FIX: File Explorer crashes in Windows 7

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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fix file explorer crashes windows 7 8 8.1

  1. Launch File Explorer again
  2. Check your Registry
  3. Close incompatible apps
  4. Find compatible drivers
  5. Disable installed extensions
  6. Run SFC
  7. Run an Antivirus scan
  8. Refresh your PC

After upgrading your operating system from Windows 7 or Windows Vista to Windows 8, Windows 8.1, you might experience some issues regarding the crashing of an opened File Explorer. In most cases, the File Explorer stays open for 10 or 20 minutes and after this, it will close by itself. Often times it will display an error message and disable your taskbar in the process.
Windows 8 file explorer 3
There are several possibilities as to why your File Explorer is crashing in Windows 7, 8, 8.1. For example, you installed a recent update for your Windows operating system. If the update has incompatibility issues with your system, then it will cause your File Explorer to crash.

From now on, you don’t have to worry anymore about the File Explorer crashing. Here are s few easy steps  you need to follow to fix your system and prevent this from ever happening again.
Note: Follow the steps in the order presented below for a faster fix of the File

SOLVED: File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 7, 8, 8.1

Solution 1 –  Launch File Explorer again

Relaunch File Explorer from the Task Manager after you reboot your PC and check if this happens again.

  1. Press and hold the buttons “Ctrl”, “Alt” and “Delete” and click(left click) on “task manager”.
  2. Click(left click) on the “File” menu situated in the upper left corner of the task manager.
  3. Click(left click) on “New task (Run…)” you have in the “File Menu”new task file explorer
  4. In the box you have in the new opened window, you need to type “explorer.exe”.
  5. Click(left click) on “OK” in the lower side of the window you have there.

For a quicker way, you can simply right click on File Explorer/ Windows Explorer and choose restart.

restart file explorer

Solution 2 – Check your Registry

The second option is to verify your Registry for any errors. You may use a registry repair tool and you can download it from the link below.

After you run this registry tool, you should have all your registries errors fixed and  you should be able to run File Explorer without issues.

If the tool mentioned above failed to fix your issue, you can install a different registry cleaner. For additional information, you can check out our guide on the best registry cleaners for Windows 10.

Solution 3 – Close incompatible apps

You might have some apps installed that are not compatible with your Windows 7, 8, 8.1 operating system. In this case, you need to open Task manager again, like you did in solution 1 and close  the apps that are not compatible.
After closing the apps try running File Explorer again.

Solution 4 – Find compatible drivers

If you updated some drivers lately, try disabling the respective apps or hardware. Run the File Explorer to see if it crashes. If it doesn’t, then you need to find compatible drivers for your apps or pieces of hardware. The best solution is to simply download your drivers from your hardware manufacturer`s site.

Solution 5 – Disable installed extensions

If you have any extensions installed with the Explorer like Google Drive, DropBox, try to disable them and see if  Explorer still crashes. If it doesn’t, you can either update the extensions or disable them permanently. Faulty or incompatible extensions may interfere with your Windows operating system thus preventing you from using it correctly.

Solution 6 – Run SFC

You need to run  System File Checker to fix this issue. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open Command Prompt from the Start menu
  2. Type sfc /scannowsfc scannow
  3. After you typed the command, press “Enter” on the keyboard for the scan to start
  4. Wait for the scan to complete and check if you have the same issues with file explorer

Solution 7 –  Run an Antivirus scan

You can scan your system using your Antivirus of choice. In some cases, you can have a virus that closes the File Explorer automatically. If you find any viruses, your antivirus will probably remove them from your system.
After this reboot, your Windows PC should be virus free. Try running File Explorer again to check if you have the same issue.

Solution 8 – Refresh your PC

If you still didn’t fix your File Explorer issue with the solutions presented above, you need to use the “Refresh your PC” feature. Before we start this feature, back up all your personal data on a USB flash drive or external hard drive to prevent important information loss.

If you`re experiencing the same issue in Windows 10, here is a guide on how to fix File Explorer crashes on the latest OS version.

This feature will take your Windows 7, 8, 8.1 system settings back to default fixing any errors that might have appeared in the past. From the PC Settings feature you have in your Charms bar/ Windows logo, you need to choose from there “Refresh my PC”. For this, you need to insert a Windows disk to copy files back to your system.

So after using the options above, you should be able to fix your file explorer and prevent it from ever crashing again. Also if you have any new ideas on this subject or troubleshooting solution suggestions, let us know in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 2014  and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

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