"Often times you will run into trouble when Windows Explorer doesn’t respond or stuck for a long time. Windows Explorer should in theory automatically restart itself if it crashes. In the case when it doesn’t there are couples ways you can restart Windows Explorer properly.
The GUI User Friendly Way
Use this method assuming when you can still access the Windows menu.
Press and hold Control + Shift + Right Click on any empty area on the Windows menu, you will see this option to let you “Exit Explorer”
Funny the stuff you learn... Not sure how useful this is since if Explorer is dead/locked up/etc I don't think it would work, but still "magic" commands like these are always cool to so off at parties... (well... um... aren't they? :P )
And darned if it didn't work as advertised! I help Shift-Control Right-Clicked on a "empty" space in the opened Start Menu on got the "Exit Explorer" option.
I know I don't have to tell you all this, but... Remember this just exits the Windows Explorer shell. Not Windows. Make sure you know how to restart Explorer before you exit it... :|