Explorer.exe is obliged to run one of the first processes in Windows, as evidenced by shortcuts on the desktop, explorer and other graphical interface of the system. This behavior can be violated if something prevents the service from starting, in which case, apart from a black screen, sometimes the command line, nothing will be displayed. Most often, the problem appears after Windows updates, but other actions can precede this. Next, we will figure out why the Explorer.exe process does not start and how to fix it.
How to fix Explorer.exe crash in Windows?
Before starting to fix various failures, it is worth starting the process manually. Yes, this action is one-time, after rebooting, the desktop may disappear again, but at least during the current session, you can comfortably use Windows or even fix the problem.
For this you need:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, open the “File” tab and select “Run a new task”.
- Enter the name of the service Explorer.exe and click “OK”.
If everything worked out, there are a few things worth checking out:
- Whether Group Policy or PC startup script is interfering with this service. This is true for corporate users.
- How a computer boots up without peripherals. It is worth disconnecting the maximum number of devices from the PC and reloading it. If this helped, you should alternately connect the devices and check which one is problematic. Further reinstallation of drivers for it should help.
- Are there any viruses in the system. Use an antivirus program to scan your OS and then remove any malicious files that you can find.
Method 1: scan system files
SFC or DISM tools should help fix various breakages within the operating system. It is worth running one or the second, or you can alternately both commands:
- sfc / scannow
- DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / CheckHealth
They need to be inserted into the command line, which can be found using a search. It is only important that they get administrator rights.
Method 2: disable Fast Startup and rename your computer
Quick Start Mode allows you to spend less time waiting for the system to start, but for all its usefulness, it can interfere with the normal operation of some startup items. Disabling Fast Boot Mode may help fix the Explorer.exe issue.
- Press the Windows button and enter into the search “Power and sleep settings”.
- We click on the button “Additional power settings”, and then – on the item of the vertical menu “Actions of the power buttons”.
- Click on the link “Changing parameters that are currently unavailable.”
- We remove the flag from the line “Enable fast startup”, save the changes and restart the computer.
- In the search, enter “Computer name” and select “View computer name”.
- Click on the “Rename computer” button and set a new name.
- Reboot your PC.
Method 3: change display settings
Incorrect display parameters can prevent this service from starting. At the same time, the problem may be in outdated drivers. Better to update them by downloading them from the developer’s official website.
Configuring display settings:
- Press Win + R, enter desk.cpl and press OK.
- Change the screen resolution and return the scale to 100%.
If that helped, the problem was most likely in the display driver. It’s better to reinstall it too.
Method 4: disabling the app readiness service and restarting the host
The desktop service might not work because some other service is blocking the GUI module. It is reported that the main problem lies in the “Readiness of applications”. Disabling this service can help.
- Click Win + R, enter services.msc and press Enter.
- We are looking for the Application Readiness service and double-click on its properties.
- We set its state to the “Disabled” position. You just need to know that this can negatively affect the operation of applications from the Microsoft Store and Windows updates.
- Reboot and check the result.
If that doesn’t work, we recommend doing one more thing:
- Open the task manager with the keys Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
- We are looking for the Shell Infrastructure Host process, right-click on it and select “Finish”.
- Click on the “File” menu and select “Run new task”.
- Enter sihost.exe and click “OK”.
Method 5: creating a new account
If File Explorer still doesn’t work, the problem might be user data corruption. In such a scenario, creating a new account should help. Only she must have administrator rights. Then you need to log out and log in with a different account to check the result. To restore the old account, go to the “Local Users and Groups” section in the “Computer Management” column, you need to transfer the rights from the new profile to the old one.
Method 6: remove conflicting apps
To find out if a program is actually interfering with startup, you should boot into Safe Mode. If everything works there, most likely it’s the software. Users have reported problems with the following utilities:
- 360 Extreme Browser
- Trend Micro Antivirus
- Open Office Quickstarter
- Dell SupportAssist
- Symantec SEP
- Classic Shell
- AVG Antivirus
It is worth temporarily disabling them and checking if the desktop works without them. Through trial and error, you will be able to find exactly the program that is the culprit of the failure.
Method 7: editing the registry
Changing some registry settings can help:
- Insert RegEdit into the “Run” line and click OK.
- We go along the path Computer HKEY_CURRENT_USER SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows NT CurrentVersion Winlogon.
- Select the “Shell” parameter, select “Modify” and paste the Explorer.exe value into it.
- We save and restart the computer.
If this does not help, you should re-enter the same section and see if the Shell parameter has the correct value or if it has already changed. If you find incorrect parameters, you should look for the problem in the software or viruses.
Some of the above should help fix the issue where Explorer.exe won’t load on the system. At what failure can be observed both in Windows 7, 8, and in Windows 10. Most of the instructions are applicable to all popular operating systems.