Windows has a thing for crashing, whether it’s an application, Windows Explorer, or Windows itself. Although much has been improved since Windows 7, it is still prone to crashes. In this article we will talk about Windows Explorer crashes and how you can recover from them.
I have faced many Windows Explorer crashing issues in Windows 7, and it doesn’t get any better in Windows 10. Unfortunately, there are dozens of reasons why Windows Explorer crashes, so there is no single solution to this problem. No worries, though: if you are facing a. Windows Explorer crashing issue, the following are the possible solutions that could fix this issue.
Note: if your Windows Explorer crashed and shows a black screen, you can use this solution first to recover it.
1. Keep Windows up to date
There is no point in trying to solve this problem if your Windows isn’t updated. Microsoft frequently release updates to solve the Explorer crashing issue. The solutions I have listed here can’t solve a problem that is caused by an outdated system.
2. Uninstall third-party add-ons
Many applications install add-ons in Windows Explorer, such as entries in the context menu. Although handy, they can also slow down or even crash Explorer. You should disable all third-party add-ons to see if any one of them were causing the problem. If fixed, you can re-enable the add-ons one by one to find the culprit.
1. Go to “Options” in the top bar and select “Hide All Microsoft Extensions.” This will hide all Microsoft extensions and only show third-party extensions that you want to disable.
2. Afterwards, press Ctrl + A to select all the extensions, and then right-click on them. From the right-click menu, select “Disable Selected Items.” This will disable all the extensions. If this solves the problem, then individually enable all the required extensions to find the culprit and keep it disabled (if possible).
3. Disable thumbnails
Thumbnails can crash Explorer too, especially when there are too many images in a folder. To disable thumbnails, click on “Organize” and select “Folder options.”
Move to the “View” tab and check the checkbox next to “Always show icons, never thumbnails.”
4. Launch folder windows in a separate process
As Windows opens a folder in a single process, it could create conflicts and lead to Explorer crashes. You can force Windows to open a new process with every new folder opened. To do so, move to “Folder options” again and check the checkbox next to “Launch folder windows in a separate process.”
5. Clear Windows Explorer history
Explorer keeps a record of all the recently accessed folders. These items could sometimes create a conflict that would lead to a file in Explorer crashing. You can delete the Windows Explorer history to clear the conflict.
6. Check Windows Event Viewer
If Windows Explorer is crashing due to an application or a Windows process, then it must have been recorded in the Event Viewer.
1. Open the Event Viewer. (Press the Win + R keys and type
eventvwr in the Run dialog.)
2. Here in the left panel double-click on “Windows logs” and select “Application.” You’ll see a big list of event logs of different types. Click on “Level” at the top to sort the log by “Errors” and “Critical” logs at the top.
3. Now look for an error or critical log that might have occurred when Explorer crashed. If found, click on it, and you’ll see the description in the “General” section below. Usually, the error will also point out the location of the application that caused the issue.
You’ll probably have to uninstall the application or reinstall it to fix the issue. Furthermore, you can also search online using the error details to get more information on how to fix it.
7. Put explorer.exe in System32 folder
It could be an indexing issue, but moving explorer.exe to the System32 folder has helped many users solve the Explorer crashing issue. Go to C: Drive and open the “Windows” folder. Look for the “explorer.exe” file and copy it. Make sure you copy it and not cut it, as it is required to stay in the “Windows” folder as well.
In the same “Windows” folder look for the “System32” folder. Open it and paste the “explorer.exe” file into it.
8. Run SFC and Chkdsk scans
Press the Win + R keys and type
cmd in the Run dialog to open the Command Prompt. Type
sfc /scannow to run the SFC scan. It will take five to fifteen minutes to complete, and Windows will automatically try to fix corrupted files.
chkdsk in the Command Prompt and hit Enter. This scan will also take five to fifteen minutes, and the errors will be automatically fixed.
The above-mentioned methods are some solutions to fix a Windows Explorer crashing issue. Additionally, if Explorer doesn’t restart automatically after the crash, then you can also manually restart Windows Explorer.
If you know of any other ways to fix the Windows Explorer crashing issue, do let us know in the comments below.