- File Explorer allows for an intuitive and efficient search query of your personal files and folders.
- System errors and corrupted data can cause File Explorer to freeze, but we're showing you how to fix them.
- This article is part of our Troubleshooting Hub, so make sure you bookmark it for future reference
- Visit our dedicated Windows 10 section for more useful articles.
In Windows 10, File Explorer usually freezes either because you have a third party application that is interfering with the system files or because you might need to refresh your device.
In this article, we’ll show you how to fix File Explorer freezes when you try to make a new folder in Windows 10. So, follow the instructions below to get your Explorer working in just a few minutes.
How can I fix File Explorer freezes in Windows 10?
- Update drivers
- Tweak your Registry
- Tweak Shell extensions in the Registry
- Run SFC scan
- Reset your PC
- Uninstall Autodesk Inventor
- Disable wallpaper slideshow
- Run the System Maintenance troubleshooter
- Hide hidden files and folders
- Turn off Quick Access and File Preview
1. Update drivers
This can be a long and tedious process if you do it manually, but it’s vital for your system to work properly. Thus, we suggest updating your drivers automatically with a dedicated tool.
DriverFix will automatically identify each device on your computer and match it with the latest driver versions from an extensive online database.
Drivers can then be updated in batches or one at a time, without requiring the user to make any complex decisions in the process.
What you need to do is download the tool and launch it., Updating all essential drivers for your device is a two-click process only and doesn’t require any technical knowledge on your side.
DriverFixTwo-click reliable and efficient scanning & update process for all the necessary system drivers.
2. Tweak your Registry
- Go to the Start menu > type Regedit.
- Press the Enter button on the keyboard.
- You should have in front of you the Registry Editor window.
- On the left side panel, select the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder.
- In the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder, located and select the CLSID folder.
- Now navigate to the following folder:
- Right-click on the ShellFolder.
- On the menu that pops up, select the Permissions feature > click on the Advanced button.
- Select the Owner tab situated on the upper side of this window.
- Click on the Change button present in the Owner tab.
- Check the box next to Replace for the subcontainers and objects.
- Check the box next to Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this subject, then hit OK.
- In the list of usernames, select your username > go to Permissions for Users.
- Check the Allow box on the Full Control option > hit OK.
- You should now have the Registry Editor window in front of you and on the right side.
- Double click on the Attributes icon > located in the DWORD window.
- Under the Value Data field, delete what it is in there and set 0 (zero) as key-value > OK.
- Close the Registry Editor window and reboot your Windows 10 device.
- After the device is up and running, check to see if your File Explorer still freezes when you try to make a new folder.
Note: If the paths listed above are not available on our computer, go to the next solution.
3. Tweak Shell extensions in the Registry
- Go again in the Registry Editor window as explained in the first method.
- On the left side panel, select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder to open it.
- Here, click on the SOFTWARE folder to open it.
- Select the Microsoft folder to open it > click on the Windows folder.
- In the Windows folder, select the CurrentVersion folder > go to Shell Extensions.
- Select the Approved folder.
- In the right panel, double-click on the following key:
- Under the Value data field in this entry, remove what is there and write a 0 without the quotes > hit OK to save the changes.
- Close the Registry Editor window > restart your computer
- Check to see if the issue persists.
In case you’re having trouble editing the registry, read this handy guide and find the quickest solutions to the issue.
4. Run SFC scan
- Go to Start > type run > double click on the first result.
- You should now have in front of you the Run window.
- In the Run box, type cmd > hit Enter
- Now the Command Prompt window should pop up.
- Type the following command and hit Enter:
- Let the System File Checker finish the process.
- After the process is finished, close Command Prompt.
- Reboot your Windows 10 device.
- Check and see if your File Explorer is still freezing when you try to make a new folder.
Note: If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, check out this guide.
5. Reset your PC
- Go to Settings > navigate to Windows Update > select Recovery.
- Go to the option Reset this PC to reinstall Windows and keep your personal files.
- Click on the Get started button.
- Follow the on-screen instructions carefully.
- After the refresh procedure is done, see if your File Explorer will function correctly.
Need more info on how to factory reset your PC? Read this article and find out everything you need to know.
Note: Before you proceed, don’t forget to backup your system. In case anything goes wrong, you will be able to restore a working version of Windows.
6. Uninstall Autodesk Inventor
Usually, the application Autodesk Inventor might cause several issues with your File Explorer if you have it installed on a Windows 10 operating system. Therefore, please uninstall this application and reboot your Windows device.
If you don’t know how to uninstall programs and apps in Windows 10, take a look at this useful article.
We can also recommend this list of dedicated uninstallers to use on Windows 10 devices for safe a complete app or program removal.
7. Update the OS
Go to Settings > Update & Security > click on Check for updates.
File Explorer freezes may also be triggered by outdated OS versions and outdated drivers. You can fix this problem within minutes by installing the latest Windows OS updates and driver versions.
The quickest way to do this is by using Windows Update. If you can’t open the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue quickly.
8. Disable wallpaper slideshow
Many Windows 10 users confirmed that disabling wallpaper slideshow fixed the problem.
Whenever the background/theme colors would change it caused a spike in CPU usage that caused file Explorer to freeze up and crash. After using a static background image never had the issue again.
So, if you enabled wallpaper slideshow, try turning the feature off to see if File Explorer continues to crash.
Go to Settings > Personalization > select Background > disable Slideshow.
9. Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter
- Go to Start > type System Maintenance > select Review your computer’s status and resolve issues
- Select Maintenance
- Scroll down and go to Troubleshooting
- Navigate to System and Security > select Run Maintenance tasks
- A new window will pop allowing you to troubleshoot your PC and prevent future issues
- Click on Next and follow the on-screen instructions to fix your computer and get rid of the File Explorer freezing issue.
If you’re looking for the best PC maintenance software available right now, take a look at this list with our best picks.
Microsoft’s System Maintenance Troubleshooter is a powerful tool that finds and cleans up unused files and shortcuts and performs maintenance tasks.
10. Hide hidden files and folders
- Go to Start > type file explorer options > select File Explorer Options from the list of results.
- Navigate to the View tab >select Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives.
- Click on Apply and OK to save changes.
Windows 10 allows you to hide certain files and folders so that not all users can access them. In rare cases, enabling the option to show hidden files and folders may surprisingly trigger File Explorer freezes and crashes.
10. Turn off Quick Access and File Preview
- Open File Explorer Options just like we showed you in step 9
- Select the General tab > set Open File Explorer to This PC.
- Uncheck Show recently used files in Quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access options.
- Click on the Clear button to clear the history as well.
- Click on the View tab > uncheck Show preview handlers in preview pane >hit Apply and OK to save your new settings.
- Disable the Preview pane by opening File Explorer and pressing the Alt + P keys.
So these were our troubleshooting methods in case File Explorer freezes when you’re creating a new folder.
Tell us which one worked for you. Use the comments section.
FAQ: Learn more about File Explorer
- What else can cause File Explorer to freeze?
Besides local causes, faulty and buggy Windows updates can also cause the File Explorer to freeze under certain conditions.
- When was the File Explorer first introduced?
The first version of the File Explorer browser was introduced alongside Windows 95.
- What is the File Explorer Favorites section in Windows 10?
The Favorites section in Windows 10 is a customized list of frequently accessed files and folders that the OS arranges for you for easier access.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2015 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.