Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding? 8 Ways to Fix it!

If you can’t open File Explorer in Windows 10 then don’t worry as sometimes the File Explorer doesn’t respond and you just need to restart it to fix the issue. But if this starts happening frequently then there is something wrong with the File Explorer and you need to fix the underlying cause to resolve this problem completely. When working in Windows, you may receive the following error message:

Windows Explorer has stopped working. Windows is restarting

Windows Explorer is a file management application that provides a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for accessing the files on your system (Hard Disk). If File Explorer is not responding then don’t panic as there are more than one way to resolve the issue depending upon the underlying cause. File Explorer gives you access to apps, disc or drives, files, photos, etc and it could be frustrating to get trapped in a situation where you can’t open the File Explorer.  Are there any specific errors that cause this problem? No, we cannot resort to any specific reasons as each user have a different configuration. However, some faulty programs and display settings could be some reasons. Let’s see what are some common causes because of which Windows Explorer has stopped working issue:

  • System Files may be corrupted or outdated
  • Virus or Malware infection in the system
  • Outdated Display drivers
  • Incompatible drivers causing conflict with Windows
  • Faulty RAM

Fix File Explorer Not Responding in Windows 10

create a restore point  just in case something goes wrong.

Method 1: Change Display Settings

Here the first method to resolve the file explorer not responding issue is to change the display settings:

1.Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on System.

2.Now from the left-hand menu make sure to select Display.

3.Next, from the “Change the text, apps, and other items” drop-down select 100% or 125%.

Note: Make sure it is not set to 175% or above as it can be the root cause of the problem.

4.Close everything and either sign out or reboot your PC to save changes.

Method 2: Restart File Explorer using Task Manager

One of the most effective methods to get your File Explorer to open is to restart the explorer.exe program in the Task Manager:

1.Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together to launch the Task Manager. Or you can right-click on the Taskbar and choose the Task Manager option.

2.Find explorer.exe in the list then right-click on it and select End Task.

3.Now, this will close the Explorer and in order to run it again, click File > Run new task.

4.Type explorer.exe and hit OK to restart the Explorer. And now you will be able to open File Explorer.

5.Exit Task Manager and this should Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding issue. 

Method 3: Perform a Clean Boot

perform a clean boot in your PC and diagnose the issue step by step.

Method 4: Disable all Shell Extensions

When you install a program or application in Windows, it adds an item in the right-click context menu. The items are called shell extensions, now if you add something which might conflict with the Windows this could certainly cause the File Explorer to crash. As Shell extension is part of Windows File Explorer hence any corrupt program could easily cause Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding issue.


2.Double-click the application shexview.exe in the zip file to run it. Wait for a few seconds as when it launches for the first time it takes some time to collect information about shell extensions.

3.Now click Options then click on Hide All Microsoft Extensions.

4.Now Press Ctrl + A to select them all and press the red button in the top-left corner.

5.If it asks for confirmation select Yes.

6.If the issue is resolved then there is a problem with one of the shell extensions but to find out which one you need to turn them ON one by one by selecting them and pressing the green button on the top right. If after enabling a particular shell extension Windows File Explorer crashes then you need to disable that particular extension or better if you can remove it from your system.

Method 5: Clear History Cache and Create New Path

By default, the file explorer is pinned in the taskbar, therefore you need to first unpin the File Explorer from the Taskbar. Right-click on the Taskbar and choose Unpin from the taskbar option.

1.Press Windows Key + R then type control and hit Enter to open Control Panel.

2.Search for File Explorer and then click File Explorer Options.

3.Now in the General tab click the Clear button next to Clear File Explorer history.

4.Now you need to right-click on the desktop and choose New > Shortcut.

5.While creating a new shortcut, you need to type: C:\Windows\explorer.exe and click Next.

6.In the next step, you need to give a name to the Shortcut, in this example, we will use “File Explorer” and finally click on Finish.

7.Now you need to right-click on the newly created shortcut and choose Pin to taskbar option.

Method 6: Run System File Checker (SFC) & Check Disk (CHKDSK)

1.Press Windows Key + X then click on Command Prompt(Admin).

2.Now type the following in the cmd and hit enter:

3.Wait for the above process to finish and once done restart your PC.

Fix File System Errors with Check Disk Utility(CHKDSK) .

5.Let the above process complete and again reboot your PC to save changes.

Method 7: Find the Cause of the Problem

1.Press Windows Key + R then type eventvwr and hit Enter to open Event Viewer or type Event in the Windows search then click Event Viewer.

2.Now from the left-hand side menu double click on Windows Logs then select System.

3.In the right window pane look for error with the red exclamation mark and once you find it, click on it.

4.This will show you the details of the program or process causing the Explorer to crash.

5.If the above app is the third party then make sure to uninstall it from Control Panel.

6.Another way to find the cause is to type Reliability in the Windows Search and then click Reliability History Monitor.

7.It will take some time to generate a report in which you will find the root cause for the Explorer crashing issue.

8.In most of cases, it seems to be IDTNC64.cpl which is the software supplied by IDT (Audio software) which is not compatible with Windows 10.

9.Uninstall the problematic software and then reboot your PC to apply changes.

Method 8: Disable Windows Search

listed here .

2.Next, type net.exe stop “Windows search” in the command prompt and hit enter.

3.Now press Windows key + R to start run command and type services.msc and hit Enter.

4.Right-click on the Windows Search.

5.Here you need to choose the Restart option.


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Hopefully, one of the above-mentioned methods will help you fix Windows 10 File Explorer not responding issue. With these options, you would be able to get your file explorer working back on your system. However, you need to first understand what could be the probable reasons for this problem so that you can take care of the problem later and do not let it cause this issue again on your system.