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.

Fix: Explorer.exe Error with Yellow Exclamation

To fix the Explorer.exe error at startup, 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 dialog.
  2. Type regedit.exe and press Enter
  3. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following registry location:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

  4. Double-click the value named Load and clear the existing value data to set it blank.
    Important: If you get an error saying: Cannot edit Load: Error writing the value’s new contents, then re-run the Registry Editor under LocalSystem rights. Alternately, take ownership of the registry key and then clear the Load registry data.
  5. 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 that is non-existent after malware cleanup. To manage startup programs easily, use the free Autoruns utility from Microsoft.

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded 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.

9 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…

  2. I am not able to clear value data from load.
    Getting Error saying: Cannot edit Load: Error writing the value’s new contents
    Please suggest the solution.


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