How to fix File Explorer crashes in Windows 10

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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  • The File Explorer tool is probably the most used function in the Windows OS.
  • Unfortunately, issues can cause the File Explorer to crash, as you will see below.
  • Like the article below, we have many more covered in our System Errors Hub.
  • For more articles of great interest, visit out Windows 10 Fix page.
fix file explorer crashes

8. Disable preview panel and preview handlers

  1. Open any directory in File Explorer.
  2. Go to the View tab and make sure that Preview panel option isn’t selected.
    File Explorer opens and closes immediately
  3. Now open the View tab once again and click on Options.
    File Explorer hangs in Windows 10
  4. Folder Options window will appear.
  5. Go to View tab and uncheck Show preview handlers in preview pane option.
  6. Now click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    File Explorer crashes Windows 10 right click

According to users, File Explorer crashes can occur due to preview pane. Many users use the preview pane to preview files before they open them, but sometimes this feature can cause problems with File Explorer.

To fix the issue, you need to disable preview pane and preview handlers.  After turning these options off, the issue should be resolved completely.


9. Set File Explorer to open This PC

  1. Open File Explorer Options.
  2. When File Explorer Options window opens, set Open File Explorer to This PC and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    File Explorer Quick Access crashing

By default, File Explorer will open the Quick Access section. This is default behavior, but sometimes Quick Access can cause File Explorer crashes. To circumvent this problem, users are suggesting to change File Explorer settings to open This PC instead of Quick Access.

After making these changes, File Explorer will open This PC instead of Quick Access by default. This is just a simple workaround, but many users reported that it works for them, so feel free to try it out.


10. Disable or remove your antivirus

Antivirus software is rather important if you want to protect your PC from online threats. Unfortunately, several users reported that their antivirus software caused problems with File Explorer.

According to them, your antivirus can cause File Explorer crashes, so in order to fix the problem, it’s advised to disable your antivirus. If disabling the antivirus doesn’t help, you might have to uninstall it.

If you’re a Norton user, we’ve got a dedicated guide on how to completely remove it from your PC. There is a similar article for McAfee users, as well.

Keep in mind that uninstalling the antivirus isn’t always enough, so you might have to remove all files and registry entries associated with it. The simplest way to do that is to use a dedicated removal tool.

Almost all antivirus companies offer removal tools for their software, but sometimes even they leave behind registry files. Thus, it’s recommended to use dedicated removal tools that you can download from the following links:

After you remove your antivirus, install the latest version and check if that solves the issue.

Alternatively, you can switch to a different antivirus solution. Users reported that AVG, McAfee, and Malwarebytes as the cause for this problem, but other antivirus tools can cause this issue as well.


Windows Defender is the only malware protection tool you’ll ever need. Find out why in this article.


11. Reinstall your graphics card driver

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list of results.
    File Explorer keeps closing
  3. Locate your graphics card driver, right click it and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    Windows 10 Explorer crash loop
  4. Check Delete the driver software for this device and click on Uninstall.
    File Explorer not responding, not working

Want the latest GPU drivers? Bookmark this page and always stay updated with the latest and greatest.


If File Explorer crashes, that might be due to your graphics card driver. To fix the issue, it’s advised to reinstall your graphics card driver.

If you want to remove all files associated with your graphics card, you might want to use Display Driver Uninstaller. This is a free third-party solution that will completely remove all files related to your graphics card.

After removing the driver, you just need to visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver for your device.

In addition to your graphics card driver, users are also recommending to reinstall both audio and Wi-Fi drivers as well, so you might want to do that.

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