Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to start program/game without explorer.exe

First of all, this is just a random tutorial.
Sometimes while using your computer, your explorer may unexpectedly crash. This usually caused by explorer extension or something else. For example, winamp shell extension or WinRAR Shell Integration crashed and since it sits on explorer.exe, it will crash its parent process too. When explorer crash, it usually restart itself automatically, but sometimes, it won't start and you need to start it manually either by restarting your computer or using task manager to create a new task.

To start a program, you need some kind of launcher to do so. Windows has its own launcher called Run. To start Run, you must press this combination WIN+R on your keyboard. Look at your keyboard and find a key that have a windows symbol on it. Press and hold it and then press R button.

Unfortunately this methods only work if you have running explorer.exe because the key combination is handled by the explorer. So what you must do to start the program?

Task Manager
Task manager is a windows tools to view, monitor and manage task or applications that is currently running on your computer. Task manager also provide a launcher to run the applications you want. To start Task Manager, simply press this combination: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC or CTRL+ALT+DEL, both combination will work unless you got this message "Task manager has been disabled by the administrator". If you got this message, then there is no way to start task manager unless you enable it back. This tutorial will not touch on how to enabled the task manager.

Next step is to create a new task. Click file menu and select New Task. Click browse and choose what application you want to open. If you want to start explorer.exe, browse to Windows\explorer.exe or simply type in the text box "explorer.exe".

Other trick
If you still stuck and cannot use explorer, run, start task manager, then there is still another trick that will enable you to run program.

First trick is to run accessibility tools called sticky key. By pressing SHIFT five times rapidly, you will hear a beep sound and a dialog will appear. (Assuming you are running windows 7) From there, click "Go to the ease of Access Center to disable the keyboard shortcut". You will be redirected to ease of Access Center. The Access Center look familiar enough like when you opening folder or My Computer. From there, just type any location you want to go inside the address bar. Assuming you wanted to go to C:\ you must type C:\ into the address bar and press enter. Now you are on C:\ and you can browse your local drive.

Now you know how to run any program without explorer.exe. There is still other way, I will update this article if I find other way.


  1. Pressing shift 5 times is genius!! You are my hero!

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