Replace explorer.exe in Windows 8 if you need a new Start button

Thinking about modifying the explorer.exe? If so, you should first learn how to replace system files in Windows 8 before you get started as it’s not easy for beginners.

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What is Exploree.exe?

Explorer.exe is a core file or process of Windows OS (Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP). This process is one of the key components to make Windows more user-friendly. It supports most of the items which are usually seen on desktop. Explorer.exe process provides a GUI (Graphical User Interface) shell in Windows OS (like: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP) to view different items as desktop, icons, explorer windows, task manager, opening hard drives and all those stuffs which are visible on the system. Explorer.exe can also be understood as Windows GUI shell or just Explorer. Original explorer.exe file is located in C:\Windows\ directory. The drive letter C: depends on the location ( drive) where the Windows system is installed.

How to replace explorer.exe?

There are mainly three possible ways to change explorer.exe in Windows 8.

A. Change registry path to explorerx.exe file.

B. Take Ownership and edit Permissions via Interface.

C. Take Ownership via Command Prompt ( for Advanced Users).

The First method is the easiest method to change explorer.exe. This process doesn’t change or rename the original explorer.exe file. The process only changes registry path from explorer.exe to explorerx.exe (the new explorer.exe file which will replace the original one).

Explorer.exe is a very important system file. So, be careful and first of all make a backup and follow these steps below:-

Steps to change explorer.exe file

1. Select the new explorer.exe which you want to replace with the original one. Now, right-click on it and select rename option to rename it to explorerx.exe or whatever you want (don’t change .exe extension).

Rename to explorerx.exe

2. Now, just copy explorerx.exe into C:\Windows\ directory.

Copy explore.exe

3. Next, move your mouse cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and the Start menu pops up. Click on Search option.

 Start Menu

4. Now, click on the Apps option in the Right Hand Search Menu to open “Search Apps” text box and type regedit in the “Search Apps” text box. Apps Search result will appear in the left. Click on regedit.

 Search and Select regedit

5. Click on Yes in the UAC (User Account Control) box.

 Select Yes in UAC box

6. Now in Registry Editor navigate to following sub key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

by clicking their respective expand icon.

 Navigate to Winlogon

7. Right click on the Shell in the right hand panel and click on Modify option.

 Modify Shell

8. Now, Edit String window will appear. Change “Value Data” from explorer.exe to explorerx.exe.

 Change Value data to explorerx.exe

Finally reboot your system so that this change takes place. Follow the same process to bring back the original explorer.exe file in action. Only that Shell“Value Data” need to be changed from explorerx.exe to explorer.exe.

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