How to recover desktop files in Windows 10 after sudden stop

Sometimes the Desktop stops working by preventing you from working with the computer. Here’s how you can recover it without having to restart the machine.

In Windows 10, Windows Explorer is the operating system process responsible for the operation of the graphical interface, Start Menu, File Explorer and Action Center.

This process does not usually cause major problems, but there is always a chance that some of the elements will stop working properly, which can cause Windows 10 to stop responding, or, in more serious cases, stop responding at all. This will prevent you from using the Start menu or interacting with other elements of the operating system. When this happens, most users immediately think about turning the computer off and then on again, but you can solve the problem without restarting your computer, and most importantly, without losing data that you could not write to.

In this guide, we will show you how to restart the process ‘Explorer.exe’ to try to solve problems with the graphical interface of Windows,

Sometimes problems with the graphical interface appear that are not tied to ‘Explorer.exe’ errors. They are caused by graphics card driver errors. This is the case when the screen flickers or turns on and off. In this case, you will have to remove and reinstall the graphics driver.

How to restart ‘Explorer.exe’ through the ‘Task Manager’

In Windows 10 there are at least two ways to restart ‘Windows Explorer’ through the ‘Task Manager’.

Restart the Explorer through the ‘Processes’ tab

Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC key combination to open the ‘Task Manager’.

Tip: There is more than one way to open ‘Task Manager’: by combining Ctrl + Alt + Del, through the menu that can be opened with the Windows + X key combination, look in the Start menu and more. In this case, as there is the possibility of not having access to the ‘Start Menu’ the safest is to use the combination Ctrl + Shift + ESC.

If the Task Manager appears in compact mode, click ‘More Details’ that is in the lower left corner.

Click the ‘Processes’ tab.

In the ‘Windows Processes’ section select the ‘Windows Explorer’ and click the ‘Restart’ button in the lower right corner of the window. This process may also appear at the top of the list.

After clicking the button the ‘Windows Explorer’ will be shut down and restarted. This can solve some of the more common problems, such as not running the ‘Start Menu’ or when the ‘Taskbar’ does not respond.

Restart ‘Explorer’ through the ‘Details’ tab

Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC key combination to open Task Manager.

If the Task Manager window appears in compact mode, click More Details.

Click the Details tab.

Right-click on the ‘explorer.exe’ process and choose the ‘End Task’ option. You can also click the button in the lower right corner.

Click the ‘File’ menu and choose the ‘Run New Task’ option. Type the following command and press the ‘OK’ button:


If all went well, ‘Windows Explorer’ will reopen and all graphical interface issues will be solved.

Changes to the ‘Windows Explorer’ process as of May this year

From the May 2019 Windows update, the Start menu will appear as a separate process, named ‘StartMenuExperienceHost.exe’. This serves to isolate the ‘Start Menu’ from the rest of the system to avoid future problems and improve troubleshooting.

However, you will not necessarily need to terminate the two processes to resolve any issues that may appear, because at the end of the ‘Explorer.exe’ process you will automatically restart the separate ‘Start Menu’ process. The opposite is no longer the case, ie if you terminate the process ‘StartMenuExperienceHost.exe’ nothing will happen to ‘Explorer.exe’.

In case ‘Start Menu’ does not start automatically, you can force it using these steps:

Press the Ctrl + Shift + ESC key combination to open the ‘Task Manager’.

Click the ‘File’ menu and choose the ‘Run New Task’ option.

Type the following command and click OK:

% SystemRoot% \ SystemApps \ Microsoft.Windows.StartMenuExperienceHost_cw5n1h2txyewy \ StartMenuExperienceHost.exe

How to restart the ‘Explorer.exe’ process through a .bat file

For those who do not know, the .bat files are text files that contain Windows commands. When they are opened in the system, these commands are executed in sequence, as if it were a program.

The steps are:

Open the ‘Start Menu’.

Search for ‘Notepad’. Open the program.

Copy the following text and paste it into the Notepad window:

taskkill / f / in explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

Click on the ‘File’ menu and choose the ‘Save As’ option.

Type a name and give it the extension ‘.bat’.

It is advisable to save the file in the ‘Desktop’ to be always at hand.

Click the ‘Save’ button.

Now, to automatically restart Windows Explorer, just double-click on the file you just created.

If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!

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