How to Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11

Wondering how to restart Explorer context menu in Windows 11 on your PC?

Explorer.exe is a part of the Windows 10 software that starts and displays most of the Window’s UI, including the desktop, taskbar, Action Center, Windows menu and Start screen.

Normally, this process will work for a long time without any glitches, but when it breaks, the operating system will freeze and become unresponsive, leaving you unable to interact with Windows. Most users reach for the power button when this happens but surprisingly, there is another method that can fix this issue in a few seconds – restarting the Explorer context menu.

In this article, we will walk through the method of adding ‘Restart Explorer’ in the desktop context menu of Windows 11. It will allow the users to restart Explorer.exe with a single click when the operating system starts acting up.

Let’s get started!

1. Add Restart Explorer Option to Desktop Context Menu.

The process of adding the feature under consideration involves modifying Windows Registry but since that process is complicated, we will use Windows Notepad instead.

To achieve the desired results, we will create a registry script, execute it, and it will add the default shortcut to the context menu.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + R keys simultaneously to open a Run dialogue box.
  2. Inside the text field of the dialogue box, type ‘notepad‘ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together to launch Notepad as an administrator.
Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11
  1. Click Yes in the User Account Control prompt to launch Notepad with administrative privileges. 
  2. Inside the Notepad window, paste the code mentioned below.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer]
"icon"="explorer.exe"
"Position"="Bottom"
"SubCommands"=""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\01menu]
"MUIVerb"="Restart Explorer Now"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\01menu\command]
@=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,74,\
00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,\
69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,\
00,78,00,65,00,20,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,74,00,20,00,\
65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,\
00


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\02menu]
"MUIVerb"="Restart Explorer with Pause"
"CommandFlags"=dword:00000020

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer\shell\02menu\command]
@=hex(2):63,00,6d,00,64,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,2f,00,63,00,20,00,40,\
00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,6f,00,66,00,66,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,\
63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,53,\
00,74,00,6f,00,70,00,70,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,\
6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,\
00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,\
65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,74,00,61,00,73,00,6b,00,6b,\
00,69,00,6c,00,6c,00,20,00,2f,00,66,00,20,00,2f,00,69,00,6d,00,20,00,65,00,\
78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,26,\
00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,\
6f,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,63,00,68,00,6f,00,20,00,57,00,61,00,69,\
00,74,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,20,00,74,00,6f,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,00,\
74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,78,\
00,65,00,20,00,70,00,72,00,6f,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,20,00,77,00,68,00,\
65,00,6e,00,20,00,79,00,6f,00,75,00,20,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,20,00,72,00,65,\
00,61,00,64,00,79,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,2e,00,20,00,26,00,20,00,\
70,00,61,00,75,00,73,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,73,00,74,00,61,00,72,\
00,74,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,70,00,6c,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,65,00,\
78,00,65,00,20,00,26,00,26,00,20,00,65,00,78,00,69,00,74,00,00,00

  1. After pasting the code, click on File and select Save As from the list of options available. 
Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11
  1. Now select a location where you want to save the newly created file and name the file as contextmenu.reg.
  2. Expand the drop-down menu against Save as type and select All files.
Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11
  1. Click Save to save the file. 
  2. Now navigate to the location where you saved the contextmenu.reg file and right-click on it.
  3. Select Show more options and click on Run as administrator.
  4. If a warning prompt pops up, select Yes.
  5. Once the registry file is enforced, restart your PC. 

That’s it. 

Upon restart, you will notice Restart Explorer Now and Restart Explorer with Pause options on your desktop. 

2. Try Using CleanMyPC.

Your system may be corrupt if you have tried the methods described in this guide and you still cannot accomplish the desired action.

Because of this, you should clean your computer thoroughly before continuing with this guide. This will remove any bugs or corruption errors. It’s a good idea to use a good PC cleaner when this happens since manual cleaning can be time and energy consuming.

In case you’ve never used a PC cleaner before, we recommend CleanMyPC.

Install CleanMyPC on your PC

CleanMyPC is a quick and efficient way to fix all kinds of PC problems. The program includes many tools, including a Multi-Uninstaller, a Speed Booster, and a Registry Cleaner which enable you to fix most issues with your system and enhance its performance.

If this looks like something your PC desperately needs, install CleanMyPC now and get your PC up and running like new!


 Try CleanMyPC Now!


3. Remove the Restart Explorer Option.

There can be instances where you would no longer need the ‘Restart Explorer’ option in the context menu. 

Fortunately, removing this feature is easier than adding it and should not take much of your time.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + R keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open a Run dialogue box.
  2. Type ‘regedit‘ in the text field of the dialogue box and hit Enter to open Windows Registry.
  1. Inside Windows Registry, navigate to the location mentioned below.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\Restart Explorer
  1. Right-click on the Restart Explorer key and select Delete from the list of options available. 
Add Restart Explorer Context Menu in Windows 11
  1. Once done, restart your PC to save the changes. 

This should remove the ‘Restart Explorer’ option in the context menu without any issues.

This brings us to the end of our guide on ways to add Restart Explorer context menu in Windows 11. We tried walking you through all the steps in detail and hope that one of the methods mentioned above did the trick for you. In case you still have any confusion about the methods, please let us know in the comment section below!

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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