Explorer.exe Application Error: How to Fix it in 8 Steps

Fix the issue with expert solutions brought by our team

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
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  • The explorer.exe application error has various causes, one of them being the size of the virtual memory. 
  • Your hard drive can also be to blame due to potential bugs that cause some programs to crash.
  • A quick fix to explorer.exe error is to use a professional tool that can repair your system.
Explorer.exe application error

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Explorer.exe error can occur at any time with some users stating that it shows up while shutting down their PCs. It is a system error, so it affects all Windows iterations, but it’s most often present on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

What is explorer.exe system warning?

Explorer.exe is a system error that pops up when your OS or critical files are corrupted. It can also be a sign of malware on you PC or related do memory issues.

There are various known causes for the explorer.exe application error. Below are some of the popular ones:

  • Outdated OS – Windows updates are crucial to the smooth running of your PC. If you are getting the explorer.exe error on shutdown or startup on Windows 10, the first thing to do is update your PC.
  • Presence of malware – At times, it might be a virus that is triggering the explorer.exe error. A deep virus scan will fix the error in this case.
  • Faulty system files – Another popular cause of this error is faulty system files. If the files need for the smooth running of Windows Explorer are broken, it is likely you get this error. You need to repair and restore the corrupted system files to solve this problem.
  • Problematic memory – Your RAM or hard disk can also the explorer.exe error Windows cannot access the specified device issue. To solve this, you need to use the Memory Diagnostic tool and run the CHKDSK command.

How do I fix explorer.exe error?

In this article

1. Update PC

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app and select Update & Security.
    update and security explorer.exe error
  2. Click the Check for updates button.
    check for explorer.exe error
  3. Now, install the available updates and restart your PC.

If you are facing the explorer.exe error this file does not have an app associated with it or any other version of the error, it might be due to an outdated operating system.

Thus, it is recommended to always keep Windows 10 up-to-date.

2. Change the size of the virtual memory

  1. Open File Explorer, right-click on This PC, then select Properties.
    properties this pc
  2. Click Advanced System Settings.
    advanced system
  3. Choose the Advanced tab and click the Settings… button under the Performance section.
    advanced settings explorer.exe error
  4. Now, choose the Advanced tab and click the Change… button in the Virtual memory section.
    advanced change
  5. Uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives box and tick the radio button for Custom size.
    custom size
  6. Now, enter the Maximum size in MB. It is a good practice to keep the virtual memory x1.5 larger than your RAM memory.
  7. Click Set and then OK to apply the changes.
    set and ok explorer.exe error

Having your system manage the virtual paging file size automatically can lead to the explorer.exe error. Thus, the need to disable it and set the maximum size manually. Note that, you shouldn’t set the value to more than what your PC can manage.

Other processes can experience issues too, and we already covered nvwmi64.exe errors in a separate guide.

3. Check the hard drive

  1. Press the Windows key + E to open File Explorer and right-click your system drive (most likely C:).
  2. Choose the Properties option.
    properties c drive
  3. Select the Tools tab at the top and click the Check button under the Error checking section.
    check tools
  4. Finally, click the Scan drive option.
    scan drive explorer.exe error

There’s a good chance your hard drive actually causes the explorer.exe system error. Most likely if it’s corrupted or not defragmented well. Running the Error Checking feature should tell you more about the issue and the possible fixes.

4. Run SFC and DISM scans

  1. Press the Windows key + S, type cmd, and select Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
    cmd admin
  2. Copy and paste the following command and press Enter: sfc/scannowsfc scan
  3. Wait for the process to finish. Whether the command is successful or not, type the command below and hit Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealthdism
  4. Wait for the process to finish.
  5. In case the DISM can’t obtain files online, insert a media installation and type the following command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:RepairSourceWindows /LimitAccessdism limit
  6. Make sure to replace C:RepairSourceWindows path of your DVD or USB.
  7. Wait for the scan to complete and restart your computer.

If your hard disk is in a good condition, and you are still getting the explorer.exe application error, the problem might be down to corrupt system files.

Running the SFC scan should help you fix this easily. However, if the SFC scan fails, you can use DISM to run a deeper scan and fix the issue. It is also a good idea to run another SFC scan after DISM finishes.

Alternatively, to avoid the back and forth and uncertainty, you can use a specialized tool to handle the situation.

5. Disable the taskbar auto-hide

  1. Open the Settings app and select Personalization.
    personalization  explorer.exe error
  2. Click Taskbar in the left pane.
  3. Disable both Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode.
  4. Restart your computer.

Some users reported that having the taskbar auto-hide option enabled can cause the explorer.exe application error. So, the obvious solution, in this case, is to turn off the auto-hide option.

6. Run Memory Diagnostic Tool

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type mdsched.exe, and click OK.
    mdsched explorer.exe error
  2. Choose Restart now and check for problems (recommended) option.
    restart now
  3. Wait for the diagnosis to be complete and follow the recommendations.

The Memory Diagnostic Tool scans your system memory for any potential problems that can cause the explorer.exe error. It also gives recommendations, which allows you to take further action.

7. Perform a virus scan

  1. Press the Windows key, type virus, and select Virus & threat.
  2. Select Scan options.
    scan options
  3. Choose the Full Scan option and click the Scan now button.
    scan now

The explorer.exe error the group or resource is not issue can sometimes be triggered by a virus that is causing your PC to misbehave. While the Full Scan option might take hours to complete, it should help detect and eliminate hidden malware.

Better still, you can use a top-notch antivirus in ESET NOD32. This lightweight software runs a deep scan and removes even the most stubborn of viruses.

Whether online or offline, ESET NOD32 takes a no-nonsense stand against malware of any kind.

8. Restore the system to a healthier point

  1. Press the Windows key, type system restore, and select Create a restore point.
    type system
  2. Click the System Restore… button.
    system restore explorer.exe error
  3. Now, click the Next button when prompted.
    next button
  4. From here, choose your preferred restore point and click the Next button.
    restore point
  5. Finally, click the Finish button to confirm the action.
    finish explorer.exe error

If all fixes prove abortive in solving the explorer.exe application error, you might need to restore your PC to a point when the process was working well. Note that this will remove all the changes made to your PC since that time.

That would be all, we hope at least one of these solutions helped you solve the Explorer.exe Application Error.

In the same vein, if you are experiencing the explorer.exe high CPU usage issue, check our detailed guide for everything needed to fix it.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, just reach out for the comments below.

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