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You may sometimes want to quit explorer.exe in Windows, perhaps because your Windows Explorer freezes frequently. In Windows 8/7/Vista, the Explorer process is usually completed via the Task Manager.
Right-click the taskbar, open Task Manager, select the Process tab, right-click explorer.exe and select End Process.
But Windows Vista & Windows 7 actually offers you a faster way to do it in 3 clicks!
Click Start > Ctrl+Shift and right-click an empty area on the Start menu > Click Exit Browser.
To restart it, you must start it as usual via the Task Manager. Click Ctrl+Alt+Delete and select Start Task Manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Then run explorer.exe manually.
Windows 10/8 provides the Kill Explorer and Restart Explorer context menu option in the Task Manager.
In Windows 10/8.1, you can even exit the explorer via the context menu of the taskbar. You will see the option to close the Explorer. Thanks Jeremy for this small but useful tip.
Right-clicking Restart Explorer adds the Restart Explorer option to the context menu. You may also be interested in simply restarting Windows Explorer with a shortcut.