I have had the issue of Windows explorer crashing several times a day. All explorer windows, the desktop and task bar disappear then the desktop and task bar reappear after a few seconds.
I did not nail down the specific culprit but used ShellExView (www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html) to disable all non-Microsoft shell extentions. That made a significant difference and I haven't had explorer crash in the last few days. Of course, it could be a combination of shell extensions that will make it harder to identify. In the meantime, I will add an extension as I miss it and see if it destabilizes Windows explorer again.