Thursday, April 7, 2011

Unfreeze a Computer Using Task Manager

Task Manager has the very useful capability to open a new program. It is the equivalent of having Start-Run available and is obtained by clicking the button "New Task..." on the Applications tab window that is mentioned above. This feature may seem redundant but it can come in very handy if a crash or badly written program freezes Windows Explorer, thus making the Desktop inoperable.

  • Usually, Task Manager will still be functional and, even with no Desktop, programs can still be opened. In particular, the Desktop can be restored.
  • First go to the "Processes" tab and find the entry for "Explorer.exe". Highlight the entry and click the "End Process" button.
  • It may not respond immediately since there is usually a 20-second wait for hung processes to clean themselves up. Close any other hung processes.
  • A status is shown as "Not responding". Once Explorer.exe has been unloaded, the Desktop will disappear but, it is easily restored.
  • Click the "Applications" tab and then the "New Task" button. enter "explorer.exe" (no quotes) click "OK". The Desktop will reappear.

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