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Windows 7: Explorer Problems

📅 2010-Dec-07 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 📚 Archive

Problem

The Explorer process in Windows 7 handles the taskbar and any of the Explorer instances you create to browse directories. Due to file handles problems with applications, directories on plugged-in portable devices or on network share folders, Explorer might sometimes behave erratically. You might face one of these problems with Explorer:

Solution

First, it is better to carefully kill all currently running Explorer instances. To do this open Task Manager. One way to do this is using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc. In Task Manager, click the Processes tab, there should be one or more explorer.exe instances. Right-click on each explorer.exe and choose End Process. Do not choose End Process Tree! That would kill explorer.exe and all the application processes it might have spawned, this is not good. End Process only kills explorer.exe, making its children processes as orphans, but they are otherwise unharmed. All open Explorer windows and the Taskbar disappear after this operation.

Next, create a fresh new instance of Explorer. This can be done in Task Manager itself. Switch to the Applications tab and click New Task. Type in explorer and click OK. Your taskbar should be back and hopefully you should be able to invoke Explorer without any problems after this.