How to restart Windows Explorer using your computer’s Task Manager tool

If your computer is lagging or not running correctly, you might need to restart Windows Explorer.

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If your computer is lagging or not running correctly, you might need to restart Windows Explorer.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Windows Explorer is the navigation tool included with Windows that allows you to access your folders and files, often represented by an icon that looks like a file folder.

Windows Explorer is not to be confused with Internet Explorer, the default internet browser for Microsoft computers until Microsoft Edge replaced it in 2015.

Sometimes, Explorer will run slowly or crash and need to be restarted. Follow this guide to learn how to restart Windows Explorer.

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How to restart Windows Explorer

1. Open Task Manager. If you right-click on the task bar at the bottom of the screen, Task Manager should appear as an option. You can also open Task Manager by pressing “Ctrl” + “alt” + “delete” on your keyboard and clicking on “Task Manager.”

Different versions of Windows offer different ways of opening Task Manager, but right-clicking on the taskbar from your desktop is one of the quickest ways to do it.

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Different versions of Windows offer different ways of opening Task Manager, but right-clicking on the taskbar from your desktop is one of the quickest ways to do it.
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Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

2. In Task Manager, click on the field labeled “Windows Explorer.”

Select

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Select “Windows Explorer” from the list.
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Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

3. In the bottom right corner of Task Manager, click the button labeled “Restart.”

You can also restart Explorer by right-clicking on its field in Task Manager and selecting

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You can also restart Explorer by right-clicking on its field in Task Manager and selecting “Restart.” “End Process” will also do the trick, but that won’t start Explorer back up again.
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Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

This should restart Explorer. Stand by while Explorer is restarting – sometimes it will cause your Start menu or taskbar to temporarily disappear until it has finished restarting.

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