installation and is asked to close explorer.exe.

Probably you open Task Manager, look for Explorer.exe and ends the process.

In Windows Vista the safest way to close Explorer.exe is to open the Start menu, hold down Shift and Ctrl, right click on an empty surface in the menu. That should give you a context menu with the option Exit Explorer.


To start Explorer again use Task Manager (you might need to use Ctrl+Alt+Del) and File>Run and enter explorer and it will start again.

If you have Windows XP it's still possible. It's a bit more tricky. Open the Start menu, select Turn Off Computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift and click on the cancel button in the shut down dialog box.

UPDATE: It works the same way in Windows 7.

UPDATE: How to exit Explorer in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.


  1. Restored comment
    by Lauren
    Thank you so much, I was getting so frustrated with not having my volume in the notification area for whatever reason. I was a little sketched out about adding that file from a source I don't know, but it worked! So thanks. :)

  2. Thank you so much for that fix. I was pretty irritated a few days ago when I noticed the volume icon gone after a reboot. Thanks to you it's all over. I suspected it was a registry corruption but had no idea what to look for.


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