Fix Windows Explorer Window Opening on Startup

I recently ran into a really annoying problem on my Windows 7 64-bit PC: every time I restarted it and booted into Windows, the Windows Explorer Libraries window would pop up. It never occurred before and I could not pinpoint any particular software or update that I had installed that would cause it to start happening.

Anyway, after playing around and doing some research, I was able to fix the problem. In this article, I’ll show you a couple of methods to hopefully resolve the problem.

explorer libraries

Method 1 – Check Startup Folder

If the Explorer Libraries folder is popping up on every boot up, then the first place you want to check is the startup folder. Go to Start, All Programs and click on Startup. If there is a shortcut to the Libraries folder, go ahead and delete it.

libraries folder

Method 2 – Userinit Registry Key

The second way is to check the registry for a specific key and change it to a different value. First, open the registry editor by clicking on Start and typing regedit. Then navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\

Find the Userinit key and replace the value with the following:

C:\Windows\system32\userinit.exe,

Now go ahead and restart your computer and see what happens. Hopefully, you should not have the Windows Explorer window opened to the Libraries folder pop up.

Method 3 – Shell Registry Key

In the same place that you have Userinit above, there is another key called Shell. Make sure that is set to only explorer.exe and nothing else.

userinit shell

Method 4 – Restore Previous Folders

Windows Explorer has this option called Restore previous folders, which will do exactly that when you logon. You can disable it by opening Explorer, clicking on Organize and then Folder and Search Options.

folder and search

Make sure that Restore previous folder windows at logon is not checked.

restore previous folder

Method 5 – Delete Registry Key

For some users, if you have Internet Explorer v5 installed (for some crazy reason), then you have to delete a key in the registry. Navigate to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Go ahead and delete the DesktopProcess value from the registry key.

Method 6 – Acer SmartStart

Some Acer computers have an annoying piece of software called SmartStart that will take anything you open after loading Windows and have it start automatically the next time you login. You can either uninstall the program or open it and set or remove the programs you want to have at startup.

If you’re still having this problem, post a comment here with the details and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

Comments [7]

  1. gary47290 says:

    Why do you suggest registry edits before unchecking the restore prior folders setting? Registry edits should always be your last step.

  2. Win8Niggles says:

    I am having the exact same problem in Win8. I have checked your points, and several others, but the registry is a big place! And Win8, alas, works differently from Win7. So far, no differences in your keys between the two.

    Mine opens with explorer in libraries folder.

    Any more tips for Win8 to find this niggle?

  3. Ronald Lande says:

    I had the problem of Explorer opening whenever I booted up. Followed all of your suggestions but nothing worked. It always opened with the Choice Guard folder showing. When I deleted the program with the run command listed below it cured the problem. Acer laptop w/XP Pro 32 bit running MS Security Essentials.

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Search Enhancement Pack\Choice Guard

    MsiExec.exe /X{F0E12BBA-AD66-4022-A453-A1C8A0C4D570}

  4. Diane says:

    When I’m in Windows explorer and I want to go to a different folder, I scroll to the folder and it will automatically pop back to the previous folder I was at. I can’t figure out-first: why does it do this; and second: how do I stop it from doing this? I have windows 7.

  5. Mikhoul says:

    I had the same problem under Win 8 & I found a SOLUTION. It was Adobe Products that caused the “bug”, so I uninstalled Adobe Flash Player and the problem was fixed. After I reinstalled Flash manually (Full Download) & it was fine.

    N.B. : From what I found it can happen with ANY Adobe Products, just uninstall to confirm & reinstall after.

  6. Guy Peeters says:

    I lately experienced the same problem when booting Windows 7. 3 to 4 or 5 “Windows Explorer” programs were started. I tried all previous suggestions with no result!

    Any other suggestions?

  7. lala says:

    thanks working great!

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