Windows Explorer is the native manager in Microsoft Windows and is the primary file explorer used by many users who may not want the additional features that come with other Windows Explorer alternatives. With every new Windows 10 update, some features are added to many components, the file manager also occasionally receives some updates.
Some users in many forums have reported an error where the Windows explorer keeps crashing on their devices. This can be very annoying as file explorer is usually the primary file manager, and it crashing can hamper the usage of a device. Here I shall discuss how you can solve the error easily on your device using some easy tested methods.
How To Resolve If Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing?
There are many reasons why you may see Windows explorer crashing on your device. Since the reason may vary for device to device, all the solutions provided here may not work for you. Make sure to read all the solutions to find the one that would solve the error on your device.
1: Clear File Explorer History
Your file explorer also stores cache data to improve the loading time for the thumbnails, and to show your favorite and most visited folders. This data can, however, cause file explorer to crash unexpectedly on Windows 10. You can start by clearing file explorer history to solve if you see Windows explorer crashing.
To clear file explorer history, follow these steps:
- Open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R.
- Type control panel and press Enter to launch the Control Panel.
- Change the view to Large or Small icons if you see it set to Categories.
- Click on File Explorer. A new File Explorer Options window will open.
- Under the General tab, click on the Clear button next to the option for Clear File Explorer history.
Now open Windows Explorer and check if it still crashes.
Solution 2: Run Winsock Reset
The Winsock reset command is used in Windows to recover the computer from any socket errors, which arise when you download some unknown file over the internet or run some malicious script on your computer. The Winsock settings contain your computer’s configuration for the internet connectivity, and resetting it may help you solve the Windows explorer keeps crashing error.
To reset winsock settings, follow these steps:
- Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, open a Run window by pressing Win + R. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
- Type the following command to reset the Winsock settings:
netsh winsock reset
- Reboot your computer once the Windsock catalog is successfully reset.
Now open your File explorer again and check if it still crashes.
Solution 3: Run Chkdsk Command
You can run a diagnostic test on your USB drive to clean any errors and fix your drive. To do so, follow these steps:
- Press Win + R to launch a Run dialog.
- Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
- In the input field, type the following command and press Enter:
chkdsk F: /f /r /x
- Wait for the scan to finish.
- Reboot your PC to save the changes.
Note: Change the F:\ to the letter assigned to your drive.
- The /f stands for the flag command, giving chkdsk the permission to fix any errors
- The /r stands for recover, giving chkdsk permission to search and recover any bad sectors.
- The /x commands the chkdsk to dismount the drive before scanning.
Solution 4: Disable Preview Pane And Thumbnails
There is a weird error in Windows where the preview pane crashes File Explorer. If you do not use the preview pane anyway, you can turn it off to attempt solving the ‘Windows explorer freezing Windows 10’ error.
To turn off the preview pane, open File explorer using keyboard shortcut Win + E. Go to the View tab and click the Preview pane button to toggle it on or off in Explorer. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Alt + P.
Also, disable thumbnails in explorer if you see the file explorer crashing in Windows 10. This is also reported by users to be one of the reasons why you may be facing this error.
To disable thumbnails, open Folder Options, go to the View tab. Here, check the box next to Always show Icons, never thumbnail. Also, remove the check next to the Display file icon on thumbnails. Click on Apply followed by OK.
Check if your error persists. If your issue was being caused by these components, disabling them should solve the error on your device.
Solution 5: Run DISM And SFC Scans
An SFC scan can be used to find if some Windows functions are not working, and restore the corrupted files that may have been causing the issue. If you are on Windows 10 or 8, run a Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool first prior to SFC.
Note: DISM and SFC scans use the Windows Update to replace the corrupted files. If your Update Client is already broken, you may use a Windows installation disc as a backup repair source. You have to use a different command which will be listed below.
Caution: Do not interrupt the scans until the verification is complete. The scans do take time, but interrupting the scans may break your system.
- Open an elevated command prompt. Search cmd in search and select Run as Administrator from the right-click menu.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
- If you are using a repair disc or other removable media, you need to use a different command. The command for this is:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows/LimitAccess
Note: you have to replace C:\RepairSource\Windows with the location path of your repair source. You can find this path in the address bar of the drive.
After this scan finishes, you need to run an SFC scan. In the same elevated CMD, write the following command to run a System File Checker (SFC) scan and press Enter.sfc /scannow
After the scan finishes the problem should be resolved. If there are some corrupt files, the scan will show results as a message.
Solution 6: Run An Antivirus Scan
If you find a message that says something like “Windows Resource Protection did not find any corrupt files” or something similar, you need to run a full virus scan and a malware scan to fix this issue.
If you own a third party premium antivirus, run a full scan to check for any hidden virus or malware. You can choose from a host of free options like Avast Antivirus free and Malwarebytes antimalware to scan your device. Remove the faulty items found in your system. This should solve your issue.
So there you have it. Now you know how to solve Windows explorer keeps crashing error using the solutions provided above. Do comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss further the same.