Windows Explorer is one of the most important elements of your system, and if Windows Explorer continues to crash, you will have problems accessing files and folders on your computer. While random crashes may not be too much of a problem for you, if Windows Explorer keeps crashing too often, it’s an issue that needs serious investigation.
If you are unsure of what is causing the problem, you can apply some standard fixes and see if they can help keep File Explorer from crashing more. There are actually several ways to fix this on your Windows computer.
Update your system
If your computer has an older version of the operating system, this may be why Windows Explorer on your computer is crashing. The older version often has bugs and problems that have been fixed in the newer ones.
Updating your computer to the latest version of Windows should fix this problem.
- Search for the Settings app by searching for Cortana and open it on your computer.
- Click Update & Security on the next screen.
- Select the Windows Update option in the left sidebar.
- Click Check for Updates in the right pane.
- If any updates are available, install them on your computer.
Clear the Windows Explorer history on your computer
Like your web browsers and other applications, Windows Explorer also keeps a history of the actions that took place in it. If you haven’t used File Explorer for a long time and haven’t cleared your history, the files may have accumulated a lot and they may be causing the utility to crash.
Clearing Windows Explorer history should fix this for you.
- Use Cortana’s search feature to find and open File Explorer Options.
- Click on the General tab if you are not already on it.
- Take a look at the last section labeled “Privacy” and you will find a “Clear” button there. Click on it to clear your explorer history.
Run Windows folder in separate process
Unless you have enabled the option to have different processes for each of your folder windows, Explorer will use the same process for all folder windows that you open. This can sometimes cause conflicts and issues that can lead to an unexpected crash of the explorer.
To fix this, you can enable an option that assigns a unique process to each folder you open in File Explorer.
- Search for explorer options in Cortana Search and launch it.
- Click on the View tab when it opens.
- You will see a number of options that you can enable or disable. Find the one that says “Launch folder windows in a separate process” and tick it. Then click Apply and then OK.
Disable any antivirus software that can run on your computer
The problem with the failure of Windows Explorer can also be the result of a third-party application interfering with the utility. While most applications do not do this, there are certain types of programs, such as antivirus programs, that are known to conflict with built-in Windows tools.
And if so, it is very easy to fix the problem. All you have to do is close all running antivirus programs on your computer and you’re done. In this case, these programs will not be able to touch any part of the explorer, and this should solve the problem for you.
Remove items from quick access list
The Quick Access Menu is a feature in Windows Explorer that allows you to quickly access some of the recently and frequently used files on your computer. Since it is part of a utility, any quick access issues can lead to serious problems, such as crashing Windows Explorer on your computer.
Disabling the option to include the aforementioned file types in quick access should fix the problem for you.
- Find File Explorer Options in Cortana Search and open it.
- In the “Privacy” section there will be two check boxes: “Show recently used files in quick access” and “Show frequently used folders in quick access”. You need to uncheck both boxes and click Apply and then OK.
Repair damaged files and drives
Damaged files and disks are also sometimes the reason why some utilities close unexpectedly on your computer. Finding and fixing corrupted files manually may not be the ideal solution, and if you are not particularly fond of any oddities, you may prefer the simpler method.
In fact, Windows has built-in methods to find and fix problems with corrupted files and disks. There are commands that you can use in the command line utility on your PC to get rid of these problems.
- Press Windows + R keys at the same time, type cmd and press Enter.
- Type the following command, hit Enter and let it run completely.
sfc / scannow
- Run the following command and let it fix your damaged disks.
Disable third-party extensions
When you install a third party application on your computer, sometimes they add their integrations to Windows Explorer. And when any of these integrations breaks for any reason, they cause Explorer to crash because it can’t handle the broken application integration.
There is a free application that allows you to find and disable these extensions on your computer.
- Download and run ShellExView on your computer.
- Click the Options menu at the top and select Hide All Microsoft Extensions to see only third-party extensions.
- Select all extensions by pressing Ctrl + A.
- Right-click any extension and select Disable Selected Items.
- If the problem is resolved, enable the disabled extensions one by one and you will find out what was causing the problem.
Have you ever had problems with Windows Explorer? Did our methods help you solve the problems? We’d love to hear your answer in the comments below.