How to fix File Explorer crashes in Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • The File Explorer tool is probably the most used function in the Windows OS, since everything that involves accessing the contents of your PC is done through it.
  • Unfortunately, issues such as improper system settings or incompatible third-party software can cause the File Explorer to crash, and that is precisely what this article is here to talk about.
  • Our website contains a dedicated hub for troubleshooting System Errors, so make sure you visit that as well if there are other Windows 10 issues that are bothering you.
  • For more articles of great interest, visit out Windows 10 Fix page.
fix file explorer crashes

Microsoft is planning to overhaul File Explorer in the future, 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 about 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 can I fix File Explorer crashes in Windows 10?

  • File Explorer hangs in Windows 10
    • One common problem that can occur with File Explorer are slowdowns.
    • According to users, sometimes File Explorer crashes are preceded by frequent hangs.
  • File Explorer crashes Windows 10 right-click
    • One common variation of this problem is frequent crashes when right-clicking something.
    • This issue usually appears due to third-party apps, but you can fix this problem with one of our solutions.
  • File Explorer Quick Access crashing
    • Another common problem with File Explorer are frequent crashes while using Quick Access feature.
    • This is a common bug, but there are few workarounds you can use to fix it.
  • File Explorer keeps closing
    • Sometimes your File Explorer can close unexpectedly.
    • According to users, the File Explorer closes by itself in random intervals which can be a big problem.
  • Windows 10 Explorer crash loop
    • This is one of the more serious problems since File Explorer can keep crashing constantly.
    • In worst-case scenario, you’ll encounter a crash loop and you won’t be able to use File Explorer at all.
  • File Explorer not responding, not working
    • In some cases File Explorer can stop working completely.
    • Users reported that File Explorer isn’t responding and the only solution is to close it by force.
  • File Explorer won’t open
    • Sometimes File Explorer won’t be able to start at all.
    • This can be a serious problem, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions.
  • File Explorer takes a long time to open
    • Many users reported that their File Explorer is rather slow.
    • According to them, it takes a long time for File Explorer to open, which can be a big problem.
  • File Explorer opens and closes immediately
    • Many users reported that File Explorer keeps closing immediately.
    • According to users, they are unable to start the application due to constant crashes.

1. Run netsh and winsock reset

  1. Type cmd in the search box > right-click Command Prompt > Run as administrator.
    File Explorer hangs in Windows 10
  2. Type netsh in Command Prompt > press Enter.

File Explorer crashes Windows 10 right click

3. Type winsock in Command Prompt > hit Enter.

File Explorer Quick Access crashing

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

Having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin? Then you better take a closer look on this guide.

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.
    File Explorer keeps closing
  2. Go to Security > click on Advanced.
    Windows 10 Explorer crash loop
  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.
      File Explorer not responding, not working
  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.
    File Explorer won't open
  5. Select the name or the group from the list > click OK. Save changes.
    File Explorer takes a long time to open
  6. Set full access to the file folder for your account.
    • To do that, right-click on the folder > Properties > Security > Edit.
      File Explorer opens and closes immediately
  7. Set permissions to Full control in Allow column for your account and click Apply and OK to save changes.
    • If your account isn’t on the list, click on Add button to add it.
      File Explorer hangs in Windows 10

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

If you’re interested in how to take ownership of a file or a folder, check out this in-depth guide that will help you better understand how to do it.

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