How to Fix the “Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing” Issue

How to Fix the “Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing” Issue

/ Sedfrey Galope

Windows Explorer is one of the Windows Operating System’s most essential components, and if it keeps crashing, you’ll have a problem opening files and directories on your device. Windows Explorer freezing from time to time may not seem to be a big deal to you, but it is a problem that needs to be looked into more thoroughly.

Unless you know what caused the problem, you can try applying some specific solutions to see if they assist prevent the Explorer from crashing. There are various methods you can take to manage and resolve the issue on your Windows PC.

Symptoms of the Windows Explorer Crashing Issues

According to many users, they experience different types of symptoms whenever Windows Explorer crashes. Here are some of their symptoms:

  • Windows 10 File Explorer stopped working
  • Windows 10 File Explorer is not responding
  • Users cannot open Windows Explorer
  • Windows Explorer closes itself constantly
  • Windows Explorer crashes when you right-click on a file
  • Windows Explorer freezes all the time

Causes of Windows File Explorer Crashes

For some users, the File Explorer utility crashes for no apparent reason. Every Windows issue has a cause. The problem “File Explorer keeps crashing” can be caused by several reasons, this includes the following:

  • Misconfigured system settings
  • Incompatible or outdated applications
  • Virus or malware infection
  • Issues with Windows permissions

Regardless of whether you can determine the exact cause of a problem in Windows Explorer, the solutions listed below should be able to get you back up and running.

Troubleshooting Methods to Fix the “Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing” Problem

First Method – Check for New Windows Update

If you have not yet downloaded and installed any Windows Updates, you may be missing out on a fix for the Windows Explorer crash issue. As a result, it’s vital to keep an eye out for new Windows Updates. The latest editions include new functions, bug fixes, and updates to the Windows Security virus library that may prevent Windows Explorer from crashing randomly.

  1. Press the “Windows” key on your keyboard and press “R” to bring up the run line command type in “control update” and press enter.
  1. Click on “Check for Updates” in the Windows Update window. If there are no updates available then you should get a message saying “You’re Up to Date”.
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  1. If the Windows Update Tool finds a new update, let it install it and wait for it to complete. You may be required to restart your computer for it to install.
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  1. After installing new Windows updates, restart your computer and open the File Explorer window to confirm if this fixed the issue. If Windows file explorer crashes despite performing the above steps, move on to the next method.

Second Method – Run System File Checker (SFC)

Microsoft Windows SFC is a tool that enables users to find and repair broken Windows system files. The System File Checker tool may produce one of numerous messages; for example, the software may say that no integrity issues were found.

According to System File Checker, the system could fail to operate. The tool may also show that the system detected and fixed corrupted files. Users can manually repair corrupted files if System File Checker cannot correct them.

  1. Press “Windows” and press “R” and type “cmd” in the run command line. Hold down both the “ctrl and shift” keys together and hit enter. Click “OK” on the next window to grant administrator permissions.
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  1. In the command prompt window, type “sfc /scannow” and hit enter. SFC will now check for corrupted Windows files. Wait for the SFC to complete the scan and restart the computer. Once done, run the Windows Update tool to check if the issue has been fixed.
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  1. Once the scan is complete, make sure to restart your computer and open the File Explorer window to check if this fixed the issue. If Explorer keeps crashing after performing these steps, try performing the next methods.

Third Method – Run a Full System Scan with a Reliable Antivirus Program

As we stated at the beginning of this post, if Windows Explorer keeps crashing on you, a virus infecting your computer might cause Windows File Explorer to crash regularly. We strongly recommend a comprehensive system scan with your anti-virus tool to guarantee that your machine is healthy and prevents future damage. We’ll be using Windows Security in this tutorial.

  1. Open Windows Security by clicking on the Windows button and type “Windows Security” and press “enter”.
  2. On the homepage, click on “Virus & threat protection”.
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  1. Click on “Scan Options”, select “Full Scan” and click “Scan Now”.
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  1. Wait for Windows Security to complete the scan and restart the computer once it’s finished.
  1. After you get your computer back on, check if this fixed the issue with Windows Explorer.

Fourth Method – Clear the History of File Explorer

It’s unclear how the history in File Explorer causes the application to crash. However, cleaning the history of File Explorer has helped many customers fix their File Explorer that keeps crashing.

