Windows 11 Explorer Displays Wrong Paths After a While


guptasa1

Member
Local time
12:49 AM
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3
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Windows 11
Hey all!

Got a weird one for you. Running Windows 11...probably approaching a 2 year install. This seems to have started as of the update quite a while back where they reworked Windows Explorer (ugh) and added things like the "Start backup" button, etc. (How I would love to go back to the old one, but I'm hesitant to run mods that could break.)

Anyways, what happens is, when I'm working with files (I do some file management tasks daily and usually have a couple windows open), after a little while (even after a fresh reboot, usually within an hour), it starts displaying the wrong path (in the selectable/clickable part, not the title bar). Let's say I'm working in the a subdirectory of the Downloads folder. It'll work fine, but the eventually, it'll get "stuck" on the last folder I was in, and no matter where I go, that's where the path displays, which is obviously annoying.

Only fix I've found is to close all the explorer windows, and then when I open a fresh one, it seems to be correct for a while again. (If I just open a new window, this doesn't resolve it - I have to close all current windows out first.)

I also have random Explorer crashes every once in a while...every 2 days or so I'd say...I'll do some file operation...the machine will kind of freeze for a brief amount of time, and then Explorer exists (taskbar disappears, etc.) and reloads, and then things are okay again for a while.

Weirdly, while I've found crash reports elsewhere, I haven't been able to find any other reports of this strange stuck path behavior, but I'm sure I can't be the only one. It's not an emergency as I've been dealing with it for at least 6 months - I just assumed it was a bug and a future update (I've kept up to date) would fix it, but no joy so far. I'm tempted to do a fresh Win11 install, but that's a major pain and I don't really have time to get everything reconfigured right now - I'm planning to upgrade my storage eventually, so will likely wait until then to do it.

Mainly just an inconvenience, but I'd love to fix it. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Shaun
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    FalconNW
it'll get "stuck" on the last folder I was in, and no matter where I go, that's where the path displays, which is obviously annoying.

I've never seen this behavior.

I'm tempted to do a fresh Win11 install

Prior to a fresh install try the repair install with the in-place upgrade. You won't lose anything.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Pro 24H2 26100.1150
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self Built
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-14700F
    Motherboard
    ASUS TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS WIFI
    Memory
    G.SKILL Ripjaws S5 Series 64GB (2 x 32GB) DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 4070 Super OC 12 GB
    Sound Card
    Sound Blaster AE-5 Plus
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS TUF Gaming 27" 2K HDR Gaming
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 990 Pro 1TB NVMe (Win 11)
    SK hynix P41 500GB NVMe (Win 10)
    SK hynix P41 2TB NVMe (x3)
    Crucial P3 Plus 4TB
    PSU
    Corsair RM850x Shift
    Case
    Antec Dark Phantom DP502 FLUX
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black + 7 Phantek T-30's
    Keyboard
    Logitech MK 320
    Mouse
    Razer Basilisk V3
    Internet Speed
    350Mbs
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Winows Security
    Other Info
    Windows 11 23H2 22631.3880
    On System One
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3737
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-11700F
    Motherboard
    Asus TUF Gaming Z590 Plus WiFi
    Memory
    64 GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Black Gaming
    Sound Card
    SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27T350
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
    Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB
    Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair HX750
    Case
    Cougar MX330-G Window
    Cooling
    Hyper 212 EVO
    Internet Speed
    350Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
Thanks for the reply, Scott. I'll definitely consider trying that if I can't find another solution.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    FalconNW
Hi, guptasa1, welcome to the ElevenForums 🙏

This seems to have started as of the update quite a while back where they reworked Windows Explorer

I would try running this cleanup file first, below before attempting any reinstall/repair. Although a repair install is a good idea, it may clean up issues you never knew you had. If you choose to do a repair install as Scott suggested, “Option Two” is the option you will need Option One is for Insider builds.

However, you could “Download” the bat file at the bottom of this first post and save it to your desktop. Then double click to run it. Prepare to be patient depending on your system. It will run a series of scans on your system but be patient with it.

