FIX: New folders cause File Explorer to freeze in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The File Explorer is the dedicated file browser found on all versions of the Windows OS, and it allows an intuitive and efficient search query of your personal files and folders
  • System errors and corrupted data can cause the File Explorer to freeze, but we will be covering ways to prevent and fix that in the article below.
  • This article is part of our special hub for Troubleshooting File Explorer Problems , so make sure you bookmark it for future reference
  • Visit our dedicated File Explorer Section for more useful articles
file explorer freezes

In Windows 10, the File Explorer usually freezes either because you have a third party application that is interfering with the system files or you because you might need to refresh your device by applying the methods below.

Also, to save more time, please follow the methods below in the order they are listed in the tutorial, going to the next method if the previous one did not work for you.

Seeing that we have some ongoing issues with the File Explorer in Windows 10 and users are becoming more and more upset about this problem, we decided to write 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?

  1. Tweak your Registry
  2. Tweak Shell extensions in the Registry
  3. Run SFC scan
  4. Reset your PC
  5. Uninstall Autodesk Inventor
  6. Update the OS/ drivers
  7. Disable wallpaper slideshow
  8. Run the System maintenance troubleshooter
  9. Hide hidden files and folders
  10. Turn off Quick Access and File Preview

1. Tweak your Registry

  1. Go to the Start menu > type Regedit without the quotes
  2. Press the Enter button on the keyboard
  3. You should have in front of you the Registry Editor window
  4. On the left side panel, select the “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT” folder
  5. In the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder, located and select the CLSID folder.
  6. Now navigate to the following folder:
  7. “{8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}
  8. Right-click on the ShellFolder
  9. On the menu that pops up, select the Permissions feature > click on the Advanced button
  10. Select the Owner tab situated in the upper side in this window
  11. Click on the Change button present in the Owner tab
  12. Check the box next to Replace for the subcontainers and objects
  13. Check the box next to Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this subject”=> hit OK
  14. In the list of usernames, select your username > go to Permissions for Users
  15. Check the Allow box on the Full Control option > hit OK
  16. You should now have the Registry Editor window in front of you and on the right side
  17. Double click on the Attributes icon > located the DWORD window
  18. Under the Value Data field, delete what it is in there and set 0 (zero) as key value > OK
  19. Close the Registry Editor window and reboot your Windows 10 device.
  20. 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.


Can’t access the Registry Editor? Check out this guide and solve the issue quickly.


2. Tweak Shell extensions in the Registry

  1. Go again in the Registry Editor window as you did in the first method.
  2. On the left side panel, select the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder to open it.
  3. Now in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder, click on the SOFTWARE folder to open it.
  4. Select the Microsoft folder to open it > click on the Windows folder
  5. In the Windows folder, select the CurrentVersion folder > go to Shell Extensionsfix file explorer freezes
  6. Select the Approved folder.
  7. Now that you are in the Approved folder, you should have in the right panel the {289AF617-1CC3-42A6-926C-E6A863F0E3BA}”key.file explorer freezes fix
  8. Double click on the {289AF617-1CC3-42A6-926C-E6A863F0E3BA} entry to open it.
  9. 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.
  10. Close the Registry Editor window > restart your computer
  11. Check to see if the issue persists.

If you can’t edit your Windows 10’s registry, read this handy guide and find the quickest solutions to the issue.


3. Run SFC scan

  1. Go to Start > type run > double click on the first result
  2. You should now have in front of you the Run window.
  3. In the Run box, type cmd > hit Enter
  4. Now the Command Prompt window should pop up.
  5. Type the following command:
    • sfc /scannow > hit EnterSFC scan
  6. Let the System File Checker finish the process.
  7. After the process is finished, close Command Promp
  8. Reboot your Windows 10 device.
  9. 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.


SFC scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.


4. Reset your PC

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.

  1. Go to Settings > navigate to Windows Update > select Recovery
  2. Go to the option Reset this PC to reinstall Windows and keep your personal files
  3. Click on the Get started buttonfile explorer keeps freezing fix
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions carefully.
  5. 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.


Disaster strikes and you can’t reset your PC! Fortunately, we’ve got the right solutions for you.


5. 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.


If you want to completely remove an app from your PC, use one of these amazing uninstallers from this list.


6. Update the OS

Go to Settings > Update & Security > click on Check for updates.

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.


Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.


Make sure that all your drivers are updated. Go to Device Manager and check if there are any exclamation marks near your drivers. If this is the case, right-click on the problematic drivers and select ‘Update driver‘.

update drivers


Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.


7. 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.

Tweakbit Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) 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.

Here is a guide on how to use this tool:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.
      • Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
        screenshot while driver updater tool is scanning for outdated drivers
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
      • To update one driver at a time, click the Update driver link next to the driver name.
      • You can also simply click the Update all button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
        Automatically Update complete

Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the Update button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.


Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.


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

  1. Go to Start > type System Maintenance > select Review your computer’s status and resolve issues
  2. Select Maintenancesystem maintenance windows 10
  3. Scroll down and go to Troubleshootingtroubleshoot system maintenance
  4. Navigate to System and Security > select Run Maintenance tasksrun maintenance tasks windows 10
  5. A new window will pop allowing you to troubleshoot your PC and prevent future issuestroubleshoot windows 10
  6. 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.


