Is the File Explorer not working on your Windows 10/11 PC? Is the File Explorer not opening or automatically closing soon after the launch? Do you have any other issues with respect to the File Explorer in Windows 10/11? In this guide, we will see how to fix File Explorer issues in Windows 10/11.
There are several ways to fix a not working File Explorer in Windows 10/11. Following are the five ways to troubleshoot and address File Explorer issues in Windows 10/11.
Please try the following solutions in the given order for the best results.
NOTE: We assume that you have made sure that your PC is free from viruses and other malicious software. If not, please thoroughly scan your PC with a good antivirus first before trying out other solutions.
IMPORTANT: If the File Explorer is opening slowly, please refer to our File Explorer opening slowly in the Windows 11/10 guide.
Solution 1 of 8
Restart File Explorer and restart your PC
If the File Explorer is not responding or working properly, you can try restarting the File Explorer. To restart the File Explorer:
Step 1: Open the Task Manager using Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys.
Step 2: Click More details if you cannot see the full version of the Task Manager.
Step 3: Under the Processes tab, right-click on Windows Explorer and then click the Restart option to restart the File Explorer.
If you cannot see the Windows Explorer entry under Processes, please open the File Explorer by clicking on its icon on the taskbar or using Windows logo + E and then restart it in the Task Manager.
Solution 2 of 8
Update Windows 10/11 to the latest version
If you are not running the latest version of Windows 10, we recommend you upgrade to the latest version, as Microsoft fixes most of the known issues via updates. Navigate to Settings app > Update & security > Windows Update (Windows 10) or Settings > Windows Update, and then click the Check for updates button.
Solution 3 of 8
Repair system files using System File Checker
The File Explorer might not be working properly because one of the system files is corrupted or missing. You can try running the built-in System File Checker tool in Windows 10 to scan for, and repair damaged or missing files.
Refer our how to run System File Checker to repair corrupted or missing files in Windows 10 article for step-by-step directions.
Solution 4 of 8
Restore Windows 10/11 to a previous date
If the System Restore feature is turned on your PC, you can try restoring Windows 10 to an earlier date when it was working smoothly. Follow the directions in our how to restore Windows 10 to an earlier date article for directions.
Solution 5 of 8
Create a new user account
If you have only one user account on your PC, create a new local user account or Microsoft account and then check if File Explorer works as expected. If yes, you can try moving all data from your current account to the new account. The only catch is that you might need to install (some) your applications again for the new account.
Solution 6 of 8
Free up drive space
If your system drive or any other drive has no free space, File Explorer might not work properly. Free up some space by trying the directions in our 16 ways to free up drive space in Windows 10 article.
Solution 7 of 8
Run System Maintenance troubleshooter
There is a built-in System Maintenance troubleshooter in the Windows operating system that might help you fix File Explorer issues, according to Microsoft. To access the System Maintenance troubleshooter:
Step 1: Open Control Panel. Change View by to Small icons.
Step 2: Click Troubleshooting. In the left pane, click View all to see System Maintenance, among other troubleshooters.
Solution 8 of 8
Repair Windows 10/11 installation without losing data and apps
Repairing Windows 10/11 should be used as the last resort. A feature in Windows 10/11 allows you to repair Windows 10/11 without deleting your data and apps installed from the Store. Note that repairing your Windows 10/11 PC might remove your desktop programs.
Check out our how to repair Windows 10 without losing data and apps guide for detailed instructions.