Fix Explorer.exe Error with Yellow Exclamation at Startup

When you logon to your user account in Windows 8 or 10, Explorer.exe error message with yellow exclamation may appear, containing no message text. This may occur especially in the aftermath of removing malware from the system.

To fix this, all you need to do is to remove the reference to a non-existent file from one of the startup locations in the registry. Here is how to do so.

1. Press WinKey + R to bring up the Run menu, type Regedit.exe and press {ENTER}

2. Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows



3. Double-click Load and clear the existing value data to set it blank.

4. Exit the Registry Editor.

Note: The above location is one of the many startup launch-points in Windows, and some viruses/malware conveniently add entries there. The value may be pointing to a malware file which is non-existent after a malware cleanup.

To manage startup programs effectively, use the free Autoruns utility from Microsoft.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

6 thoughts on “Fix Explorer.exe Error with Yellow Exclamation at Startup”

  1. Having had the same problem with Windows 10, I found that the registry entry to clean is “run” instead of “load”. I would have posted the regedit window if I could post a picture…

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