Registry Home > Windows > Desktop

Launch Windows Desktop in a Separate Process (Windows 98/Me/2000/XP) Popular

By default Windows creates one multi-threaded Explorer process which contains the Desktop, Taskbar and all other explorer instances. If one of these instances fails, all instances will fail. When enabled, this setting causes Windows to create separate processes insulating them from other failures.

This tweak can be easily applied using WinGuides Tweak Manager.
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Open your registry and find or create the key below.

Create a new DWORD value, or modify the existing value, called "DesktopProcess" and set it according to the value data below.

Exit your registry; you may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Note: When this tweak is enabled with Internet Explorer 5.0 it may cause Explorer to open after startup.

Note: On some IE 4.01 systems, launching folders results a message box saying "SHDOCVW.DLL can't be opened" or a Notepad window displaying the file SHDOCVW.DLL. On these systems it is recommened that you disable this tweak.

Note: This may not work when Active Desktop is enabled.

Registry Editor Example
|(Default)REG_SZ(value not set)|
|DesktopProcessREG_DWORD0x00000001 (1)|
Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
Value Name: DesktopProcess
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (1 = Separate Process, 0 = Default)

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Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.

Last modified: July 24, 2002