File Explorer or Windows Explorer is an effective tool designed for providing easy access to all your files, folders, and drive management. This in-built file manager application shows essential user items like Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, etc. at a single place and helps users to perform a variety of functions (other than browsing files/folders) such as copy, paste, delete, rename, view file properties and so on.
However, just like other system processes on Windows, File Explorer also has its occasional moments of failures. If you are someone who’s dealing with Windows Explorer Not Responding Error, here is a list of things you can try to fix the issue.
Common Windows File Explorer Problems
Undoubtedly, “File Explorer keeps crashing” is a huge problem. But that’s not the only issue with the file management application. Lately, users have reported a variety of problems with File Explorer that we would like to bring to your notice:
- File Explorer crashes when right-clicking something: This issue could come up due to third-party apps, you can fix it by using the solutions we have listed below.
- Windows Explorer quick access keeps crashing.
- Windows 10 File Explorer needs to be restarted.
- File Explorer keeps crashing in a loop.
- Windows Explorer fails to open files and folders.
There are several reasons why you might be encountering the aforementioned errors: Improper system settings, no available space on your system drive, running outdated/faulty third-party programs, permission issues & so on. Our today’s post is focused on the “Windows File Explorer Not Responding” issue, so you can try the following workarounds and one of these should do the trick!
How To Fix “Windows Explorer Not Responding” In Windows 11
We’ve compiled the most effective solution to help you in this matter. Just work your way with the listed methods, until you find the one.
METHOD 1 – Restart File Explorer
This Is probably the quickest and easiest way to fix the potential issue. Follow the steps mentioned below and learn the process of restarting the File Explorer application.
Step 1: Open Task Manager by pressing CTRL +SHIFT +ESC.
Step 2: Locate Windows Explorer from the left bar and right-click on it. Choose ‘End Task’.
Step 3: Click on the File tab from the top-left corner of the screen, and choose ‘Run New Task’ from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: In the next window, type explorer.exe, and click OK.
Check if it has started working now. Hopefully, you should not encounter the annoying ‘File Explorer Not Responding’ pop-up message.
METHOD 2 – Clear out Redundant and Temporary Files
Over time, your system gets accumulated with tons of junk files, temp files, and other redundant data which certainly leaves a negative impact on the overall performance of your machine. Additionally, when you have multiple programs running in the background, the CPU processes it and uses a significant time to respond to all your commands. Since a huge proportion of RAM is consumed, you start witnessing a slow and sluggish performance. Oftentimes, also result in getting ‘Windows File Explorer Not Responding’ problem.
Hence, clearing out redundant and temporary files can let the system work effectively and efficiently and free you from potential errors.
Step 1: First, you need to access the Run by using the search tab available next to the Start button. Alternatively, you can launch the Run window by pressing Windows + R shortcut keys from the keyboard.
Step 2: Type %TEMP% in the file and hit the OK button.
Step 3: Now, you need to select the files you wish to eliminate from your system. You can press Command + A shortcut keys to select all available files automatically.
Step 4: Hit the Delete button to eliminate accumulated junk from your machine.
If you don’t want to get indulge in the manual hassle, we recommend you to take the help of a dedicated PC Cleaner and Optimizer Utility that can run a thorough scan for finding and removing unwanted junk files, caches, cookies, and other residues in one go.
METHOD 3: Clear File Explorer History
When Windows 10 file explorer is not responding, try out the method mentioned below.
Step 1: In Windows 10 Cortana search box, type Control, and open Control Panel.
Step 2: Navigate to the View by section and change it to Small icon. Locate File Explorer Options and click on the same.
Step 3: Open it and a small pop-up window will appear on your screen. Here you need to find and click on the Clear button next to the Clear File Explorer history. Hit the OK button!
Most probably your Windows Explorer should start working again. Try to open File Explorer once again to check!
METHOD 4: Try Changing Display Settings
You might be thinking about what display settings have to do with File Explorer not responding to the issue. Well, it does have an impact on the launching and loading problem. It is possible that unexpected sizes of screen and text are the reason behind file explorer not working properly. Hence, you need to reset the settings using the following steps.
Step 1: Type Settings in Windows 10 Search box.
