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This guide is going to show you how to restart Explorer from the Desktop Context Menu.

This is really handy if, like me, you customise Windows a lot.  If you have to restart Explorer for a Start Orb to change or for a theme to display correctly.  Whatever the need, this sure is handy to have on tap.

As this guide involves editing the registry, please see here & here before proceeding.

Method 1. – The manual way

Step 1.

Click on the Start Orb, type notepad and click on Notepad from the results.

In Notepad type this in;

Go to File > Save As…

In the Save as type drop down menu, choose All Files.

Name it Restart Explorer.bat and click Save.

Your new file should look like this;

Step 2.

Press the WinKey+R, type regedit and hit OK.

Step 3.

In the left hand pane of the Registry Editor, navigate to;

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

Step 4.

Right click shell and choose New > Key

Name it Restart Explorer

Step 5.

Right click on Restart Explorer and choose New > Key

Name it command

Step 6.

Find the Restart Explorer.bat file we made earlier.  Hold down Shift, then right click on the file.  Choose Copy as path.

Step 7.

In the left hand pane of the Registry Editor, select the command key we created a minute ago , in the right hand pane, double click on the (Default) String Value.

In the Value Data field, paste the path of the Restart Explorer.bat file.  Click OK.

Step 8.

Close the Registry Editor, and right click on the Desktop…  Notice anything different? :)

Method 2. – The lazy way.

Download this .zip file.  It contains everything you need.

Step 1.

Extract the Restart Explorer.bat file and put it away somewhere safe (like your Documents folder).  You may need to unblock it in the file’s properties.

Step 2.

Extract the Install_Restart_Explorer.reg file.  Right click it and choose; Edit.

This will open up the .reg file ready for editing in Notepad.

You’ll notice at the bottom of the file, the path for the Restart Explorer.bat file is incorrect.  Replace my path with yours.

Go to File > Save when you have finished and Exit Notepad.

Step 3.

Once the .reg file is relevant to you.  Right click it and choose Merge.  Click Yes > OK.

Returning to default.

Returning to default is very easy.

Either download this .zip file and merge Remove_Restart_Explorer.reg

Or follow Method 1. Step 2 & 3.  Right click on Restart Explorer and select Delete.  Click Yes to confirm.



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Comments

13 thoughts on “Restart Explorer from the Desktop Context Menu [How To]”

  1. skyzyk says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Well, thank you for all the tutorials actually.

  2. skyzyk says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Well, thank you for all the tutorials actually.

  3. skyzyk says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. Well, thank you for all the tutorials actually.

  4. Uta says:

    It’s a good tutorial. I tried the method 1 on my laptop with XP. There was no new point in the right-click menu. I use the FileMenu Tools. With this tools I was able to create a new entry in the menu to use the Restart.bat. Now it works.

  5. Uta says:

    It’s a good tutorial. I tried the method 1 on my laptop with XP. There was no new point in the right-click menu. I use the FileMenu Tools. With this tools I was able to create a new entry in the menu to use the Restart.bat. Now it works.

  6. Uta says:

    It’s a good tutorial. I tried the method 1 on my laptop with XP. There was no new point in the right-click menu. I use the FileMenu Tools. With this tools I was able to create a new entry in the menu to use the Restart.bat. Now it works.

  7. Fellknight says:

    What a great tip/tutorial, real handy not only for testing windows customizations but also for ocassions when the explorer stops working all out of the sudden. A bit offtopic here but can other comands be added to the desktop context menu? for example one for deleting the current wallpaper?.

  8. Fellknight says:

    What a great tip/tutorial, real handy not only for testing windows customizations but also for ocassions when the explorer stops working all out of the sudden. A bit offtopic here but can other comands be added to the desktop context menu? for example one for deleting the current wallpaper?.

  9. Fellknight says:

    What a great tip/tutorial, real handy not only for testing windows customizations but also for ocassions when the explorer stops working all out of the sudden. A bit offtopic here but can other comands be added to the desktop context menu? for example one for deleting the current wallpaper?.

  10. RSVR85 says:

    Hi Fellknight, you can add any command you like in the same way. Follow the manual method and adjust the name and command accordingly.(Step 4 & 7).

    Hope this helps.

  11. RSVR85 says:

    Hi Fellknight, you can add any command you like in the same way. Follow the manual method and adjust the name and command accordingly.(Step 4 & 7).

    Hope this helps.

  12. RSVR85 says:

    Hi Fellknight, you can add any command you like in the same way. Follow the manual method and adjust the name and command accordingly.(Step 4 & 7).

    Hope this helps.

  13. pcsavjeti says:

    beautiful :). now I can in desktop content menu add anny command that I use often.

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