How to Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding? 9 Best Ways:

windows explorer not responding

In this article, I will teach you the 9 best ways to fix Windows 10 File explorer not responding. Windows File Explorer is the default file management tool on Windows devices. Like every different system process on Windows, File Explorer additionally has its occasional moments of failure. When you find Windows Explorer not responding during usage, there are a few things you can try.

Here are the 9 Best Ways: How to Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding

1. Modify Your PC’s Display Layout

This can be a rather bizarre but effective solution to Windows Explorer not responding. Apparently, using an unrecommended display screen layout and resolution might cause the File Explorer to malfunction.

Check your PC’s display settings and ensure you’re using the recommended scale/layout. Go to Settings > System > Display and make sure the size of text, apps, and different items is ready to 100% or no matter the possibility Windows recommends.

file explorer

In case your PC’s display scaling is already set to 100%, try changing it to 125% and back to 100% again.

2. Kill and Restart the File Explorer

If your Windows Explorer is still not responding after changing your PC’s resolution, terminate the Windows Explorer process and start it again. That are many ways to restart Windows Explorer:

Using Task Manager

Open Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc), right-click on Windows Explorer in the Apps section, and click End Process to terminate File Explorer.

file explorer

You can restart Windows Explorer by clicking the folder icon in the taskbar. Also, you can use the Task Manager and click on File on the menu bar, and select Run new task.

file explorer

You can type explorer.exe in the dialog box and click OK.

file explorer

That will start Windows Explorer immediately. Then also proceed to check if you can access your files and folders in File Explorer without any lag.

Using Command Prompt

It’s also possible to use the Command Prompt utility to terminate and reinitiate the Windows Explorer. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the Fast Access menu. Enter taskkill /f /im explorer.exe in the console and press Enter.

file explorer

If your PC/Laptop taskbar and desktop icons will disappear then you can terminate the Windows Explorer. That’s normal and only temporary. After the restart, the File Explorer, input start explorer.exe in the Command Prompt window and press Enter to proceed.

file explorer

Restart File Explorer Using A BAT File

BAT files allow you to simply automate tasks and actions. If File Explorer fails to respond quite often and restarting the process normally resolves the issue, you must create a BAT file dedicated to restarting the File Explorer at the click of a button.

Step 1. Right-click on an empty space on the desktop. Click New after which select Text Document.

windows explorer

Step 2. Title the document Restart Explorer and press Enter.

windows explorer

Step 3. You can double-click on the newly-created file to open with Notepad.

Step 4. Paste the command below in the document:

taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
begin explorer.exe

windows explorer

Step 5. You can click on File in the menu bar and select Save As.

windows explorer

Step 6. In the FIle name dialog box, rename the file Restart Explorer.bat and ensure the Save as type option is ready for All Files.

windows explorer

Step 7. Click Save to proceed.

To make use of the newly created BAT file to restart the Windows Explorer, return to the Desktop, right-click on the file, and select Run as administrator.

Windows will run the command in the BAT file via Command Prompt and restart the Windows Explorer.

3. Check for Corrupt System Files

When some system files get broken, missing, or corrupt, some core Windows functionalities (just like the File Explorer) may begin to malfunction.

Follow the steps below to run the System File Checker on your Windows 10 pc and laptop.

Step 1. You can right-click on the Start menu icon and select Command Prompt (Admin).

windows explorer

Step 2. You can type or paste the command below in the Command Prompt console and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

windows explorer

If the Windows File Explorer is still not responding when Command Prompt is completed executing the command, restart your pc and laptop and check again.

4. Clear File Explorer History

The Windows File Explorer keeps a log of all previous actions and activities—lately, accessed files and folders, searches, address bar entries, and so on. Then Windows File Explorer may respond slowly or crash when the utility’s history accumulates to a certain point. Try clearing the File Explorer history and check if that fixes the issue.

Step 1. You can Type file explorer options in the Windows search bar and click File Explorer Options in the results.

windows explorer

Step 2. In the Normal tab, click the Clear button to the best of the option that reads Clear File Explorer History. You’ll search out in the Privacy section.

Windows Explorer not responding

Step 3. You can also click Apply and then OK to save the changes.

File Explorer should now be stable and useful if you relaunch it. Otherwise, proceed to the next solution.

5. Update Your PC’s Video Driver

According to Microsoft Support, the Windows Explorer could cease working if your PC’s video driver is corrupt or outdated. If you still can’t navigate your files and folders because the Windows File Explorer isn’t responding, try downloading and installing the newest video driver update for your PC. Then connect your computer to the internet and follow the steps below.

Step 1. You can right-click the Start or Windows icon and select Device Manager.

Windows Explorer not responding

Step 2. Expand the Display adapters category, right-click on your PC’s a video/graphic adapter, and select Update Driver.

Windows Explorer not responding

Step 3. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

video driver

That will prompt Windows to search the internet and your computer for the most recent video driver for your PC.

6. Update Your PC, Laptop OS

Windows File Explorer may crash and fail to respond if your Windows 10 version is out-of-date. You can download and install any available updates and check if that resolves the issue.

The Windows updates often ship with security patches, driver updates, bug fixes, and solutions to other functional issues affecting Windows applications and processes. If the Device Manager doesn’t find an update for the video driver, think about updating your PC’s operating system.

First Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click on the Check for updates.

windows 10 update

7. Scan Your PC, Laptop for Viruses and Malware

When you have antivirus or antimalware software installed on your PC, run a thorough scan for hidden viruses and malware. You can use Windows built-in antivirus tool, Windows Defender, to nuke malware and viruses.

8. Check for Memory Problems

A number of applications may malfunction on your PC if there’s a problem with the Random Access Memory. You can run the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool to check your computer for memory problems. Ensure you save your work and close any open applications before you proceed.

Step 1. You can type Windows Memory in the Windows search bar and select Windows Memory Diagnostic in the result.

windows memory diagnostic

Step 2. Windows Memory Diagnostic will present you with two options. You can select the option that reads Restart now and check for problems advisable.

windows memory

The Windows Memory Diagnostics will scan your PC and fix any memory-related issues that it finds.

9. System Restore

Windows File Explorer starts after installing an app, a driver, software update, or after changing certain system configurations? Attempt rolling your PC back to a previous configuration (or restore point).

Tip: that reverting to a previous restore point will change some system settings. Lately-installed programs and drivers will also be deleted from your PC. Following the steps below to roll back to a restore point.

Step 1. Type the control panel in the Windows search bar and click Control Panel on the results.

control panel

Step 2. Click on Recovery.

windows 10 recovery

Step 3. Select Open System Restore.

open system restore

Step 4. System Restore File and Setting Window, Click Next to proceed

system restore

Step 5. The most recent/newest system restore point will appear on the list. You can select it and click Next to proceed.


You can also check the ‘Show more restore points’ option to reveal other (older) restore points.

Step 6. Click Finish to start the system restoration.

windows explorer not responding


I am very confident that at least one of the troubleshooting strategies listed above should resolve issues with Windows Explorer not responding. If the issue persists, restarting your PC in Safe Mode or performing a clean boot should help.

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