Hi Folks! Today I’m gonna tell you how to add restart Explorer to Windows 10 desktop context menu. When this is done, you can restart Explorer (or File Explorer) in 2 mouse clicks directly from the desktop. There are other ways also to restart File Explorer. As an example, you can restart explorer using Task Manager. However, when you are feeling lazy or restarting the File Explorer is too frequent, then instead of opening Task Manager or something else, you can restart Explorer using the desktop right-click menu of Windows 10. You can restart Explorer immediately or with a pause.
This option (restart Explorer) is not present in context menu by default. So, I’m gonna add some tweaks in Windows 10 Registry. It is quite simple and you can undo changes anytime. However, before proceeding, I will suggest you create a restore point.
What you see above (in screenshot) is Restart Explorer option visible in the desktop context menu. There are two sub-options under Restart Explorer option:
- Restart Explorer Now– Pressing this option will immediately restart the File Explorer.
- Restart Explorer with Pause– Using this option will end or terminate File Explorer and a Command Prompt window will open using which you can start the explorer again. You just need to press any key to start explorer again.
Steps To Add Restart File Explorer To Desktop Context Menu In Windows 10
1). It’s a simple step in which you need to open Registry Editor window.
2). Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\shell.
3). Create a sub key under Shell key and set its name as ‘Restart Explorer‘. This is the name that will visible when you will open the desktop context menu.
4). Under Restart Explorer, create the following string values (right-click > New > String value) and set their value data as explained:
- icon string value: add explorer.exe in its value data.
- Position string value: add Bottom/Top/Middle in its value data.
- SubCommands string value. Keep its value data field empty.
These three string values will add Restart Explorer option along with its position in the desktop context menu. However, it won’t work unless we add more keys and commands. So, let’s move to the next step.
5). Create ‘shell‘ key under Restart Explorer key. After that, you need to create four sub keys under shell key. These are:
- 01menu key under shell key.
- command key under 01menu key.
- 02menu key under shell key.
- command key under 02menu key.
So the tree structure will look like this (screenshot above).
6). Under 01menu key, create MUIVerb name string value and add ‘Restart Explorer Now‘ in its value data. This will add Restart Explorer Now option under Restart Explorer in the desktop context menu.
7). Now access command key that you created under 01menu key and you will see a Default string value. You don’t have to create any String value. Only add “cmd.exe /c taskkill /f /im explorer.exe & start explorer.exe” in the value data of Default string value.
With this step, you have fully configured Restart Explorer Now option. You can use this option and it will work. However, we also have to configure Restart Explorer with Pause option. So, move to the next step.
8). Create a String Value and DWORD value in 02menu key. String value name and value data must be MUIVerb and Restart Explorer with Pause. And DWORD value name and value data must be CommandFlags and 20.
9). Now we have come to the last step. Access the command key under 02menu key and you will see Default String value. Double-click that value and add the following text in its value data:
cmd.exe /c @echo off & echo. & echo Stopping explorer.exe process . . . & echo. & taskkill /f /im explorer.exe & echo. & echo. & echo Waiting to start explorer.exe process when you are ready . . . & pause && start explorer.exe && exit
This text is visible when that Command Prompt window is opened after using the Restart Explorer with Pause option.
Now you have successfully configured both the options.
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You can access your Windows 10 desktop context menu. You will find that Restart Explorer option is visible and under that option, two sub-options are visible: Restart Explorer and Restart Explorer with pause. You already know what both the options do. Use these options when you want.
In case you don’t want to see Restart Explorer anymore, then open Registry and just delete the Restart Explorer key created in step 3.
So now you know how to add restart Explorer option in Windows 10 desktop context menu, you can try it as well as share with friends. Make sure you carefully follow every single step so that it will work for you. If you have any doubt or facing some issue, feel free to share with me via Comments section.