File Explorer folders have separate process windows in Task Manager

Zille Huma avatar. By: Zille Huma
2 minute read
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Windows 10 Build 1903 launches File Explorer folders in separate Windows processes by default. For the time being, the new feature is available to Fast and Slow ring insiders running the latest Insider build versions.

In other words, each folder that users will open will have their own separate process. This feature is actually a very practical one.

For example, if the system freezes due to some folder issues, the rest of the File Explorer processes won’t be affected.

Previously, if one of the folders hanged, that impacted the entire OS including the desktop. So, users had to restart the affected processes, close the affected File Explorer windows and even restart their computers.

How to enable separate process windows in File Explorer

Users can avoid this behavior by following this path: Folder Options > Launch folder windows in a separate process. 

Each folder that you open will now run in its own process and just one folder will be affected if it stops responding.

It should be noted that this option was not enabled by default in the previous builds. Microsoft enabled this option by default in the Windows 10 April 2019 Update.

The Windows Explorer process will be visible in the apps section of the Task Manager. Users will be able to see their open folder windows on the list.

Even if you kill the main Windows Explorer process using the taskbar, the Desktop app won’t start. However,  all the open File Explorer windows will be closed.

Most of the users have been longing for this feature that is why Microsoft implemented it in the latest build. If not enabled, Windows 10 uses additional processes that will eventually increase CPU and memory usage.

Microsoft is going to release Windows 10 v1903 in the next couple of weeks. The company has not made any official announcement regarding the official release date, but the RTM build should be compiled already.

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