Windows 8.1 Tip: Exit and Restart Explorer

There’s a ton of code behind your Windows operating system, and sometimes when your whole Windows experience freezes up, before reaching for the power button in an act of rage, try restarting Windows Explorer first.

We’ve shown you how to do it in Windows 7 provided the user interface is working. But in Windows 8.1 there’s a little known way of doing it easily classic. Here’s a look.

Restart Explorer Windows 8.1

One of the cool new ways of exiting Explorer In Windows 8.1 hold down Shift + Ctrl and right-click the taskbar. There you’ll see an option to Exit Explorer.

Shift and Ctrl

Your screen will clear of everything. Next use the key combo we showed you in Windows 7Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up Task Manager. Then click File > Run new task.


When the Create new task box comes up, type: explorer.exe and click OK.




  1. Ziggy

    April 1, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Nice posting, Brian. For Win 7 users you can add a context menu item – just visit this link from the Windows Club and install their nifty little program. (

    I’ve been using it for ages and it works really well without any issues.

  2. Brian Burgess

    April 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Cool! Thanks for the tip Ziggy! Long time no hear ;)

  3. cappy_22

    April 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    most efficient excellent tip, Thanks

  4. Metalliferous

    April 20, 2014 at 6:20 am

    very helpful, thanks

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