Explorer.exe does not start at system startup [Fix]

Nowadays many Windows users started getting serious issues with the Windows system. The problem is that Explorer.exe does not get started after the system is loaded and the users are not able to open the file or folders.

Although, Windows users can manually open Windows Explorer using the command prompt in some cases and they have to do it every time the system restarts or after the system starts.

This may have been problematic and caused because of the following factors mentioned below.

  • Corrupted system files.
  • Fast startup settings are enabled.
  • Outdated or problematic display driver.
  • Changes were made to some services in the system.
  • Modified Registry File.

Keep in mind all the above factors, we came up with a few solutions which will definitely help the users. If you are also facing the same problem, then don’t worry. This article guides you through many methods of fixing the issue.

Some workarounds to try beforehand:

  1. Try updating the Windows system and after that, restart the system and see if this works.
  2. Sometimes, the problem will be with the user account on the system. So we recommend our users try creating a new user account on the system and try logging in to the system using the newly created account.
  3. Uninstall any third-party applications on the system which is actually causing this issue. To find out which application is causing this problem, you need to safe boot the system after disabling all the services.

Fix 1 – Disable the Fast Startup setting

Some users claimed to resolve this issue by turning off the fast startup setting on the power options page. Follow the steps below on how to do it.

Step 1: Press the Windows and R keys together to open the Run box.

Step 2: Type powercfg.cpl in the textbox and press Enter key.


1 Powercfg Run Optimized


Step 3: This opens the Power Options page.

Step 4: Click Choose what the power button does option on the left side.


Choose What The Power Button Does 11zon


Step 5: Now click Change settings that are currently unavailable.


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Step 6: Then uncheck the Turn on fast startup (recommended) checkbox.

Step 7: Click Save changes to make those changes take effect.


Fast Startup 11zon


Step 8: Restart the system and check if the problem got resolved.

Step 9: If not, you can try renaming the system.

Step 10: To do so, press the Windows key and type rename your pc.

Step 11: Select the Rename your PC system settings by clicking on it.


Open Rename Your Pc 11zon


Step 12: Once the About page opens, click Rename this PC on top of the page.


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Step 13: Enter the name that you want to set for your PC in the textbox available and click Next.


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Step 14: In the next window, enter your credentials and it renames the PC.

Step 15: Restart the system.

Fix 2 – Perform SFC scan and DISM tool’s restore health

For repairing all the corrupted system files present in the system, we recommend using the system file checker scan on the system. Also, it is suggested to restore the system’s health using the DISM tool.

Here are the steps on how to do it.

Step 1: Press the Windows and R keys together and type cmd.

Step 2: Then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together at a time which opens the elevated command prompt window on the system.

NOTE – Accept the UAC prompt on the screen by clicking Yes.


3 Run Cmd Optimized


Step 3: Type sfc /scannow in the command prompt and press Enter key.


Sfc Scannow Command Prompt


Step 4: This starts scanning for all the corrupted files in the system and repairs them.

Step 5: Then execute the below line for restoring the system’s health.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


Dism Health Restore 11zon


Step 7: Once done, you can close the command prompt window.

Fix 3 – Modify the necessary services

It is observed that the App readiness service should be stopped and the Shell Infrastructure Host service should be started. So follow the steps explained below on how to do it.

Step 1: Press the Windows and R keys together on the keyboard and type services.msc.

Step 2: Then press the Enter key to open the Services app.


1 Run Services Optimized


Step 3: Once the services app window opens, find the service called App Readiness and right-click on it.

Step 4: Select Properties from the context menu as shown in the image below.


App Readiness Properties 11zon


Step 5: In the Properties window, go to the General tab and select Disabled from the dropdown menu of the Startup type option.

Step 6: Then click Apply and OK.


Disabled App Readiness Properties 11zon


Step 7: Close the Services window and restart the system.

Step 8: If still the problem persists, you need to open the Task Manager window on your system by pressing together Ctrl, Shift and Esc keys.

Step 9: In the Processes tab, check if there is any service called Shell Infrastructure Host. If it exists, please right-click on it and select End task.


End Task Shell Host


Step 10: If there is no Shell Infrastructure Host service, click Run new task on the top of the window.


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Step 11: Then type sihost.exe in the Create new task window and click OK.


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Step 12: Once it started, you can close the Task Manager window.

Fix 4 – Change the Display settings

Sometimes, if any user has changed the display resolutions and other display settings, this leads to such problems mentioned in this article above. So we can try changing the display settings and see if this worked.

Follow the steps on how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Run box by pressing together the Windows and R keys on the keyboard.

Step 2: Type desk.cpl in its textbox and press Enter key.


Desk Cpl System Settings Run Min


Step 3: This opens the Display page on the system from the Settings app.

Step 4: Scroll down the page to Scale & layout section.

Step 5: Under this section, select 125% (Recommended) from the dropdown list of the Scale option.

Step 6: Next, ensure the Display resolution is 1920 x 1080 (Recommended) from its dropdown menu as shown below.


Display Rsolution 11zon


Step 7: Once done, close the Display page.

Fix 5 – Reinstall the Display driver

If the display graphics driver gets corrupted or outdated, this also creates a problem like this. So let us try updating the display driver and check if the problem still persists or not.

Here are the steps on how to reinstall the display driver.

Step 1: Press the Windows and X keys together and then press the M key on the keyboard which opens the Device Manager app.

Step 2: Once the device manager window opens, go to the Display adapters option and expand it by double-clicking on it.

Step 3: Right-click on the graphics driver and select Update driver from the context menu.


Display Adapter Update Driver 11zon


Step 4: Select the Search automatically for drivers option to start updating the driver online.


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Step 5: Once done, check if the problem still persists.

Step 6: If this did not solve the problem, you have to reinstall the display adapter.

Step 7: To do so, expand the Display adapters just like you did in Step 2 and right-click on the graphics driver.

Step 8: Now click Uninstall device from the context menu.


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Step 9: After it uninstalls the graphics driver, close the device manager and restart the system.

Step 10: While the system starts, it searches for a suitable driver and installs it.

Fix 6 – Edit the Shell key in the Registry File

Making changes in the registry file has resolved this issue for many Windows users as claimed by them. There is a registry key called Shell which holds the value of the explorer.exe file. If this value is changed because of some reason, this causes the issue. So we suggest you try changing the Shell key value using the steps explained below.

Warning – Before proceeding, please keep a backup of the registry file by exporting it to your Windows system. So this way, you can revert this registry file back if anything goes wrong while editing.

Step 1: Press the Windows key on the keyboard and type registry editor.

Step 2: Select the Registry Editor app from the search results as shown in the below screenshot.


Open Registry Editor 11zon


Step 3: Click Yes on any UAC prompted on the screen to continue.

Step 4: Once the registry editor window opens, clear the address bar.

Step 5:  Type the below path in the address bar and press Enter key.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Step 6: This takes you to the registry key called Winlogon on the left side of the editor.

Step 7: On the right side of the editor window, you may find the string value called Shell.

NOTE – If you don’t find a Shell string value, create it by right-clicking on the Winlogon registry key and navigating to New > String Value from the context menu. Then rename it to Shell.


Create Shell 11zon


Step 8: Double-click on the Shell string value and enter C:\Windows\explorer.exe in its value data textbox and click OK.


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Step 9: Restart the system and see if this helped fix the issue.

Step 10: If not, you need to go to the Winlogon registry key using the path given below.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Step 11: Now make sure the Shell String value is explorer.exe.


Confirm Another Shell 11zon


Step 12: Restart the system and see if this worked.

NOTE – If this did not fix it, you can try deleting this Shell string value once and check if the problem got resolved.