How to restart and fix Windows Explorer on your computer in 3 simple steps

insider@insider.com (Chrissy Montelli)
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Microsoft Surface 3 laptop

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

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Windows 10 Home (From $139.99 at Best Buy)

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."

How to restart Windows explorer
How to restart Windows explorer

Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

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

How to restart Windows explorer
How to restart Windows explorer

Chrissy Montelli/Business Insider

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

How to restart Windows explorer
How to restart Windows explorer

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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