How to avoid restarting your computer after a software install

Many a times, a program you just installed refuses to work without a restart. It’s genuinely annoying to restart your computer again just to use the software. Well, there’s a workaround.

Most of these programs demands a restart because they want the Windows Registry to be re-read. An actual restart is required only for hardware changes, or for system level software like operating system patches or drivers. Most of the other programs should be satisfied by a registry re-read. To force a registry re-read you just have to terminate and restart the Windows Explorer process(explorer.exe).

To do this, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Esc]. The Windows task manager opens up. Select the Processes tab and terminate the ‘explorer.exe’ process by right-clicking on it.

Terminating explorer.exe process

After this we need to restart the explorer.exe process. Go to ‘File>Run’ in Windows task manager itself and type in explorer.exe. The Windows Explorer process will be started and the registry will be re-read in the process.

To make this process simpler, we can take the help of a batch file. Type the following commands into an empty text file and save it as ‘reg_read.bat’.(Notice the .bat at the end)

@echo off
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
explorer.exe

This batch file terminates the explorer.exe process and then restarts it.

Now, whenever you need to make windows reread the registry to avoid a restart after you install a new program, double click on ‘reg_read.bat’ and start using the software right away.

Note : It is recommended that you perform an actual restart after installing Windows patches, hotfixes and drivers.

8 Comments

  1. nish says:

    thanks for providing information to me
    its’ works

  2. Ellimist says:

    I’m glad it worked for you. :)

  3. Alexander says:

    Thank you! I hate restarting my computer when I install stuff :P

    1. Ellimist says:

      Glad to help. :)

  4. suppot says:

    is this applicable to windows updates?

    1. Meeep says:

      No, it is not.

  5. mese says:

    is working, good job man! ;)

  6. slijmbal says:

    it is unfortunately not working for VMware
    :-(