What is DDE server window? A Friendly Guide

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Windows 10 is a popular operating system among users, but it has its fair share of bugs and errors. One such error that can be quite annoying is the “DDE Server Window: Explorer.exe Application Error,” which occurs during the shutdown sequence on older versions of Windows 10. In this guide, we will explore what exactly Windows DDE Server is, the causes behind this error, and various methods to fix it.

Understanding DDE server window

Windows DDE server, or Dynamic Data Exchange server, is a protocol used in earlier versions of Windows (including some versions of Windows 10) to facilitate communication between applications and programs. However, due to security vulnerabilities, it was eventually replaced by OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). While most applications have transitioned away from using DDE in favor of newer protocols like OLE, some still support it for backwards compatibility purposes.

Causes of the DDE server window Error

There are several possible culprits that can prevent a computer running an older version of Windows 10 from shutting down properly and trigger the “DDE Server Window: explorer.exe Application Error”. These include:

1. Outdated Windows OS: Running an outdated version of Windows can contribute to this error.
2. Third-party antivirus interference: Some third-party antivirus software may interfere with system settings and files.
3. Active ‘Automatically hide taskbar’ option: Enabling this feature has surprisingly been found to trigger the error message during shutdowns.

Methods to Fix the Error

Here are several methods you can try to resolve the “DDE Server Window” error:

Method 1: Restart File Explorer from Task Manager
– Press CTRL + ALT + DEL to open up Security Options window.
– Select Task Manager from the list.
– In Task Manager, find ‘Windows Explorer’ under Processes tab.
– Right-click on it and select Restart.
– This will restart the File Explorer and hopefully fix the issue.

Method 2: Avoid Shutting Down from Start Menu
– Some users have reported success by using alternative methods to shut down their system:
  – Press WIN + X, then select “Shut down or sign out” followed by “Shut down”.
  – Press WIN + R to open the Run dialog box, type ‘shutdown /s’, then click OK.

Method 3: Disable/Uninstall Third-Party Antivirus
– If you suspect that your third-party antivirus software may be causing the error, try disabling or uninstalling it temporarily to see if the error message persists.

Method 4: Disable ‘Automatically Hide Taskbar’ Option
– Open Windows settings by pressing WIN + I.
– Click on Personalization.
– Select Taskbar in the left pane.
– Find “Automatically hide taskbar in desktop mode” option and toggle it off.

Method 5: Create New User Account
In rare cases, there may be an issue with your user account causing the DDE Server Window error. Creating a new user account can help resolve this.


1. What is a Windows DDE server?
The Windows DDE server is a protocol used for communication between applications and programs in earlier versions of Windows. It has since been replaced by OLE, but some applications still support it for backward compatibility reasons.

2. What causes the DDE server error in Windows 10?
Some common causes include running outdated Windows OS, third-party antivirus interference, and enabling the ‘Automatically hide taskbar’ option.

Expert Advice: Data Recovery Solution

If you experience data loss due to improper shutdown caused by this error or any other reason, consider using Stellar Data Recovery Free as a powerful DIY data recovery software solution.

With Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition, you can recover up to 1GB of lost data from various storage devices like HDDs and SSDs. The software supports recovery of different file types including photos, videos, documents, and more from formatted, corrupted, or encrypted drives.


In conclusion, the DDE Server Window error can be an annoying issue that prevents proper shutdown in Windows 10. By understanding its causes and utilizing the methods outlined in this guide, you should be able to resolve the error and ensure smoother system performance.

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