The File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer) in Windows 10/11 allows users to manage files and folders.
The File Explorer in Windows 10 and Windows 11 is relatively stable. However, File Explorer rarely might not respond or even refuse to open. If you have been encountering issues with File Explorer, you might be thinking of reinstalling File Explorer to resolve the issue.
Does Windows 10/11 support reinstalling File Explorer?
Unfortunately, neither Windows 10 nor Windows 11 supports reinstalling File Explorer. This means there is no straightforward or official way to reinstall File Explorer. That said, there are workarounds to help resolve File Explorer issues.
Following are the seven easy methods to resolve File Explorer issues in Windows 10/10
Solution 1 of 7
Restart the File Explorer via Task Manager
Step 1: Open the Task Manager using the search or Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.
Step 2: Next, click on the More details button if you see the smaller version of the Task Manager.
Step 3: Under the Processes tab, look for the Windows Explorer entry. Right-click the Windows Explorer process and then click the Restart option to restart the File Explorer. More often than not, restarting File Explorer fixes issues. If the Windows Explorer does not appear under the Processes tab, please open any folder or This PC and then try again.
Solution 2 of 7
Check and repair corrupted system files
This method is helpful if File Explorer fails to open or throws an error when you attempt to open it. This method will look for corrupted or missing system files and then repair/replace them. Here is how to do that.
Step 1: Open the Command Prompt as administrator by typing CMD in the search, right-clicking on the Command Prompt entry, and then clicking the Run as administrator option.
Click on the Yes button when you get the UAC prompt.
Step 2: At the Command Prompt, copy and paste the following command:
Press the Enter key to begin scanning protected operating system files and replace corrupted files.
Solution 3 of 7
Update Windows 10/11 to the latest version
If there are updates available for your Windows 10/11 installation, it’s a good idea to update your Windows 11/10 to the newest version. This might also fix your File Explorer issues.
On Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security page and then click the Check for updates button.
On Windows 11, navigate to Settings > Windows Update page and then click the Check for updates button to check and install updates.
Solution 4 of 7
Run the system maintenance troubleshooter
Step 1: Open the Control Panel. Change the View by to Small icons.
Step 2: Click Troubleshooting.
Step 3: On the left pane, click View all.
Step 4: On the right side, click on System Maintenance and follow the on-screen directions.
Solution 5 of 7
Restore Windows 10/11 to a previous date
If system restore is enabled on your Windows 10/11, you can restore Windows 10/11 to an earlier date to fix the File Explorer. For instance, you can restore Windows installation to a date when the File Explorer was working without any issues.
Refer to our how to restore Windows 10/11 to an earlier date article for step-by-step directions.
Solution 6 of 7
Reset Windows 10/11 without losing data
If File Explorer is not working even after trying the above solutions, you can consider resetting or repairing your Windows 10/11 installation. Both Windows 11/10 allow you to reset without losing your data. However, you might have to reinstall programs all over again.
Solution 7 of 7
Use the Files app instead of File Explorer
Files app is free third-party software developed as an alternative for the built-in File Explorer. The Files app has an excellent UI and all the options you need.
You can visit the Windows Store to get the app.