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

12. Remove IDT Audio

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Apps section.
    File Explorer won't open
  2. List of all installed apps will appear.
  3. Select IDT Audio from the list and click on Remove.
  4. Now follow the instructions on the screen to remove the application.

If you don’t want to use the Settings app, you can uninstall IDT Audio by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter control panel.
  2. Select Control Panel from the list of results.
    File Explorer takes a long time to open
  3. When Control Panel opens, navigate to Programs and Features.
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  4. A list of all installed applications will now appear. Locate IDT Audio and double click it.
  5. Now follow the instructions on the screen to remove it.

Many PC manufactures such as Dell and HP use IDT Audio. This application usually comes preinstalled on PCs, and sometimes it can cause File Explorer crashes to occur. To fix the problem, you need to find and uninstall this application.

You can’t open Control Panel on Windows 10? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

Few users claim that you don’t even have to uninstall IDT audio, you can simply change the name of its Control Panel applet.

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now enter ren IDTNC64.CPL IDTNC64.CPL.old and press Enter to run it.
    File Explorer hangs in Windows 10

After the command is executed, the problems with IDT Audio and File Explorer should be resolved.

13. Disable problematic context menu items

  1. Download ShellExView and start it.
  2. This is a portable application, so you can run it without installation.
  3. When ShellExView starts, click on Options and choose Filter by Extension Type.
    File Explorer crashes Windows 10 right click
  4. Select Context menu and click on OK.
    File Explorer Quick Access crashing
  5. Now find a third-party application that you want to disable, right-click it and choose Disable Selected Items.
  6. You can also select multiple items if you wish.
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  7. A confirmation message will appear.
  8. Click on Yes to disable the selected application.
    Windows 10 Explorer crash loop
  9. After disabling the desired applications, you just need to go to Options > Restart Explorer.
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  10. Confirmation message will appear.
  11. Click on Yes to restart Windows Explorer.
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After Windows Explorer restarts, the disabled applications won’t appear in your context menu anymore and the problem should be resolved. According to users, the following items can cause this problem to appear on your PC, so be sure to disable them:

  • SpyBoy Search & Destroy Shell Extension
  • Carbonite Context Menu
  • AVG antivirus
  • Format Factory
  • Nvidia’s OpenGLshExt Class
  • ConvertToPdf Class by Foxit Software
  • WinRAR

According to users, File Explorer crashes can occur due to certain context menu items. Usually, third-party applications will add their features to your context menu causing this problem to occur whenever you right-click something.

To fix this issue, you need to use ShellExView software. This is a freeware application that allows you to disable context menu items.

These are the common causes of this problem, but other third-party applications can also cause this issue to occur.

14. Remove the malicious files

Sometimes File Explorer crashes can occur due to malicious files. Several users reported this problem because a certain .tmp file in C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/PerformanceMonitor/ was malicious. After removing the problematic file, the issue was resolved completely.

Perform a full system scan directly from Windows Defender! Find out how by reading this amazing article.

File Explorer crashes can cause many problems on your PC, but we hope you managed to fix the problem by using one of our solutions.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in other File Explorer issues on Windows 10, you can check out this comprehensive guide that has a lot of great solutions for different Explorer problems.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to take a look.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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