  1. Click on the start button or press the Windows key and type in “File Explorer Options”.
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  1. In the General tab, under “Privacy” click on “Clear” and click on “OK” to complete the clearing process of File Explorer.
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Fifth Method – Modify the Registry Keys

The registry keys hold data about each folder and its display configuration. By deleting these keys, you can restore the configurations for all folders on your system, which is beneficial for resolving the crashing issue with File Explorer.

  1. Press Windows on your keyboard and type regedit, then right-click on regedit result and click Run as administrator.
  2. Click Yes when prompted to confirm.
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  1. Navigate to the following address:

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

  1. Expand the “Shell” folder, delete both the “Bag” and “BagMRU” folders by right-clicking on them and selecting “Delete”.
  1. After deleting both folders, restart your computer and check if you would still experience File Explorer crashes.

Sixth Method – Update Your Graphics Card Driver

There are several ways to update your graphics card. If you want to read all about them, you can go here. This guide will show you the easiest and fastest way you can do it. Not only will this method update your graphics card, but also other outdated drivers.

Additionally, using this tool will ensure all your system files are updated, providing your computer will be in optimal performance.

We strongly suggest using a third-party optimization tool such as Restoro to take care of your computer.

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To download and install Restoro, follow these steps:

  1. Click here to Download restoro:
Download Restoro
  1. Once Restoro has been installed on your Windows PC, you will be directed to the homepage of Restoro. Click on Start Scan to let Restoro analyze what needs to be performed on your computer.
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  1. Once the scan is complete, click on Start Repair to update the outdated drivers that Restoro has found that are on your computer.
  1. Once Restoro has completed the repair and updates on the incompatible driver, restart your computer.

To learn more about Restoro, go to our dedicated review of the tool by clicking here.

Seventh Method – Look for the Application That is Causing File Explorer to Crash

If Windows Explorer keeps crashing despite performing the first six methods that we provided, a corrupt application might cause this problem. Open File Explorer until File Explorer crashes again, then execute the following steps.

  1. Search for the “Event Viewer” and open it.
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  1. In the Event Viewer, look for any error listed under the “Window Logs” and “System”.
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  1. If an application is displaying the error, uninstall it from your system through the “Uninstall or Change Program” utility.

Eighth Method – Enable the Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process

Every time you open File Explorer, it runs in the process of the explorer.exe file by default. As a result, if one of the File Explorer windows fails, the problem of Windows File Explorer crashing will manifest itself.

You need to enable the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” option to fix the issues. Here’s a basic rundown:

  1. Click on the start button or press the Windows key and type in “File Explorer Options”.
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  1. On the File Explorer Options window, click on the “View” tab. Look for the “Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process” option under the View tab and put a check on it. Click “Apply” and then “OK”.
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  1. Closeout the File Explorer Options window and restart your computer and check if the Windows Explorer keeps crashing still.

Ninth Method – Perform a System Restore

If File Explorer keeps crashing, the last resort is to restore your computer’s default settings if everything else fails and you continue to experience Windows Explorer crashing problems. This can help you fix your computer if it stops working correctly after installing an update.

Make sure you’ve saved all of your files to cloud storage, a USB drive, or another external storage device before attempting to perform System Restore. During the System Restore procedure, any changes made to the system will be reverted to its original state.

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website.
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  1. Run the Media Creation Tool to create a Windows installation media (You can use a bootable USB drive or CD/DVD disc).
  2. Boot the PC from the disc or bootable USB drive.
  3. Next, configure the language, keyboard method, and time. Select Repair your computer.
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  1. Go to Choose an option. Choose Troubleshoot and Advanced options. Lastly, choose System Restore.
  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish a system restore. Your computer should boot back up as normal, login as normal, and check if you were able to fix Windows Explorer.

Wrap Up

Getting an issue where File Explorer keeps on crashing can indicate an underlying problem in your system that can lead to more severe problems in the future. That is why we strongly suggest taking care of it at first sight.

Remember that if you happen to resort to restoring your system, make sure that you have stored all your important files elsewhere, as all of your files will be erased.

Sedfrey Galope
Meet the author

Sedfrey is an experienced writer, editor, PC hardware, and gaming enthusiast. In his spare time, he enjoys online gaming or reading about the latest innovation in the PC market. As a result, he is constantly challenged to find fixes to hardware and software errors. Sed believes that there is always a way to make software and applications work. As a result, you will find his articles and guides easy to follow.