File explorer is the file management application used by Windows operating system to browse folders and files. It provides a graphical interface for the user to navigate and access the files stored in the computer as well as for performing various operations like renaming, deleting or launching files.
However, a lot of users have experienced “file explorer not responding” problem when they try to open file explorer, it simply do not respond and reject to open and sometimes even collapse. This issue can be caused due to any of the following issues:
- You may be using an outdated or incompatible video driver
- You may have a virus or malware infection on your PC
- System files available on your PC may be corrupt or mismatched with other files
- Some applications or services running on your device may also cause this issue.
According to the causes mentioned above, you can try following methods to fix file explorer not responding issues:
Method 1: Upgrade your current video driver: This issue can be caused due to outdated video drivers. It can only be resolved by downloading and installing the latest video driver. You can do this by simply using Windows Update or by visiting your system manufacture’s website. To do so, follow the steps below:
Right-click on the start icon and choose Device Manager
Now, expand the Display adapter category, right-click on PCs video adapter and select Update driver
Just after that, select Search automatically for updated driver software
That will prompt Windows to search the internet and your system for the latest video driver for your PC.
Method 2: Automatically reboot the Windows explorer in task manager: If Windows is still reactive, then the first thing you should do is restarting the File Explorer
Right-click on the Task bar and select Task Manager
If Task Manager looks like the following image, then click on More details option
Stay in the default processes and tap on Windows Explorer and then click Restart
Wait for the Windows Explorer to reboot. Your taskbar, windows and desktop will temporarily disappear –this is normal.
Method 3: To check your files, run system file checker: It is a utility in Microsoft Windows that allows users to scan for and restore corruptions in Windows system files. The above mentioned error can be caused by corrupted files and in order to fix it you need to perform these steps to run SFC:
Click Start, and then type cmd in the Search box.
In the results area, right-click cmd.exe, and then click Run as administrator. You may be prompted to type the password for an administrator account.
Click Continue if you are the administrator or type the administrator password and then, click Continue.
At the command prompt, type Sfc /scannow and then press ENTER.
Method 4: File explorer history should be cleared: If you have tried all the solutions above and didn’t found any of them helpful then you can easily fix this issue by clearing the history.
To open run command, press Win + R and type “Control” and click on the OK button
Make sure that your viewing mode is set to large icons
Now, press on File Explorer options > click on clear button present in the privacy section
Now, try opening the file explorer again.
Method 5: Revert your display settings: Changing display settings means changing the layout of the icons shown on the screen it is done to make screen more attractive. If you have changed the size of text, apps to the sizes that are not recommended then reset it by using the following steps:
Right-click on the Windows start button and choose setting
System title should be clicked
After that, stay on default Display tab
Under the scale and layout section, set the scaling for text, app and other items to 100%
Now check if Windows explorer works properly.
Method 6: Update Win 10 to the latest version: If you are not switching over to the latest version of Windows 10 then we recommend to update it as Microsoft solves most known issues like file explorer not responding through updates. While updating you can get access to new features, better security and more optimization. Go through the below steps:
Right-click on the Windows start menu and select settings
Click on Update and Security
Then click on Windows Update and click Check for Updates button to install the latest updates.
Method 7: Make space on your system drive: Many issues can come up when your system drive is full. Space is required by all apps to store data including File explorer itself. When this space is not found, then you will receive an error message file explorer not responding or even launch. To quickly free up space on your PC, you need to allow the Windows Explorer to run with effortlessness.
Method 8: Manually restart the Files Explorer using Command Prompt: Another method to reboot File Explorer is by using the command prompt. To do so, follow the below given process:
Press Win + R > type “cmd” and tap Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open command prompt with administrative permissions.
To stop the Windows explorer, type the following command: taskkill/f/im explorer.exe and then press enter to execute it
Next, enter the command to restart: start explorer.exe
Close the command prompt and check if the issue persists.
Method 9: Create New User Account: This issue can be resolved by creating a new user account. After creating and logging into the new account, users may find that Windows 10 File Explorer is working normally there. In case, if you have only one user account on your device, then you may follow Microsoft instructions to create a new local user account and then check if file explorer works as normal as before.
Method 10: Disable Quick Access and File Preview features: If you are having troubles with File Explorer, then users are advised to fix them by changing few settings. You just have to stop quick access and file preview features. To do it, follow these steps:
Firstly, open File Explorer options
In the General tab, set Open File Explorer to This PC. Now uncheck Show recently used files in Quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access options. If you want, you can click the Clear button to clear the history, but it’s not mandatory.
Now go to the View tab and uncheck Show preview handlers in preview pane. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.
Lastly, make sure that preview pane is disabled. You can disable it once you open File Explorer by pressing Alt + P on your keyboard.
After changing these options, check if the problems with File Explorer still appear.
Method 11: Enable Launch folder windows in separate process: Another way to solve File Explorer problems is to activate Launch folder windows in separate process option. you can do it by following these steps:
Open File Explorer Options like we showed you in the previous solution.
Now navigate to the View tab and check Launch folder windows in a separate process. Click Apply and OK to save changes.
Automatic process to fix file explorer not responding issue on Windows 10
Above-stated workarounds will definitely fix file explorer not responding from your system. But if you are novice users and finds the commands in a solution a bit tricky to perform then you can use PC Repair Tool. this tool will solve all the Windows PC related issues such as game error, update error, DLL and many others. It also repairs damaged or inaccessible Windows system files and increases the performance of your Windows OS.