Fix: Explorer.exe Doesn’t Start Automatically at Windows Boot-up

Posted by Britt Duncan - September 11, 2014

Have you seen a blank screen after you logged into your Windows system? Why there is no desktop and no taskbar? Usually the issue may happen because the explorer.exe doesn’t start automatically on Windows boot-up. If your PC gets infected with a virus, the explorer.exe will be blocked from running. Hence, it is suggested that you enter the safe mode to scan the computer. If your antivirus reports that your PC is safe, that means something is interfering with the explorer.exe start in regular mode. In such case, you just take a few steps to fix the problem.

1. Press Win + X keys to open the menu and select Command Prompt (Admin), type sfc /scannow and hit Enter. Then the Windows will check the problem.
2. Back up your Windows Registry first, and open Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Under the Winlogon, you will notice a value called Shell on the right side. In the RHS Pane, ensure that the default string value of : Shell is explorer.exe.
Double-click on this value, if you see anything else there, simply delete it and leave only exeplorer.exe.

After exiting the Registry Editor, you need to reboot your PC so that the changes can take effect.

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TESTED:  20 Apr