Replace explorer.exe in Windows 8

By -

If you are beginner in Windows 8 and thinking of modifying the explorer.exe, then you should first learn how to replace system files in Windows 8. Explorer.exe is a process in Windows which makes the OS more users friendly. This is a core file for every Windows OS. Here is the tutorial how to replace explorer.exe in Windows 8.

Replace explorer.exe in Windows 8

But before moving to the replacement procedure we should know about Explorer.exe and its function. Explorer.exe Windows process or file and is one of the important factors to make Windows more user-friendly. To view different items on computer such as desktops, task manager, etc Explorer.exe provides Graphical User Interface. Originally this file is located where the system is installed that is in C:\Windows\ directory that is in the C: drive.

Generally there are three possible ways to change explorer.exe in Windows 8.

  • Change registry path to explorerx.exe file.
  • Take Ownership and edit Permissions via Interface.
  • Take Ownership via Command Prompt.

Changing the registry path to explorerx.exe file is the easiest method to change explorer.exe. This process doesn’t change or rename the original explorer.exe file rather it changes registry path from explorer.exe to explorerx.exe that is the new explorer.exe file which will be replacing the original file. Always make sure to keep a back up as Explorer.exe is an important system file.

Steps to change explorer.exe file

  • Select and right click on the new explorer.exe that you will be replacing with the original one
  • Select rename option to rename it to explorerx.exe or whatever you want without changing the .exe extension.
    Now, copy explorerx.exe into the location C:\Windows\ directory
  • Next, switch to the start screen and bring up the Start menu and go to Search option

Start Menu win8

  • Now, click on the Apps option go to Search Apps text box and type regedit. Click on regedit from the Apps Search result that appears in the left

Search regedit

  • Upon prompted by UAC, click on Yes to continue and you will be having registry editor window


  • Now in Registry Editor navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Navigate to winlogon

  • In the right pane click on the Shell and click on Modify option

Modify Shell win8

  • Now, Edit String window will appear there change the value Data from explorer.exe to explorerx.exe

After completing all the steps reboot your system to effect the changes. You can also bring back the original explorer.exe file by following the same process by only changing the Shell Value Data need from explorerx.exe to explorer.exe.

Thus, upon following the steps described above you can easily replace explorer.exe in Windows 8.


Priyanka contributes to the Computer and Gadgets section on Techcular.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 6 + 11 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)