Windows Explorer Crashing: Common Causes And Fixes!

Windows Explorer, also known as the File Explorer, is a file manager used by Windows. It allows users to manage various files, folders, network connections, and also enable them to search for files and related components. 

Windows Explorer has replaced the programs- ‘File Manager’ and ‘Program Manager’ that were used before Windows 95. Other file management and shell services, Windows Explorer also manages the desktop, the Start menu as well as the taskbar. However, Windows Explorer should not be confused with  Internet Explorer the former one is a file browser, whereas the latter one is a Web browser. 

The two different ways to run Windows Explorer are: 

1. By holding down the Windows button on the keyboard and then pressing the “E” key simultaneously. 

2. By clicking on the ‘Start menu’ and then typing “explorer” in the dialogue box that will appear.

Why does Windows Explorer keep crashing? Below, we will discuss various points that cover certain standard fixes and see if they help fix the File Explorer from crashing anymore. 

Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing in Windows 10

windows explorer crashing
  • Windows Explorer crashing in Windows 10 preceded by slowdowns

Often a common problem that occurs with Windows Explorer and that is- slowdowns. Sometimes Windows Explorer crashes are preceded by frequent hanging or slowing down of your system.

  • Windows Explorer crashing in Windows 10 on right-clicking

Sometimes users might face frequent crashes while right-clicking on something. This issue usually arises due to the presence of third-party applications on your system.

  • Windows Explorer crashing on using Quick Access  

There are frequent crashes while accessing the ‘ Quick Access ’ feature.

  • Windows Explorer closes suddenly

Sometimes your Windows Explorer can close suddenly in random intervals which can cause big trouble.

  • Windows 10 Explorer crashes on loop

Windows Explorer crashing constantly is one of the most serious issues. You can encounter a crash loop and at such time, you won’t be able to use Windows Explorer at all.

  • Windows Explorer not responding, not working

Sometimes, Windows Explorer can completely stop working and the only solution is to close it by force.

  • Windows Explorer not opening

Sometimes Windows Explorer won’t start at all which can be a serious problem.

  • File Explorer taking a lot of time to start

Users often report that Windows Explorer is working slowly on their device and is taking a long time for Windows Explorer to open,

  • File Explorer opens and closes immediately

Users have reported that Windows Explorer keeps closing immediately and they cannot start the application due to such constant crashes.

Updating the System

If your system is running on an old version of the operating system, then that might be the reason why your Windows Explorer crashes. Older versions often have bugs and issues.

Updating your system to the latest Windows version will help you to fix this issue.

Step 1: At first, you need to search for the ‘Settings’ app and open it on your computer.

Step 2: Next, you need to click on the ‘Update & Security’ on the following screen.

Step 3: Then you need to select the ‘Windows Update’ option, present on the left sidebar.

Step 4: Now you need to click on the ‘Check for updates’ option, present on the right sidebar.

Step 5: If any updates are available, you need to get them installed on your PC.

Windows Explorer crashing due to the History On Your Computer

Windows Explorer, just like your web browsers and other apps, keeps a history of the activities that took place in it. If you haven’t cleared the history since a long time, a large number of files may have accumulated and that might be causing the Explorer to crash.

Clearing the Windows Explorer history can fix this issue.

Step 1: First you need to search and open the ‘File Explorer’ (Windows Explorer)

Step 2: Then you need to click on the ‘General tab’.

Step 3: Now, you need to click on the ‘Privacy’ menu.

Step 4: Then you need to find the ‘Clear’ option and click on it to clear your Windows Explorer’s history

Launching Windows’ Folder Separately

Windows Explorer will use a single process for all the folder windows you open unless you have enabled the option to have a separate process for each of your folder windows. Sometimes, this causes issues that may unexpectedly lead the Explorer to crash.

Step 1: First, you need to search for ‘File Explorer’ (Windows Explorer) and launch it.

Step 2: Then you need to click on the ‘View tab’ once the File Explorer opens.

Step 3: Next, you will see certain options to ‘enable’ and ‘disable’. From those options, you need to find the ‘Launch folder windows’ in a separate process and put a tick in the small square box in front of that option. 

Step 4: Then you need to click on the ‘Apply’ option followed by clicking on the ‘OK’ option. 

Disabling the Antivirus Programs Running On Your PC

The Windows Explorer crashing issue could also be the result of third-party applications, such as antivirus programmes, interfering with the working and causing conflicts with built-in Windows tools.
In such cases, fixing the issue is quite easy. All you need to do is close any running antivirus programs on your computer and you are all set. Then these programs will not be able to access the Explorer and everything will run smoothly.Removing Items From The Quick Access Menu

The ‘Quick access menu’ is a feature in Windows Explorer that lets you access some of the recently and frequently used files on your computer. Since it’s a part of the system, any issues in Quick access can cause major issues like Windows Explorer crashing on your computer.

Removing items from the Quick Access Menu will enable you to fix the issue.

  • First, you need to search for the ‘File Explorer’ option and open it. 
  • There will be two checkboxes in the ‘Privacy’ section mentioned as ‘Show recently used files’ in Quick access and ‘Show frequently used folders’ in Quick access. You need to remove the tick from both of these boxes and click on the ‘Apply’ option followed by clicking on the ‘OK’ option.


So these were some solutions to fix the issue of Windows Explorer crashing. We hope that by following the above-mentioned steps you were able to fix the issue with your system. 

You can also go through the following articles present on TechSunk: 

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