The release of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update through multiple download channels this week marked the end of more than six months of development. It also means a lot more end users are now seeking out the update and installing it on their Windows 10 systems.

This is quite normal at this point and that means a wider variety of devices are now installing and running the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. That also means a few odd bugs/issues might show up on some of these devices.

During the sequence of testing of Windows 10 Redstone 4 Build 17133 as it made progress through the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview rings myself and a few others encountered a crash of explorer.exe on our systems.

Here is what that crash looks like from a short video I posted on Twitter a few weeks ago:

My troubleshooting when the problem first appeared on 17133 (and repeated on 17134) found that a service for the Connected Devices Platform was triggering the cycling crash of explorer.exe. You can see the image below of Task Manager with that service highlighted. The last sequence of letters/numbers seem to be random on different systems.

You can stop the explorer.exe crash immediately by shutting down that service. Doing that will regain you access to your system without any obvious limitations. However, it is very likely that the same service will return after a reboot of your system and begin the cycling crash again.

My temporary work around that kept the explorer.exe crash from continuing even after restarts was to shut down Timeline on my devices. To do this just go into Windows Settings > Privacy > Activity History and uncheck all of the toggles for collecting the data and for the accounts on that device. See the screenshot below for more detail.

Since I run several machines on my home network I did this on both Redstone 4 (RS4) and Redstone 5 (RS5) machines. I went ahead and re-enabled Timline over this past weekend for the RS4 devices but opted to not reactivate the RS5 Skip Ahead machines for now. I have had no recurrence of the explorer.exe crash since I made these changes. Whether related or not, I will keep the RS5 Skip Ahead machines out of Timeline for now.

There is an active bug report in the Feedback Hub which I submitted when this issue first appeared. If you are experiencing this crash please upvote that item once you follow the work around listed above to gain access to your desktop once again.