Windows Data Recovery - Standard

Methods to Fix Windows File Explorer Crashing on Windows 11 PC


Table of Content

    Summary: Crashing or unresponsive Windows File Explorer in Windows 11 PCs is an annoying issue that occurs unexpectedly. In this article, we will discuss the causes behind it and the methods to fix it. We shall also be looking at an expert data recovery software, which can be used in case of data loss due to sudden File Explorer crash.

    File Explorer is an important part of Windows that provides user interface for easy navigation and file access. No work can be done without it. In its nascent state, the Windows 11 experience is a mix bag for users as it brings some new features and design changes along with a few troublesome bugs. Windows 11 File Explorer unexpectedly crashing is one such error causing hindrance and stalling the work.

    Affected Windows 11 users have reported this issue on various forums across the web to discuss and find ways to resolve it. To help you all, we have compiled a list of methods to resolve the crashing File Explorer issue on Windows 11 PCs.

    Reasons Behind Windows File Explorer Crashing on Windows 11 Computers

    Windows 11 File Explorer crashing is an annoying issue affecting a lot of computers across the globe. Windows 11 users have reported multiple triggers that cause this issue, such as:

    • Right-clicking on any exe file
    • After selecting any file
    • Crashing after sleep
    • Crashing on startup, etc.

    Such triggers are causing the File Explorer to crash unexpectedly. A very small percentage of the affected users also stated that this issue occurs when they log into a specific Microsoft account. While there is no way to reinstall the Windows File Explorer on Windows 11, affected users have found a temporary fix for it by restarting their computer, which is able to temporarily resolve this issue.

    The exact cause of this issue is still unknown. However, we will discuss some possible reasons and try to eliminate this issue using methods mentioned ahead.

    Here are some possible reasons behind Windows 11 File Explorer crashing unexpectedly –

    • Improper system settings
    • Incompatible third-party software
    • Large number of files in history
    • Accumulated cache
    • Corrupted system files
    • Running windows 11 insider build
    • Interference by third party app
    • Problematic third party software

    Methods to Fix Unexpectedly Crashing File Explorer in Windows 11

    Method 1 – Restart it from the Task Manager

    This simple fix could resolve the Windows File Explorer crashing issue. If you have recently started facing this issue, you can employ this method to fix this glitch. Follow the steps as mentioned below:

    • Press CTRL + ALT + DEL to open Security Options window.
    • Select Task Manager from the list.
    Open Task Manager
    • Find Windows Explorer under the Processes tab.
    Restart Windows explorer to fix windows explorer crashing issue
    • Select it and right-click on it.
    • Click Restart.

    This will restart the File Explorer and should fix the issue at hand on your Windows 11 computer.

    Method 2 – Change File Explorer Options

    Sometimes, the Windows File Explorer keeps crashing due to some misconfigured explorer settings. This can be resolved by changing the File Explorer options. To do so –

    • Press WIN + Q and type in Control Panel. Click on the relevant result to open Control Panel.
    • Click on File Explorer Options.
    Open file explorer options in control panel
    • In the pop-up window, click on the General tab.
    • Click on the drop-down list next to Open File Explorer and select This PC option.
    change file explorer settings
    • Click Apply, then OK.

    Method 3 – Run SFC Scan Using Command Prompt (Admin)

    Command Prompt is a command-line based interface used for interacting with the computer using commands. If the Windows File Explorer is crashing or becoming unresponsive, it could be a case of corrupted or missing system files.

    In such a case, you can use SFC or System File Checker to check, repair, or replace corrupted system files.

    To run System File Checker

    • Press WIN + R and type in CMD. Press WIN + SHIFT + ENTER to open it with administrator privileges.
    • Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
    Perform SFC scan to check for corrupted system files
    • Wait for the scan to finish.
    • Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

    Method 4 – Run DISM Commands Using Command Prompt (Admin)

    DISM or Deployment Image Servicing and Management command allows you to prepare, modify, and repair system images. It scans for any data corruption in the system file image and repairs or restores it using a locally saved system image.

    To run the DISM command, type the following commands and run them one by one –

    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth and hit Enter.
    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and hit Enter.
    • Restart the system after the process is finished.

    Method 5 – Clear the Windows File Explorer Cache

    In certain scenarios, the Windows File Explorer crashes unexpectedly or becomes unresponsive due to corrupted File Explorer cache, which is causing hindrance to the smooth functioning of File Explorer, causing it to crash or become unresponsive. In such a case, clearing the cache could help resolve this issue. Simply follow the steps as mentioned below –

    • Press WIN + Q and type in Control Panel. Click on the relevant result to open Control Panel.
    • Click on File Explorer Options.
    open windows file explorer settings
    • In the pop-up window, click on the General tab.
    • Go to the Privacy section and click on the Clear button in front of Clear File Explorer History.
    Clear windows file explorer cache
    • Confirm the changes by clicking on Apply and then OK.

    Method 6 – Update Windows OS

    Running an outdated Windows OS can sometimes cause the system to glitch out and cause issues like the crashing or unresponsive File Explorer. Updating your system OS to the latest version could resolve this issue. To update your Windows OS –

    • Press WIN + I to open Settings.
    • Click on Update & Security.
    Open system settings on Windows 11
    • Click on Windows Update > Check for updates.
    Update Windows 11 to fix windows file explorer crashing issue
    • Install the updates.

    The Windows File Explorer keeps crashing issue should get resolved after updating your PC to the latest Windows 11 version.

