File Explorer unresponsive then crashing back to desktop


Kerro

Member
Local time
9:45 PM
Posts
17
OS
Win 11 Home build 22631.2191 ver 23H2
I am running Win 23H2. Lately, over the last couple of updates I have had an issue with file explorer (FE) where I can be working with two or three FE windows open transferring and copying files, then maybe after 30 mins I get an unresponsive folder that locks that window. If I click in another of my open FE windows, as long as I am on another drive I have access to those files. If I click in the unresponsive window the entire screen, I have 3, and they all go white for a few seconds. When the desktop returns, all 3 of my FE windows have closed, yet any other programs are unaffected. I then have to reopen FE, start again until it happens again. I have not lost any files by Windows doing this. I also get a continuous search icon on my search windows until I back up one folder. Is this a new Windows glitch or am I missing something.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 Home build 22631.2191 ver 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700 3.20GHz
    Motherboard
    GigaByte Z370 HD3
    Memory
    64 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 2070 8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x 32 AOC and 1 x 32 LG
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD and 2TB HD
    Keyboard
    Langtu
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Chrome usually
Things to try:

1. Restart file explorer, From command prompt as admin type the following commands:
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe and press Enter to stop file explorer.
start explorer.exe and press Enter to start file explorer again.

Side Note: I have created a shortcut to do this and assigned a keyboard shortcut to it in case I am ever unable to get to the desktop.
If you are interested in doing it right click on desktop>New>Shortcut
under location of item type C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c taskkill /im explorer.exe /f & start explorer.exe
Name the shortcut (ex: Kill Explorer)
Once the shortcut is created, to assign a shortcut key to that Windows shortcut, follow the steps below.
  1. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  2. Click the Shortcut tab.
  3. Click in the Shortcut key box
under shortcut key, assign a key. I used Ctrl + ALT + K

2. Clear file explorer history Clear File Explorer History in Windows 11 Tutorial

3. Update your drivers, especially your graphics driver. Most here strongly suggest you remove the old driver and its software using DDU in safe mode.
This allows a totally clean install of the new driver. Read the instructions carefully. Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) download version 18.0.6.8

Restart and then install your new driver.

4. Make sure you have no corrupt system files that is causing this problem. Open a command prompt as administrator and type sfc /scannow
Pay attention to the scan results to see if SFC found anything it could not repair. If it found corruption it could not fix followup with this command (note the spaces)
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
Restart computer
(Note-you can follow up with another sfc /scannow command to make sure that dism repaired the files)

5. Reset search indexing Reset and Rebuild Search Index in Windows 11 Tutorial

6. Run disk cleanup. Search for 'disk cleanup'. In search results right click on disk cleanup app and select 'run as administrator.'Make sure box for 'Device Driver Packages' is checked. OK. Confirm choice by clicking Delete Files.

7. (This one might be hard to do since it is an intermittent problem.) Perform a clean boot to eliminate software conflict causing the issue. If it doesn't happen in a clean boot, you have some software conflicting with Windows. Brink's procedure will help you weed out which one. Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 11 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts Tutorial

8. Repair Install Windows 11. If everything else made no difference, this should solve the problem. Repair Install Windows 11 with an In-place Upgrade Tutorial

I hope one of these suggestions works for you.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3155
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
Things to try:

1. Restart file explorer, From command prompt as admin type the following commands:
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe and press Enter to stop file explorer.
start explorer.exe and press Enter to start file explorer again.

Side Note: I have created a shortcut to do this and assigned a keyboard shortcut to it in case I am ever unable to get to the desktop.
If you are interested in doing it right click on desktop>New>Shortcut
under location of item type C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c taskkill /im explorer.exe /f & start explorer.exe
Name the shortcut (ex: Kill Explorer)
Once the shortcut is created, to assign a shortcut key to that Windows shortcut, follow the steps below.
  1. Right-click the shortcut and select Properties.
  2. Click the Shortcut tab.
  3. Click in the Shortcut key box
under shortcut key, assign a key. I used Ctrl + ALT + K

2. Clear file explorer history Clear File Explorer History in Windows 11 Tutorial

3. Update your drivers, especially your graphics driver. Most here strongly suggest you remove the old driver and its software using DDU in safe mode.
This allows a totally clean install of the new driver. Read the instructions carefully. Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) download version 18.0.6.8

Restart and then install your new driver.

4. Make sure you have no corrupt system files that is causing this problem. Open a command prompt as administrator and type sfc /scannow
Pay attention to the scan results to see if SFC found anything it could not repair. If it found corruption it could not fix followup with this command (note the spaces)
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
Restart computer
(Note-you can follow up with another sfc /scannow command to make sure that dism repaired the files)

5. Reset search indexing Reset and Rebuild Search Index in Windows 11 Tutorial

6. Run disk cleanup. Search for 'disk cleanup'. In search results right click on disk cleanup app and select 'run as administrator.'Make sure box for 'Device Driver Packages' is checked. OK. Confirm choice by clicking Delete Files.

7. (This one might be hard to do since it is an intermittent problem.) Perform a clean boot to eliminate software conflict causing the issue. If it doesn't happen in a clean boot, you have some software conflicting with Windows. Brink's procedure will help you weed out which one. Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 11 to Troubleshoot Software Conflicts Tutorial

8. Repair Install Windows 11. If everything else made no difference, this should solve the problem. Repair Install Windows 11 with an In-place Upgrade Tutorial

I hope one of these suggestions works for you.
Hey Dude, the number one option worked perfectly, thank you. I have placed the shortcut on my taskbar so I only have to click it once. It also seems to have fixed the never ending search issue when I'm nested deep in a folder. Thanks for your quick reply and for solving this annoying issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 Home build 22631.2191 ver 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700 3.20GHz
    Motherboard
    GigaByte Z370 HD3
    Memory
    64 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 2070 8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x 32 AOC and 1 x 32 LG
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD and 2TB HD
    Keyboard
    Langtu
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Chrome usually

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