[Solved] Desktop Remain Blank | Windows Explorer or Explorer.exe Does Not Load / Run

by Rohit Khurana on July 15, 2009



We just got a mail from one of our reader who sees a blank desktop after he is logged in on his windows computer, here is what he had said in his mail.

when ever I try to logon to windows I can see the wall paper (no start button no desktop icons no nothing) when i hit ctrl,shift,esc. and i click on task manager  but explorer.exe is not running under process when i try to run it but i get an error saying "Windows cannot find explorer.exe – please solve my problem


This type of problem occurs when your computer get infected from the virus or spyware which has corrupted some registry keys which are related to explorer load.


Here is how you can fix this issue:



Follow the procedure below

1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch task manager

2. Click File | New Task

3. Now type regedit and click Ok

4. Browse the following registry path

Windows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution.options

5. Under this registry path, you will see subkeys named explorer.exe and iexplorer.exe.
These keys must be pointing to files created by the virus that have been removed (virus/spyware); explorer32dbg.exe and iexplore_dbg.exe.

6. Delete the explorer and iexplorer keys entirely.

7. Close Registry and restart your computer


I hope this procedure given above will help you fix the problem, if it does not let us know through comments.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anayomous July 15, 2009 at 7:32 am

thanks for sharing…really works a lot…thanks for the attemping the questions

Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed July 15, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I beg UR pardon , what about step NO 2 ?

2. Click File | New Task

pankaj July 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

if this does not work

first of all update your antivirus and run full system scan.
and remove virus.


go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/CurrentVersion/

in the right pane

there will be a key

type reg_sz with name shell

open it and delete any vlaue other than Explorer.exe

exit the registry editor and restart your system this should work.

let me know if it works

ifesvr September 9, 2009 at 10:20 am

Hey pankaj,

Thanks for the tip. i hv been looking all sorts of tips in the net for the past 8 hrs at the stretch!!! your’s worked.

Thanks a lot!!

steve October 26, 2009 at 5:59 am

I have the same problem. When I goto ctl+alt+del and new task, I am unable to start explorer.exe, or regedit.

When I hit ok, the window closes and nothing happens.

When I boot in Safe Mode, It logs into windows but only displays a black screen with the words “safe mode” in the four corners.

Is there any other solutions I might try.

Thank you for the help!

Shameel November 13, 2009 at 6:26 am

I tried to edit the registry as u told but there is no subkeys for exploere.exe under the image file excecution options.. so i cud delete only that iexplorer. and one more thing, i have subkeys like DIINXOptions and IEInstal.exe also in it.. is this normal..?

karenm March 5, 2010 at 1:58 am

Hey pankaj,

Thanks for the tip!

in the winlogon key I had two suspicious entries
shell c:/windows/systemew/asvzgdueb.exe
shelly explorer.exe

I simply renamed shell to shell2
and renamed shelly to shell

Everything is back to normal.

Thanks again!

samik Roy moulik August 28, 2010 at 2:02 am

ie still not working because ieinstal.exe not deleted.
plz suggest some methode

vanita April 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

Dear sir,

my problem is similar. all the icons on my DESK top are not opening. they are blank .
i followed the instructions frm this suggestion till – I tried to edit the registry as u told but there is no subkeys for exploere.exe under the image file excecution options.. so i cud not delete. and one more thing, i have subkeys like DIINXOptions and IEInstal.exe also in it..

What do i do now ?

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