Keep Explorer from Vanishing

Windows Explorer keeps crashing; worse, it takes all the other Explorer
windows with iteven the desktop! How can this cascade crash be stopped?

By default, the same instance of Explorer handles the desktop, the Start menu, and all open Explorer and single-folder windows. That is, only one copy of the explorer.exe application is ever in memory. This means that if one Explorer window crashes, they all crash.

To fix this, go to Tools –> Folder Options, choose the View tab, check the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” box, and click OK.

Thereafter, each Explorer window will represent a separate instance of the program. Although this consumes a little more memory and may slightly increase the time it takes to open Explorer windows, you won’t notice the difference at all if you’re using a fast computer.

Restore the Desktop

There’s a little program that runs invisibly in the back-ground that automatically restarts Explorer if it ever crashes; this ensures that you’re never without your desktop or Start menu.

If you turn on the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” option, it sort of breaks this feature. If your desktop ever disappears and doesn’t come back, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to display the Task Manager.

Choose the Processes tab, click the Image Name column heading to sort the list alphabetically, highlight explorer.exe in the list, and click the End Process button; do this for every instance of Explorer you see. When you’re done, restart Windows Explorer by going to File –> New Task (Run), type explorer, and clicking OK

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