Explorer.exe not starting when Win 10 starts

A weird thing happened starting yesterday. My win 10 laptop on startup does NOT start Explorer. Instead I get a black screen with a command prompt showing C:\Windows\System32. If I close the CMD prompt then I have a totally black screen.


CTL-ALT-DEL works and I brought up task manager and ran explorer.exe which started file explorer. The CMD prompt did not disappear until I closed it.


I re-started the computer again and the same happened. I typed explorer.exe in the CMD prompt and that also started file explorer. 


Why does Windows start CMD prompt INSTEAD of explorer.exe??


Any help would be appreciated!



For me I did exatly what was in the thread you found. I deleted the registry below, restarted and it is all good now!

The answer is to open the registry editor (press Start and type regedit) and check the registry location below for a key called 'Shell'. For people experiencing this problem the key is there and it has a value of %comspec%. For people with healthy systems, that key isn't there. So simply delete the key and reboot!

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

I have been trying to fix this issue for almost a week now. Was about to wipe my system out of frustration. This worked for me too. I don't know why this happened but it was quick and easy. 

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Question Info

Last updated September 15, 2021 Views 23,813 Applies to: