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If File Explorer doesn't starts itself, this registry fix will help you to solve the issue of Explorer.exe not running on startup in Windows 10/8/7.

Whenever we sign-in to Windows, usually the File Explorer starts itself automatically. In case we need to restart Explorer, we can do it with the help of Task Manager. The automatic start up of Explorer helps you to browse files and folders quickly. Now imagine if the system won’t find Explorer starting automatically, what will happen? This could be the issue with your system, where you find only the black screen after logon, having only the pointer in it. Recently, I came around this issue as experienced with Windows 8.1.

This trouble happens basically with the mess up of registries on the system. Initially, you can try the System File Checker  (running SFC /SCANNOW command in the administrative Command Prompt) utility to fix it. Even if that helps, you can try the DISM commands mentioned here. If still that doesn’t works, this registry fix might help you:

FIX : Explorer.exe Not Running On Startup In Windows 10/8/7

Registry Disclaimer: The further steps will involve registry manipulation. Making mistakes while manipulating registry could affect your system adversely. So be careful while editing registry entries and create a System Restore point first.

1. Press Windows Key + R and put regedit in Run dialog box to open Registry Editor (if you’re not familiar with Registry Editor, then click here). Click OK.

2. Navigate here:

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

Explorer.exe not running on startup in Windows 10

3. In the right pane of this location, look for the Shell named registry string (REG_SZ). All you need to make sure is that this string must have the Value data equals to explorer.exe. If you’re facing the issue, you might find different Value data, so restore it explorer.exe, which is the default value. It will significantly fix the issue. You may close the Registry Editor and reboot to verify.

Hope you find the fix useful!

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17 Comments

  • Thanks for the fix, it worked like charm!

  • in my pc the load file is deleting……so the exploere.exe error is not recovered

  • I have the right value but explorer does not run on startup.

  • the registry values are right in my case. Though, the issue is still there

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Have you tried SFC scan already?

  • in my case the problem was in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    In the Shell string there was %comspec% that force to start cmd on boot instead of explorer

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for adding this!

  • Still no fix for this :(
    I did sfc scan and it didn’t find any integrity anomaly and “shell” record in my registry is fine with the right string “explorer.exe”. I also checked system with antivirus and none of the things found as menaces sorted this issue. Allthough this i keep having black screen at startup after login.
    I really can’t figure out how did it happen all of a sudden. The night before i didn’t have any black screen at all, turned of the pc. The morning after the issue came up…-.- magic of windows

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ If you’ve System Restore points created earlier, use them to restore Windows back.

  • This fixed it for me:
    Roberto

    in my case the problem was in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    In the Shell string there was %comspec% that force to start cmd on boot instead of explorer

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad to help 😊

  • Hi, just wanted to say that Roberto’s solution worked for me:

    “in my case the problem was in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    In the Shell string there was %comspec% that force to start cmd on boot instead of explorer”

    I still don’t know how this happened though, but at least now it is fixed and explorer boots normally at startup.

    Thank you very much!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for confirming this, Luís 😊

  • In my case (as Umon mentioned ) the problem was
    at :
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon —> Shell value was %comspec%.
    I changed it to “explorer.exe” and the problem is gone !
    Explorer starts automatically now at Windows startup !

    Thanks dude !

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad it was sorted 😊

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ version of the solution worked for me had the %comspec% also.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad we could help 😎

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