Windows 10 file explorer not working.

Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 a couple of months ago my file explorer suddently stopped working. Along side my other user on the same laptop. When I clicked on it it started flashing the programs and files on my home screen for several minutes then eventually crashed. Now when I try and open it it just takes about 30 seconds of loading time then just crashes. 

I can't get access to files and I need them, please help!
 

Question Info


Last updated November 22, 2019 Views 22,033 Applies to:

Hi Clark,

Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community and being a part of Windows 10.

I understand the inconvenience you are facing in accessing File Explorer as it crashes on Windows 10. Do not worry we will help you with this issue.

Do let us know if you were able to see any error code/ error message with this issue?

This issue might be due to corrupted or missing System files. Try the below and check if it helps. 

Step 1: End the Windows Explorer process and create the new one.

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc, under Process tab, search for Windows Explorer.
  2. Right click on it and click on End task.
  3. Click on File in the Task Manager at top left corner of the window and select Run new task.
  4. Type explorer.exe and click on Ok.

Step 2: Run SFC scan.

System File Checker is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files. If a Windows Resource Protection (WRP) file is missing or is corrupted, Windows may not behave as expected.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Right click on the Start button, click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” without the quotes and hit Enter.
  3. After the scan, restart the computer and check for the issue.

Step 3: Run Memory Diagnostic Tool.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Press Windows key and type Memory Diagnostic.
  2. Select Windows Memory Diagnostics and click on Restart now and check for problems.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Hope it helps. Kindly update the status of this issue, we will be happy to assist you further.

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I tried the second option that you have provided. This is the message I have received.
https://gyazo.com/18c6c06d99b4b4a73102a0cce21bfef0

I am about to try your third option now.

EDIT: I tried the third option, nothing changed. In fact it just went back to the flashing of the screen then the crashing of File Explorer.

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Hi Clark,

Thank you for responding.

I suggest you to  Run check disk (chkdsk) and check if it helps.

Chkdsk: The Chkdsk (Check Disc) scan will try to identify and repair bad sectors found on the hard drive. Any data present on these sectors might be lost in the process. The computer can also go into a no boot state. Proceed at your own risk.

Follow the steps below to run Chkdsk:

  1. Press Windows + E keys from the keyboard to open File Explorer window.
  2. Select "My Computer" and right-click on the drives in question (Drive that you need to repair).
  3. Select the "Tools" tab.
  4. In the Error-checking area, click <Check Now>.

Hope it helps. Kindly update the status of this issue, we will be happy to help you further.

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I can't open File Explorer, like I said. Whenever I try and open it it just crashes.

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Hi Clark,

Thank you for responding and apologize for the miscommunication.

Step 1: Now to troubleshoot on it, after the computer boots, I suggest you to check if you are able to access File Explorer in Safe Mode with Networking.

Refer: Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10

Step 2: Also, I suggest you to test the issue by placing the computer in a Clean Boot state helps in eliminating software conflicts.

Disclaimer: Putting your system in Clean Boot state helps in identifying if any third party applications or startup items are causing the issue. You need to follow the steps from the article mentioned below to perform a Clean Boot.

How to perform a clean boot in Windows 

(Applies to Windows 10 as well)

Note: After troubleshooting, refer to the section “How to reset the computer to start as usual after troubleshooting with Clean Boot” to return the computer to a Normal startup mode.

Step 3: Follow the below steps to place the computer in normal mode

  1. Press Windows + R keys to open Run command.
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter.
  3. In the System Configuration window, click on General tab.
  4. Select Start-up selection as Normal startup, click on Apply and Ok.
  5. Follow onscreen instructions.

Hope it helps. Get back to us with an updated status of this issue for further assistance.

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I tried the Clean Boot option and that did not help it. I also went into Safe Mode for a bit, which the File Explorer did work. But I was restricted to Internet even though I used the Networking option.

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Hi Fraser,

As you have mentioned the issue didn't occur in safe mode it is happening due to some third party application present in your computer.let us know if you have installed any third party application or program before the start of the issue.

Safe mode is a diagnostic mode where windows loads with minimal set of drivers and all the third party application will be disabled.

I suggest you to perform the clean boot in a detailed manner and see which program is causing the issue.

please  refer to the link given by Deepika Gowda in the previous reply to perform a clean boot

Hope the above information helps. Reply with necessary information and the result to help you further. Thank you.

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As I stated, I already tried the Clean Boot option.

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Hello Clark,

I apologize for the inconvenience. We appreciate your effort and time spent in resolving the issue.

I would like to inform that there can be many events which might have resulted in the system files errors. An incomplete installation, an incomplete uninstall, improper deletion of applications or hardware. It can also be caused if your computer is recovered from a virus or adware/spyware attack or by an improper shutdown of the computer. All the above actives may result in the deletion or corruption of the entries in the windows system files. This corrupted system file will lead to the missing and wrongly linked information and files needed for the proper working of the application.

I understand that how difficult it is to perform reset of the operating system as it removes all the updates and installed application on your device.

Note: While performing reset on your PC, I suggest you to choose "Keep my files" as this will not affect the user data (files and folders) on your computer.

Follow the below:

  1. Press Windows + R keys from the keyboard, type Control and press Enter.
  2. Click on Recovery, click on If you're having problems with your PC, go to Settings and try resetting it.
  3. Click on Get started under Reset this PC, click on Keep my files and follow onscreen instructions.

Refer: Recovery options in Windows 10

As the installed applications and updates will be removed, you will have to re-install all those after performing the reset on your computer.

Hope it helps. Get back to us with an updated status of this issue for further assistance. We will be happy to help you.

Thank you.

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