The troubleshooter fails to load with an error? Follow this useful guide and fix it instantly


10. Hide hidden files and folders

  1. Go to Start > type file explorer options > select File Explorer Options from the list of results.file explorer options
  2. Navigate to the View tab >select Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives.disable show hidden files
  3. 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

Disabling Quick Access and File Preview in File Explorer may help you fix this problem. Here are the instructions to follow:

  1. Open File Explorer Options just like you we showed you at step 9
  2. Select the General tab > set Open File Explorer toThis PC.file explorer settings
  3. Uncheck Show recently used files in Quick access and Show frequently used folders in Quick access options.
  4. Click on the Clear button to clear the history as well.disable quick acess file explorer
  5. Click on the View tab > uncheck Show preview handlers in preview pane >hit Apply and OK to save your new settings.disable preview handlers windows 10
  6. Disable the Preview pane by opening File Explorer and pressing the Alt + P keys.

Epic guide alert! No more File Explorer issues for you. Fix them all with the help of this extensive guide!


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.


There you go, if you follow the methods above, I am sure you can fix your Windows 10 File Explorer so that it won’t freeze or crash again.

If you have further questions related to this article, use the comments section below to contact us.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • Yes agree with MFS &Amtoj: BUT that is not the solution.
    I have occasional PC shut down and restarts – or on startup it will go to blue screen with mostly different error like: Fix KMODE Exception not handled Error in Windows 10

    So I do not know if it is in some way connected – but what I do know is that this is totally unacceptable.

    Windows must start doing proper support – with proper updates & upgrades.
    One cannot do your work because you have worry and sort out Windows upgrade/update problems all the time.
    This normally happens after a new Windows update.

    So yes I am tired paying for stuff all the time that do not work properly.

    So windows sort out the problems!!!!!

  • I think I’ve tried every method including disabling all context menu addons method as suggested by other forums but the problem still exists. I’ve tried ALL the methods here but the majority of them are for Windows 8.1 and do not apply to Windows 10 users.

    Method 1 is for Windows 8/8.1 users because Windows 10 users don’t even have that “8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75”, sub menu in the CLSID folder.

    Method 2 didn’t work and even with the value “0” as the new value, file explorer still freezes when renaming folders. I’ve tried to clear the folder cache as suggested in other forums and still the problem exists.

    Method 3 is trying to rely on the old Windows System File Checker tool which finds corrupt files and re-installs them. It found nothing wrong.

    Method 4 only applies to Windows 8/8.1 because Windows 10 removed the, “charms bar”… I upgraded to Windows 10 from 7 so I actually had to google search for, “Charms bar” to figure out what it was. Even trying to use the Windows 10 Global Settings feature which has similar functions as described for Method 4, all and any tools did not find any problems so nothing was fixed.

    Method 5 is running a paid software which claims to scan our computers and if we pay, they will fix our problems, but the trouble with that is the product is only certified to run in Windows 8, and not 10 and definitely not the anniversary 10 update which started this problem. It did find a few problems it claims will fix my problem but to fix it I must pay…

    smh…

    • OK bro. I have found a temporary fix for this. From what I have seen on my PC, this problem occurs only when I try to create/rename folders in the libraries. However, if you directly access the library folders (not through the libraries, but the actual paths), the problem disappears. seems to be some bug in the libraries explorer in windows 10. Hope this helps.

    • I narrowed down my problem to exactly what Amtoj identified: it’s the libraries that are causing the problem. If I follow the exact same steps outside the library, all is well; try to create/rename a folder from inside a library–goodnight Irene. This is a pain since I use libraries to simplify daily computing, but oh well–that’s Microsoft.

  • Thank you SO much! I have a new laptop with Windows 10 and the freezing was driving me nuts. I just used Method 2 and have very speedily created 2 new folders in no time at all. Really appreciate the help here!

  • In the “CLSID” folder find and left click on the “{8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}” folder

    I don’t have 8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75. I see 8E75….

  • this problem has been driving me insane.. none of these solutions worked! Like Raphael, I did not fend the specified 8E74D folder/file. Method 4 holding windows and the letter ‘c’ did not do anything… I do not have the application “Autodesk Inventor”. I updated to Windows 10 from 7.. any other ideas??

  • Just want to thank you. I upgraded to win 10 from 8.1 about a month after it was officially available. It went pretty smooth and it has been running just as good. However, i did have one main issue with the File explorer. It wasn’t crashing, but it was freezing and hanging. Anytime I would try to add a folder or a file, download something, edit/save something, I would press save, and it would hang/freeze, say (not responding), this would last around 30 secs to a minute, it would eventually save though, but it was super annoying. So i found this article, tried method 1, couldnt find this {8E74D236-7F35-4720-B138-1FED0B85EA75}, weird…So moved on to method 2, followed those directions, rebooted.. And now there is no hanging/freezing/not responding …Now, I also applied some updates from Windows also in the same setting, before I updated, so i guess theres a chance it could have been from that but i highly doubt it, since updates are applied daily. Almost sure it was because of this, So thanks!