Step 2: Click on the System module, which will show all the relevant settings associated with Display, Sound, Notifications, Power, and so on.
Step 3: Here, change the size of the text to 125%, which is recommended size.
Now, relaunch the File Explorer and see whether the problem is still appearing or not.
Method 5: Run System File Checker Utility
When file explorer is not working, use the built-in file checker scan, which will help you in scanning and eliminating corrupted system files, that might be the real culprit behind the annoying error ‘Windows File Explorer not responding’. To run the SFC utility on your system, follow the instructions shared below.
Step 1: Write CMD in Windows 10 search bar. As soon as the command prompt result appears, simply right-click on it and choose to Run as administrator.
Step 2: On the CMD window, simply type sfc/scannow and press Enter.
Step 3: Let the scan complete and comprehensively run a scan to locate corrupted system files. If it finds any, it will also instantly delete them.
Restart the computer and check if the issue has been solved or not.
Method 6: Run netsh and winsock command
For most of the users, this workaround has helped to fix the issues related to File Explorer on Windows 10/11. You just need to take help of Command Prompt to run the effective command lines. This would certainly help to avoid unwanted File Explorer crashes.
Step 1: Press Windows key + R together to launch the Run window.
Step 2: In the Run window, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. This will open the Command Prompt in administrator mode. If you do not press these keys, Command Prompt will not open in administrator mode.
Step 3: Type netsh command and press Enter.
Step 4: Next, type winsock in Command Prompt, and press Enter.
If you face any problem in accessing Command Prompt as admin take a closer look at this guide.
Method 7 – Extend C Drive
Well, as we’ve previously mentioned that if your system drive is completely packed and has no space, you may encounter ‘File explorer not responding’ issue. Hence, we advise you to extend the partition, so that you get free from the annoying error and also enjoy improved speed and performance on your Windows system. Extending the Drive manually can be a cumbersome task and requires a lot of time and enough technical knowledge.
If you don’t have that much time and computer skills, we recommend you to take help of a dedicated partition management software like MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Edition. It is certainly one of the most powerful utilities, when it comes to resizing, extending, converting MBR to GPT, NTFS to FAT, migrating OS to SSD/HD, and more.
To initiate the extending process, follow the instructions shared below using MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Step 1 – Get started by creating MiniTool Bootable Media. This would help in booting the PC first and then extending the C Drive in boot mode without any hiccups.
Step 2: Launch the partition management software and from the main dashboard choose the partition you would like to extend and select the Extend Partition option from the left-side panel.
Step 3: Now you need to allocate the space to the desired partition. You can use the slide to manage the partition size or add the value manually. Once satisfied, click on the OK button!
Hit the Apply button and that’s it! You have successfully extended the system drive. Hopefully, you will be free from the annoying Windows explorer not responding issue now.
Method 8: Disable recent files and folders from the Quick Access section
Considering disabling the needles recent files and folder from appearing in the Quick Access section. It worked out for several users who were facing annoying error. You can try it too!
Step 1: Press Windows + S key together to launch Settings.
Step 2: Next type folder options > select File Explorer Options.
Step 3: Click the General tab here, under the Privacy section look for Show recently used files in Quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access, options. Uncheck the box.
Step 4: Click Apply > Ok.
This will help fix File Explorer not responding on Windows 10.
Method 9: Install the latest Windows Update
If Windows Explorer keeps crashing or is not responding on Windows 10, isn’t fixed by now, then try updating the Windows OS to the latest version. To learn how to update or keep your Windows PC up to date, read this quick guide.
FAQs: Windows File Explorer Not Responding Issue
Q1. How to fix File Explorer not responding to an issue in Windows 10?
You can try the following workarounds to fix the issue:
- Restart the Windows Explorer app.
- Clear out Redundant and Temporary Files.
- Clear File Explorer history.
- Install the latest Windows update.
- Extend system drive.
Q2. Why is Windows Explorer not responding after changing the resolution?
You need to alter the display scaling multiple times to 100% to 125% and back again to see which resolution works perfectly.
Q3. Why is Windows Explorer not responding to my system drive?
In case there are corrupted system files, outdated drivers, lack of storage space or a virus infection on your PC can result in Windows Explorer not responding to the system drive.