Fixes for File Explorer Keeps Crashing in Windows 10

Abby | Oct 20,2021 5 min read

File Explorer Keeps Crashing in Windows 10

File Explorer, originally known as Windows Explorer, is the built-in file manager application on Windows. It's no doubt that is one of the most frequently used applications on a PC. However, although Microsoft has improved File Explorer continuously, there are still some problems with it, like File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 10. This is an issue that bothers many users causing varying troubles. If you are troubled by "File Explorer crashing in Windows 10", you may find yourself in one of the following scenarios.

Symptoms

There are some common situations where users report "File Explorer crashing in Windows 10".

  • Windows 10 File Explorer is not responding 
  • Windows 10 File Explorer stopped working
  • File Explorer won't open in Windows 10
  • File Explorer keeps closing itself
  • File Explorer closes while right-clicking a file
  • File Explorer hangs frequently

Possible Causes

For some users, File Explorer seems to crash for no reason. Actually, every error comes with a cause. There are various factors that may trigger the issue "File Explorer keeps crashing", including:

  • Improper system settings
  • Incompatible third-party software
  • Permission issues
  • Other unknown causes

If you can't identify the cause that leads to Windows File Explorer crashing, it doesn't matter, you can follow the tips below in order.

10 Fixes for Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing

The solutions below are arranged based on the effectiveness of the tip.

Fix 1. Delete Registry Keys

The Bag keys store information about each folder including its display settings, You can delete these keys to reset the settings for all folders on your computer, which is helpful to fix the issue "File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 10".

Step 1. Press "Windows + R" simultaneously and enter Regedit. In the prompt asking for permission, click "Yes".

Step 2. Go to:

\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell

Step 3. Expand "Shell" and deleted both "BagMRU" and "Bag" keys by right-clicking the folder and choose "Delete". (It is safe to delete these keys because Windows will automatically rebuild them after a restart.)

Step 4. Restart your computer and check whether File Explorer still crashes.

Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - delete registry keys

Fix 2. Clear File Explorer History

It's not clear how the File Explorer history makes the application crash. But many users have fixed their File Explorer that keeps crashing simply by clearing its history.

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and enter file explorer.

Step 2. Choose "File Explorer Options" in the result.

Step 3. In the "Privacy" section, click "Clear". The clearing process will be completed in seconds.

Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - clear file explorer history

Fix 3. Disable Quick Access and Set Open File Explorer to This PC

Although Quick Access enables you to open a folder you frequently visited faster, it could be the reason why your File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 10. Try to disable this feature and set File Explorer to open to This PC instead of Quick Acess.

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and enter file explorer.

Step 2. Choose "File Explorer Options" in the result.

Step 3. In the box next to "Open File Explorer to", select "This PC".

Step 4. In the "Privacy" section, uncheck both "Show recently used files in Quick access" and "Show frequently used folders in Quick access."

Step 5. Click "Apply" > "OK".

 Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - disable quick access

Fix 4. Change Display Settings

Have you ever changed the size of the text, apps, and other items on your computer? If you did, that's probably why your File Explorer crashes so often. Make sure the size of text, apps, and other items is 100% or 200%.

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and enter display.

Step 2. Choose "Change display settings" on the list.

Step 3. In the Settings window, navigate to the "Scale and layout" section.

Step 4. Set the size to be "100% (Recommended)" or "200%" if it's available.

Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - Change display settings

Fix 5. Update Graphics Card Driver

Outdated graphics card driver may also be the culprit that results in File Explorer crashing in Windows 10. To exclude this factor, you can update the graphics driver on your computer.

Step 1. Right-click on "This PC" and go to "Manage" > "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand "Display adapters", right-click on the graphics card driver and choose "Update driver".

Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - update video driver

Fix 6. Enable Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process

By default, all File Explorer windows, including the desktop shell, run in a single process called explorer.exe. If one of the File Explorer windows hangs or crashes, it will cause all File Explorer windows to hang or crash. Thus, to improve the stability of File Explorer, you can enable to launch folder windows in a separate process.

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and enter file explorer.

Step 2. Choose "File Explorer Options" in the result.

Step 3. Switch to the "View" tab and scroll down to check "Launch folder windows in a separate process".

Step 4. Click "Apply" > "OK".

 Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - launch folders in separate process

Fix 7. Check Account Permission

If Windows 10 File Explorer keeps crashing when you access a specific folder, you should check whether you have full permission over this folder.

Step 1. Find and right-click on the file/folder you want to delete, then choose "Properties".

Step 2. Click the "Security" tab and choose "Advanced" at the bottom.

Step 3. Click the link "Change" next to "Owner".

Step 4. In the box, input everyone and click "OK".

Step 5. Go back to the "Security" tab, click "Edit" to change permissions.

Step 6. In the "Permissions for SYSTEM" section, choose "Allow" for all permissions.

Fix File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 10 - Check permission

Fix 8. Run Netsh Winsock Reset

The command "netsh Winsock reset" is used to recover the computer from any socket errors that occur when you download some unknown file, or due to some malicious script on the computer. In some cases, running this command will help users solve the problem "Windows File Explorer keeps crashing".

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. In Command Prompt, enter netsh winsock reset and wait for the Winsock Catalog to be reset.

Step 4. Restart your computer.

Fix 9. Disable or Remove Recently Installed Antivirus Software

Have you installed some antivirus software before File Explorer crashing so consistently? If so, try to disable the software or remove it completely.

Fix 10. Keep Windows Updated

"File Explorer keeps crashing in Windows 10" may occur due to the bugs in the Windows operating system. Microsoft keeps improving the OS by rolling out Windows updates. Thus, keep your Windows updated if there is a new update available.

Step 1. Click "Start" and type update.

Step 2. Choose "Check for updates".

Step 3. Windows will show you the new updates available. Click "Install now" to update your Windows.

Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Keeps Crashing - update Windows

Extra Tip: How to Recover Lost File from Windows

If during the fix, you have mistakenly deleted files from your computer, you can rescue your data easily using hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Or if you have encountered data loss on your storage device like external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and more, you can also use this software to get back your precious files.

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the location where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files

Wait until the scanning completes. You can use Filter or search bar to find lost files.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data

Then choose a location to save the recovered data, and click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost data

The Bottom Line

I believe one of the fixes above can help you fix the File Explorer on your Windows 10 PC that keeps crashing. If you find yourself have the need of data recovery, don't hesitate to try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard which is 100% secure, virus-free, and plug-in free.

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