 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3880
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
I just assumed it was a bug
Microsoft no longer refers to them as bugs. They're called features now. lol :p

All jokes aside... consider to apply this: (Option Three)
...in addition to this:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus TUF Gaming F16 (2024)
    CPU
    i7 13650HX
    Memory
    16GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce RTX 4060 Mobile
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Cooling
    2× Arc Flow Fans, 4× exhaust vents, 5× heatpipes
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF
  • Operating System
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Medion S15450
    CPU
    i5 1135G7
    Memory
    16GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    2TB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF
And I should mention, system image backups are recomended before running a repair or reinstall. You never know if you might have to revert back to your current OS if something was to go astray. I have always found a repair successful though.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3880
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
I would try 3 things before doing a repair install, testing to see if you have the issue after each one..
1. Do a quick clean boot. 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

2. 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)

3. Make sure the issue is not caused by some kind of corruption in your user account by enabling the hidden administrator account.
1. Open command prompt as administrator and type net user administrator /active:yes
2. Sign out of your account and sign in with the new administrator account. If the problem does not exist in this account, then there is corruption in your user account. Note: if this proves to be your issue, report back and I will send you instructions on how to create a new account and get all your personal files into it correctly.
Sign out of administrator and back in to you account. Open command prompt as administrator and type net user administrator /active:no

If none of that points to the problem, then do a repair install. A repair install WILL NOT fix anything regarding your user account. It only fixes issues with Windows.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3880
    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 nvme+256gb SKHynix m.2 nvme /External +512gb Samsung m.2 sata+1tb Kingston m2.nvme
    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
Good idea, SFC and DISM’s are included in the above bat file.

Code:
start /B /wait rundll32.exe pnpclean.dll,RunDLL_PnpClean /drivers/maxclean
start /B /wait dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
start /B /wait sfc /scannow
start /B /wait dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
start /B /wait dism /online /Cleanup-Image /Startcomponentcleanup /resetbase
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 Build: 22631.3880
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Sin-built
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4th Gen?)
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus VI Formula
    Memory
    32.0 GB of I forget and the box is in storage.
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super OC 6GB
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    4 x LG 23MP75 1 x 24" LG M38H 1 x 32" LF6300 TV Monitor 1 x Wacom Pro 22" Tablet
    Screen Resolution
    All over the place
    Hard Drives
    2 x WD something Something 8TB HDD's / 2 x WD something Something 4TB HDD's / 1 x EVO 1TB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB SSD's / 1 x EVO 250 GB SSD / 2 x QVO 1TB (External Hub) / 1 x EVO 1TB (Portable Backup Case)
    PSU
    Silverstone 1500
    Case
    NZXT Phantom 820 Full-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Elite Class Dual Tower CPU Cooler / 6 x EziDIY 120mm / 2 x Corsair 140mm somethings / 1 x 140mm Thermaltake something / 2 x 200mm Corsair.
    Keyboard
    Corsair K95 / Logitech diNovo Edge Wireless
    Mouse
    Logitech G402 / G502 / Mx Masters / MX Air Cordless
    Internet Speed
    100/40Mbps
    Browser
    All sorts
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium
    Other Info
    I’m on a horse.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22621.2215
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO Yoga 7i EVO OLED 14" Touchscreen i5 12 Core 16GB/512GB
    CPU
    Intel Core 12th Gen i5-1240P Processor (1.7 - 4.4GHz)
    Memory
    16GB LPDDR5 RAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Graphics processor is an Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    optimized with Dolby Atmos®
    Screen Resolution
    QHD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    Hard Drives
    M.2 512GB
    Other Info
    …still on a horse.
Thanks for the feedback! Bit of a crazy week ahead but I will definitely try some of these as I get time!

I've wondered if it might be some software I'm running, but can't seem to narrow it to anything - a clean boot to see if the problem recurs is a good thought I haven't tried yet, so I may do that first, then try some of the other things.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    FalconNW

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