Exit and Restart Explorer.exe Cleanly in Windows 7 and Vista

To restart Explorer to test a registry setting without a reboot, we usually terminate the Explorer shell (explorer.exe) using Task Manager. The Task Manager method is like forcibly killing the process instead of terminating it cleanly.

Jeff, a Software Design Engineer at Microsoft, posted a great tip on how to cleanly start and stop explorer.exe in Windows XP.


If you are running Windows XP and want a cmd prompt with no strange environment variables set, do the following: Ctrl + Shift+Esc → File → Ctrl + New Task (Run…)

This will open a cmd window with only the basics. This is useful if you have killed Explorer and need to restart it. Explorer will keep the environment of the cmd window that started it.

If you want to cleanly shutdown Explorer without having it automatically restart: Start → Shutdown → Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Cancel.

Although the above method (originally written for Windows XP) would work for the Classic Start menu in Windows Vista and Windows 7, not everyone uses the Classic Start menu.

This article tells you how to exit explorer in Windows Vista and Windows 7 using the New Start menu.

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Add “Open with Notepad” to the Right-click Menu for all file types

add open with notepad to right-click

There are situations where you need to open plain-text files having an unknown or unregistered file extension using Notepad. By default, no file association exists for extension-less files and files with unknown extension in Windows. So, to open those files, you use the Open With option and select Notepad from the list.

And, it becomes even more difficult if Notepad is not readily available in the “Open with” sub-menu, in which case you need to browse to select Notepad.exe in the Windows folder every time. Adding the Open with Notepad option in the context menu (for all files) makes the job easy. It would save you a couple of mouse clicks every time.Read more

[Fix] VBScript Files Open With Notepad

vbs files open in notepad

When you try to run a VBScript by double-clicking it, the script may open in Notepad. This happens if the user has set Notepad as the default (instead of wscript.exe) program for .vbs files, using Open with or through any other methods.. [Fix] VBScript Files Open With Notepad Running VBScript manually To run the script, … Read more

How to Print Your Windows Update History By Exporting to Text or HTML File?

winupdateslist - view installed windows updates

Every time you install an update or system installs it automatically, the Windows Update history is updated with the KB number. You can check the Windows Update history, but the GUI provides no option to print the list of updates installed from the Windows Update history screen. Here a couple of tools from Nirsoft site that can help you print the Windows Update history.Read more

Show Hidden Files and Folders Missing or Does Not Work

show hidden files and folder does not work

The Folder Options dialog’s View tab allows you to show or hide hidden and system (protected) files in Explorer. The hidden files have the HIDDEN attribute. Protected files (aka, “super-hidden ” files) have the SYSTEM attribute.

There have been many support incidents lately where the File Explorer does not show hidden files and folders even though you enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option in the Folder Options dialog. However, the files and folders can be viewed when using Windows Search or using the DIR /A command from a Command Prompt window.

Also, when you go to open the Folder Options and click the View tab, both the radio buttons Do not show hidden files and folders and Show hidden files, folders and drives may be enabled.

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