Instructables
Picture of Fun Prank in any Windows Version
An extremely entertaining prank to play on unsuspecting friends (or enemies) by exiting the Windows Explorer process, causing the task bar and any Explorer windows to disappear.

Note:This CAN NOT and WILL NOT cause any harm to the victim's computer. If you encounter any troubles, just restart the computer. Any damage caused as a result of trying this out is neither my FAULT nor my RESPONSIBILITY. Any damage caused is your fault, due to incorrectly following these steps (and your computer can befall harm if you exit certain system-crucial processes). This process is harmless.
 
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Step 1: Open Windows Task Manager

Picture of Open Windows Task Manager
After gaining access to the victim's computer, open Windows task manager. This can be done two different ways:
1. On MOST Windows XP versions (and previous versions of Windows), press ctrl-alt-delete to open task manager.
*On some computers, the administrator may have changed that function to leave the desktop, and open a window that has a couple different functions, such as shutting down the computer, simply select the open task manager button, or, if this doesn't work for you try the Vista steps.

2. On ALL Windows Vista versions, press ctrl-shift-esc to open task manager. (You can also use ctrl-alt-delete and then select open task manager.)

**Important Note: On some systems, the administrator may have disabled Windows task manager. I have found that this isn't the case on most systems (the only example I can think of are the public library computers, locked down to browsing the library's online database). If this IS the case, you will get a "the administrator has disable windows task manager" error.

3. Now that you have Windows task manager open, navigate to the "processes" tab, as shown in the picture.
admin6 years ago
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Windows 7 automatically restarts explorer.
gamer6 years ago
Mmmmm.... Not on EVERY version of Windows.... Try to install Windows 3.1x on your computer and then try this.... Then tell me if it works.... It would be rather useless.... This just removes the desktop icons and the start menu. Only problem is that Windows 3.1x has no start menu or desktop icons... I don't even think it has a task manager...
SilentZoom (author)  gamer6 years ago
I'm pretty sure it works on every version of Windows since 95, and since most people use XP or Vista nowadays, I put in specific instructions for those.

I like the old "CTRL - ALT - ARROW DOWN" command..  works a treat. Best to use it on work mates when they have left their terminals unlocked.

If you try it and get stuck you may need to make a slight adjustment to the command to resolve.

puffyfluff6 years ago
Hey! This is a direct copy of mine!
SilentZoom (author)  puffyfluff6 years ago
I just looked at yours (I have seen it before, when I searched) and it's not the same thing. Mine is a lot more simplified, and doesn't require any specific commands with multiple modifiers that, if inputted incorrectly, might leave bad effects on the computer. This Instructable is designed to be easy, and executed without danger to the system.
Sorry. I forgot I made some changes. The original version was this, and then I added the batch file to it, and then I took the whole task manager away, because the batch was quicker and easier. And anyways, this is technically more risky than batch, because if you accidentally highlight the wrong process, then it is dangerous. If you mistype the taskkill command, it will return an error and do absolutely nothing.
its not exactly dangerous if you end most processes. at worst it make your computer shut down. but it also gives you a one minute warning before it shuts off to save stuff or whatever.
Exactly. Especially since there is no other process similar to explorer.exe.
SilentZoom (author)  puffyfluff6 years ago
Is it? I'm sorry. I searched multiple times for anything that was the same as this, and didn't find anything. I'll look at yours and if it is as you say, I'll remove it. O.K.?
runerocks155 years ago
in the task manager, click "file" and then "new task (run)". it will allow you to restore explorer.
Derin6 years ago
since explorer has been closed,you cant open the start menu
SilentZoom (author)  Derin6 years ago
Hahaha that's hilarious! Thank you for pointing the obvious out to me. I'll take it out.