Hidden trick to exit windows explorer

This trick comes from here (April 4th 2010).

You can cause explorer.exe to exit on a Windows machine (XP, not known if it works in Vista or 7) using a simple trick.

  1. Click the start menu, then the shutdown button.
  2. Hold CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT and click the Cancel button.

Explorer now exits, leaving all other programs running.

To restart explorer, do this:

  1. Press CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to start windows task manager.
  2. Click File -> New Task (Run)
  3. Type explorer and hit enter.

Though it’s a bit late for April Fools, I’m sure this would make for a good prank nonetheless. This is also great for kiosk machines where you don’t want users having access to the start menu or task switcher.

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  1. #1 by Thorien Tyrr on April 14, 2011 - 3:00 am

    This trick works on Windows 98 as well. Except after you kill explorer, there’s no way to start it back up that I see.

    • #2 by Mike on April 14, 2011 - 9:59 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t have a Win98 environment to test in. I’d be interested if there is a way or not. Ctrl-Alt-Del ?