How To Fix Windows Explorer Not Responding on Windows PC

Here see how you can fix Windows Explorer not Responding on PC Windows. In this guide, we are going to show you how to get Windows Explorer back to working condition in Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 PC desktop & laptop. Although Windows Explorer is not responding and Windows Explorer has stopped working error has also been affecting Windows 7, Vista, XP powered PC desktop or laptop users for years now. However, this error is also not uncommon on Windows 10, 8 & 8.1 PCs. Windows Explorer stopped working issue could surface if you try to open any .zip, rar file or any folder by right-clicking on them. In this post, i am going to offer some solutions to fix Windows Explorer issue on PC Windows desktop or laptop. Even if you haven’t faced Windows Explorer not responding issue yet, it is useful that you know of solutions to fix Windows Explorer beforehand, if the problem arises in future in your Windows powered computer.


Windows Explorer Issue on Windows PC – Reasons

There could number of reasons behind Windows Explorer issue on PCs running on Windows 10/8/8.1 operating system. Best way to keep Windows Explorer in fully working condition on Windows PC is to regularly update Windows OS on your machine. Main issues for Windows Explorer not working could be: memory problem, corrupted system files, outdated windows, incompatible third-party incompatible software, outdated security software, drivers issue, viruses or malware preventing Windows Explorer from working normally. Now let’s see what methods you can employ to fix Windows Explorer not working in Windows.

How To Fix ‘Windows Explorer is not responding’ / ‘stopped working’ on PC Windows:

Now let’s see how to fix Windows Explorer on Windows PC using different solution methods.

1 – Update Windows

Microsoft pushes Windows updates regularly for Windows PC in order to keep everything in perfectly working condition, therefore, it is recommended that you install new updates as and when they are released since they often remove the bugs and errors that may be causing Windows Explorer to stop working properly. To check for latest Windows updates and download them, go to Control Panel > System & Security > Windows Update on Windows 8/8.1/7. And on Windows 10, head to Start menu > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Download the update if its available to see if that brings Windows Explorer back to normal state.

2 – Update Windows Drivers

Sometimes, outdated Windows drivers could also cause Windows Explorer fail on PC. Therefore, regularly check if the drivers on your Windows PC are up-to-date. To check the current status of Windows drivers, open the Windows Device Manager. For that, press Windows + R keys to open Run dialogue box. Type devmgmt.msc and hit enter. Right-click on the Display adapter (or the name of the video driver on your PC) on the device manager list and select update driver software for automatic update or manually update the driver from the context menu.

3 – Uninstall Faulty Software / Programs

Often the main culprit behind Windows Explorer not responding error are faulty third-party programs and software. Check your PC to find any unwanted or defective programs. If Windows Explorer has started acting weirdly since the recently installed app, software or program, then the problem could very well be with that program. So delete, uninstall or properly reinstall it on your Windows PC to see if that works to fix Windows Explorer. Proper way of getting rid of unwanted program in Windows is from Control Panel > Programs > Programs and features.

4 – Fix System Registries

If by any chance a third-party software changed registry files on your Windows, it could effect Windows Explorer as well. So look into the corrupted registries. There are many useful third-party apps and software programs available to fix system registries. Find the one that suits your needs and install it to fix the problem in Windows.

5 – Run System Scan

Viruses and malware are among the main reason that could be causing Windows Explorer stopped working issue on your PC. Regularly run full system scan using a reliable Antivirus tool or anti-malware program. After the full PC scan, any infected file will be fixed to infuse life back into the Explorer on Windows. Some of the most reliable Window anti-virus and malware removal tools are given below. Take your pick and run full system scan with it to remove Windows Explorer error from PC.

Free Kaspersky Antivirus & Internet Security for Windows 10

Panda Free Antivirus 2016 for PC Windows

Top 5 Best Antivirus for Windows 10

6 – Disable Startup Programs / Services

This solution method requires you to disable startup programs or services to fix Windows Explorer error. Too many startup programs / services running at the same time hang Windows Explorer, therefore, best course of action in such cases is to close unnecessary program and services. Here’s how:

  • Press Windows + R keys to open RUN dialogue box.
  • Type msconfig in it and hit enter.
  • In System Configuration window, click on Services tab.
  • To make the search easier, enable ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option to avoid accidentally closing down essential services required for normal functioning of Windows OS.
  • Now from a list of services, disable all unnecessary services.
  • Hit Apple and then OK.
  • Now right-click on the task bar and select Task Manager.
  • In Task Manager, click on Startup.
  • Right-click on any unnecessary program and select Disable from drop-down menu. You can follow same steps for closing all unwanted programs and services.
  • Now restart your PC.

This should fix Windows Explorer, if not see the next solution.

7 – Run Winsock reset and netsh

This is a bit technical, in order to keep it simple, just remain focused on the steps below without delving too much into the nitty gritty details. Here how you can fix Windows Explorer with netsh and winsock commands.

  • Right-click on the start button ( on Windows 10/8/8.1), for Windows 7 or earlier go to the start menu and open Command Prompt (admin).
  • Type netsh in the command prompt and hit enter.
  • Then, type winsock reset and hit enter.
  • Restart PC for the changes to take effect.

This should fix Windows Explorer, if not, check out the next method.

8 – Remove Program menu from Registry

Windows Explorer freezing issue could be happening on your PC because shellex menus have been corrupted for some reason. To make Windows Explorer work again, remove corrupted program menu from registry. But make sure to backup registry before proceeding.

  • Open RUN dialogue box.
  • Type regedit and hit enter.
  • Head to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT > * > shellex > ContextMenuHandlers
  • Here, you will see number of keys. Remove the corrupted ones. Usually ZIP, Winrar32, Winrar, Winzip, Demon tool or Advance system care keys are the reason behind the problem. If one or all of these are corrupted, remove them.

If none of the solutions above worked to fix the Windows Explorer, run troubleshoot to detect any memory related problem. Corrupted RAM may hinder Windows Explorer’s working. Run Windows memory diagnosis to fix RAM issues. Otherwise, find the corrupted system files on your PC and fix them. If even that hasn’t brought Windows Explorer back to working state, its time to reset Windows OS on your PC.

Let us know, if the above solutions worked for you in the comments section below.

For more on AppsforWindows10, Read:

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How to Fix Windows 10 Anniversary Update Errors and Problems


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