Fix: File Explorer crashes in Windows 10

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Microsoft is planning to overhaul File Explorer in its Redstone 2 OS, but the current version of this file manager app is still plagued by many issues. One of the most common and annoying problems are the frequent crashes users have been complaining about for a long time.

When users try to open a folder, the File Explorer window and taskbar immediately close down and sometimes reopen after a few seconds. Microsoft has already rolled out a series of cumulative updates aimed at fixing this issue, but many users are still reporting Files Explorer crashes.

Users are complaining File Explorer crashes in Windows 10

Today I was checking one of my music hard-drives for folders with ‘WCBS’ in the title. It found 19 sub-folders. If I click any one of the found 19, file explorer will close, the task bar on the bottom of screen goes black (with only the Start button and Task view icon showing). After about 20 seconds the screen refreshes (for lack of a better description) and the rest of the 12 displayed icons will shown up.

This happens on all hard-drives and my SSD when a file search done within the windows file explorer.

If you’re experiencing File Explorer crashes, use the workarounds listed below to fix this bug.

How to fix File Explorer crashes in Windows 10

Solution 1 – Run netsh and winsock reset

  1. Type cmd in the search box > right-click Command Prompt > Run as administrator.
  2. Type netsh in Command Prompt > press Enter.

netsh fix file explorer crashes

3. Type winsock in Command Prompt > hit Enter.

winsock fix file explorer crash

You can also use the entire command netsh winsock reset in a single fix attempt.

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Solution 2 – Give yourself full permission to access the folder content

1. Launch File Explorer > right-click the folder where the files are stored > select Properties.


2. Go to Security > click on Advanced

file explorer advanced settings windows 10

3. Next to the owner label, click on Change > in the new window, click on Advanced. If you already know which username you want to add, simply type it in the field “Enter the object name to select“.

select user or group file explorer

4. If you click on Advanced, a new window will open > click on Find now to see all the groups and users from your computer.

5. Select the name or the group from the list > click OK.

6. Set full access to the file folder for your account. Right-click on the folder > Properties > Security > Add.

7. The window Permission entry for data is now visible.

8. Click on Select a principal > add your account.

9. Set permissions to Full control.

This action is necessary because sometimes the Windows 10 Installer doesn’t properly manage file permissions.