Oct 10, 2008
SY Wong

Tips of How to Take Effect After Installation Without Restarting Windows XP/Vista

When we install a new program in computer, sometimes it is needed to restart the computer in order for the new program to become effective and running properly. Restarting computer could be irritating and frustrating especially if you are in the middle of doing your work and have lot of applications currently running simultaneously. You may need to stop your work, save and close all documents and applications before restarting the PC. Don’t worry, now there is a way to make the program effective even without the need to restart computer after the installation.

You can achieve this by restarting Explorer instead of restarting whole windows. To restart Explorer, you can follow the traditional way by going to task manager, then go to Processes tab and sort applications by clicking on Image Name column. Look for explorer.exe and kill all of them by clicking End Process button. Alternatively, to make the steps simple, copy below commands as below into notepad and save it as KillExplorer.bat

@echo off
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
explorer.exe

Execute KillExplorer.bat batch file will kill all the running explorer.exe in Windows within few seconds. Hope this tips will keep your current tasks running without being interrupted by unnecessary system restart.

For user who want to use just mouse click and keyboard press without typing too many keys, try the trick to exit and kill Explorer cleanly.

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  • I have to agree with Razor on this one. This may work in certain situations, but if this was true, we would have heard about it long before.

  • Razor

    This article is, quite frankly, bad advice. Killing explorer.exe merely is killing the front-end shell to Windows. This does not shutdown and restart the many kernel-mode executables, services and drivers that are generally involved in the type of installations and changes requiring a restart.

    There simply is not a way to shut down those without doing a true restart.

  • John

    There is a hidden GUI in Windows XP/Vista (who knows why MS decided to keep it hidden) to restart Explorer.

    jeff's WebLog : how to cleanly start and stop explorer.exe:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/jeffdav/archive/2004/07/22/

    Restart Explorer.exe process cleanly in Windows Vista:
    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/how-to-terminat

  • Noz

    That was "Did you find…" I'm not English as you can read!

  • Noz

    Did you found that one with 2001's google? =)

    Really old tip but a reminder never hurts.

    It also works with some registry modifications affecting the explorer, the desktop,…

  • Dams

    Be careful, some tray icons may disappear by restarting explorer.exe !