Windows Explorer Not Responding or Stopped Working? 13 Ways to Fix:
Windows Explorer has a long history of stability issues, and “File Explorer” rebranding in recent Windows iterations did little to improve things. Therefore, it is not uncommon to encounter random freezes and crashes with error messages such as “Windows Explorer is not responding” and “Windows Explorer has stopped working” when interacting with the file system on the PC.
Most complications with Windows Explorer or File Explorer are one-time instances that only appear when the operating system is under stress. But if you experience the same problem over and over again, the troubleshooting tips below will allow you to solve it.
Restart file explorer
Restarting Windows Explorer (which is the underlying process behind File Explorer) is a quick solution to system-related minor flaws that cause it to freeze or crash.
1. Right-click on the taskbar and select the option labeled Task Manager. If the taskbar seems unresponsive, use it slip away + Ctrl + Esc Keystroke to launch Task Manager.
2. Choose more information To expand the default Task Manager view.
3. Under Procedures Tab, find and right-click Windows Explorer. Then, choose restart.
Open file explorer again
File management aside, File Explorer also powers user interfaces behind elements such as taskbars and desktops. So if it crashes completely (as in, you don’t see the taskbar and desktop), you’ll have to reopen it manually.
1. Press slip away + Ctrl + Esc To open the task manager.
2. Open The file Menu and choose Run new job the option.
3. Type Explorer.exe Choose more Okay.
Disable details and preview pane
If you encounter only “Windows Explorer is not responding” or “Windows Explorer has stopped working” errors when selecting files and folders in File Explorer, try closing it Description And Preview Plaque
1. Open a new File Explorer window.
2. Select opinion Tab.
3. Inside Plaque Disable both groups preview pane And Detail panel.
4. Restart Windows Explorer Process through Task Manager.
5. Relaunch the file explorer and check if the problem persists. If so, then proceed with the rest of the reforms.
Change the default file explorer view
If the file explorer freezes or crashes when you open it, it changes the default view quick access To This pc This can be stopped. You will no longer see a list of your recent files and folders, but it allows you to correct problems caused by obsolete or broken entries within the File Explorer history.
1. Press The windows + R To open the run box. Then type Control folder Choose more Okay. The File Explorer Options dialog should appear on the screen.
2. Under Mango Open the pull-down menu next to the tab Open file explorer Choose more This pc.
3. Choose Applicable > Okay To save changes.
If it helped, reopen the File Explorer Options dialog and select clear To delete file explorer history. Then, change the default view back quick access. After that there should be no problem again.
Clear thumbnail cache
File Explorer displays thumbnail previews of files and folders. But an old thumbnail is another possible cause of cache freezes and crashes, so clearing it may help.
1. Press The windows + R, Type Cleanmgr In the run box, select more Okay.
2. Check the box next to Thumbnail.
3. Choose Okay.
Disable thumbnail preview
If clearing the thumbnail cache did not help, try turning off all thumbnail previews in File Explorer.
1. Open the File Explorer Options dialog and switch to opinion Tab.
2. Under advanced settings, Check the box next to Always show icon, never thumbnail.
3. Choose Applicable > Okay.
Set display scale and layout to default
Using large display sizes for text and apps can also trigger “Windows Explorer not responding” and “Windows Explorer has stopped working” errors. It is best to revert it to the default recommended setting.
1. Open Start Menu and go Adjustment > system > Display.
2. Scroll down Scale and layout Section.
3. Set Resize text, apps and other objects To 100% (recommended).
Update or roll back display driver
An older display driver may result in problems related to all types of file explorers. You can download and install the latest version of the driver by going to the video card manufacturer’s website – NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel.
However, if the problem occurred just after the recent display driver update, then you have to roll it back.
1. Press The windows + X Choose more device Manager.
2. expand display adapters.
3. Right-click the video card driver you want to roll back and select a quality.
4. Switch on The drivers Tab.
5. Choose roll back Driver.
Windows 10 make improvements
Display drivers aside, File Explorer may also fail to respond or stop working due to an older version of Windows 10. If you have not updated the operating system recently, try to do it as soon as possible.
1. Go here Start > Adjustment > Update and security > Windows Update.
2. Choose check for updates To scan for new updates.
3. Choose Download and install To apply pending updates.
Additionally, check and install any performance-related drivers. See optional updates (If you see the option).
Run a malware scan
Malicious programs can induce all kinds of issues and prevent important Windows components such as File Explorer from functioning correctly. If you don’t have Third-party antivirus solution On your computer, you can Use Windows Security to remove malware Instead.
1. Choose Windows security On the system tray.
2. Go here Virus and Threat Protection > check for updates To install the latest anti-malware definitions.
3. Choose quick scan.
If Windows Security fails to detect malware, select scan options And a. Follow along full scan Or a Microsoft defender offline scan.
Disable Third-Party Shell Extensions
Does File Explorer freeze or crash only by right-clicking on the item? Conflicting context menu entries from third-party programs usually cause this. Use a program like ShellExView to disable them.
1. Download and Open Shellexview on your computer.
2. Open the option Menu and choose Hide All Microsoft Extensions.
3. Select and select all third-party extensions Disable Selected Items.
If the file explorer starts working correctly, reactivate each inactive shell extension until you come to the problematic item. Then, update the related program (which may fix the problem), disable the extension, or remove it from your computer.
Reset file associations
Wrong, conflicting, or broken File association in windows 10 There is another reason that results in file freeze and crashes related to Explorer. Try resetting them.
1. Open Start Menu and choose Adjustment.
2. Go here Apps > Default application.
3. Choose Reset.
Resetting file associations also returns default programs (such as web browsers) to Microsoft’s stock apps, so you may have to reconfigure your preferences.
Run the SFC scan and DISM tool
It is a good idea if “Windows Explorer is not responding” and “Windows Explorer has stopped working” errors Run system file checker And DISM (deployment image servicing and management) tools. This should fix file explorer related problems caused by corrupted system files.
Run system file checker
1. Press The windows + X To open the Power User menu. Then, choose Windows PowerShell (admin).
2. Type the following command:
SFC / Scano
3. press Enter To run the system file checker.
For best results, repeat the SFC scan three times in total.
Run DISM tool
1. Open an advanced Windows PowerShell console.
2. Run the following command:
DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / CheckHealth
3. If the DISM tool detects any problems, execute the following two commands:
DISM / online / cleanup-image / scanhealth
DISM / online / cleanup-image / RestoreHealth
Windows Explorer Still Not Working: What Else?
The improvements above may have helped you solve problems that did not react with File Explorer. If not, here are several advanced improvements you can try:
Going forward, keeping the operating system updated is the best way to minimize potential file explorer related issues.