    Method 7 – Update GPU Driver

    If you have a dedicated GPU installed in your Windows 11 computer, then in certain cases, using a graphics unit with outdated driver could cause Windows Explorer to crash or become unresponsive. You can update your GPU driver to fix the crashing Windows File Explorer issue. However, to update your GPU driver, we would recommend checking your GPU’s manufacturer’s website and following the instructions mentioned there.

    How to Prevent Windows File Explorer from Crashing on Windows 11 PCs?

    Now that we have discussed numerous methods to deal with crashing or unresponsive Windows File Explorer, let’s look at some extra handy tips that could help us avoid such unexpected crashes in the future.

    • Keep the OS and device drivers up to date
    • Clear the Windows File Explorer cache regularly
    • Fix corrupted system files
    • Remove items from the Quick Access menu
    • Disable any unnecessary third party extensions
    tips
    Pro Tip – If Windows File Explorer crashing has caused data loss due to accidental deletion, system shut down or any other reason, then it could be a case of system file corruption. In such a scenario, a versatile data recovery software could help you recover your data from the affected computer.

    Stellar Data Recovery is a simple to use software, which can help you recover your lost data in various data loss scenarios like accidental deletion, unexpected system crash, virus attack and more, from almost all types of storage media like HDDs, SSDs, SD cards, etc. Its simple and clean UI makes data recovery process feel like a breeze and thus makes it friendly for even users with no data recovery experience.

    image 1

    The steps for recovering data from any storage media are pretty simple –

    • Select the file type you wish to recover. By default, it selects all file types.
    Stellar data recovery standard
    • Select the storage media or drive or folder from where you wish to recover your lost data and click Scan.
    scan using stellar windows data recovery standard
    • Once the scanning is complete, preview the recoverable files. If satisfied, recover them onto any external storage media of your choice.
    recover files using stellar data recovery standard for windows

    Note – If you are not able to find the required files using the Quick Scan mode, you can perform Deep Scan, which will do an in-depth scanning of each sector and show all the data that can be recovered.

    Final Words

    The Windows File Explorer is an important part of Windows OS. If you are running into problems with it or it is not working as intended, like crashing or becoming unresponsive, it can be really frustrating. However, there are methods to fix this and get the Windows File Explorer back to working state. We hope the methods mentioned in this guide will help you understand the causes behind this issue and fix this error.

    FAQs

    If your Windows 11 File Explorer crashes or becomes unresponsive, use the System File Checker to check for any possible system file corruption. This tool checks and repairs/restores corrupted system files. Run sfc /scannow in an elevated Command Prompt.

    Open the Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL altogether. Then find the Windows File Explorer in the processes, right-click on it, and then click Restart.

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    About The Author

    Keshav Katyal

    A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

    17 comments

      1. Hello Javad,
        I’m delighted to hear that your issue has been resolved. Stay tuned for more updates by continuing to read our blogs.

      1. Hi Jonard,
        Resetting your computer will wipe all personal files and documents from the PC’s hard drive, so you should back up your files first.

    1. this is data corruption. I fixed it by deleting the profile having this issue and when the user logged back in a new profile was created and issue solved.

      1. It’s great to hear that you found a solution to the problem. If you have any further questions or need assistance with anything else, feel free to let me know!

      2. It’s great to hear that you were able to find a solution and restore functionality. If you have any further questions or need assistance with anything else, feel free to ask!

    2. Method 3 helped the issue. I can now open explorer files without crashing starting at MyPC, and I can navigate to any tab… except the Home tab. When I navigate to the Home tab, it crashes just like before Method 3 when I opened file explorer (and it opened to Home tab). The whole start bar disappears for a few seconds before file explorer crashes and the bar returns. Any ideas?

      1. I’m glad to hear that SFC Scan Method helped resolve some of the issues you were experiencing with File Explorer. However, it seems that there is still a problem specifically related to the Home tab causing File Explorer to crash.
        Here are a few suggestions you can try to troubleshoot this issue:
        1. Restart your computer.
        2. Update Windows.
        3. Disable Quick Access: The Home tab in File Explorer is closely tied to the Quick Access feature. Try disabling Quick Access temporarily and see if the problem persists. To do this, open File Explorer, go to the View tab, and click on “Options” on the right side. In the “General” tab, change the “Open File Explorer to” option to “This PC” instead of “Quick Access.”
        4. Clear File Explorer history: Clearing the File Explorer history may help resolve any corruption or conflicts related to the Home tab. To do this, go to the View tab in File Explorer, click on “Options,” and then click on the “Clear” button under the “Privacy” section.
        5. Create a new user profile: It’s possible that the issue is specific to your user profile. Try creating a new user profile and see if File Explorer functions properly there. If it does, you may need to transfer your files and settings to the new profile.
        6. Use System File Checker: The System File Checker is a Windows utility that scans for and repairs corrupted system files. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator and run the command “sfc /scannow.” This process may take some time, but it can help fix any system file-related issues.

      1. Well, it is certainly feasible. Use the System File Checker to see if there are any potential system file corruptions if your Windows 11 File Explorer crashes or becomes sluggish. This utility examines and fixes/restores damaged system files. Execute sfc /scannow from an elevated Command Prompt.

    3. I was experiencing the same problem with the file explorer crashing, which results in some data being corrupted. how do I correct that?

      1. A flexible data recovery programme could assist you in this situation by helping you retrieve your data from the compromised PC. Stellar Data Recovery is an easy-to-use programme that may helps you in restoring your damaged data in a variety of data loss situations, including accidental deletion, unanticipated system failure, virus attack, and more.

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