How to Fix the Issue When File Explorer Keeps Crashing: A Comprehensive Guide

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File Explorer, often regarded as a basic component of the Microsoft Windows operating system, is instrumental in navigating and organizing files and folders on your computer. However, despite its seemingly simple function, issues with the Explorer can cause severe implications, disrupting routine work and reducing productivity. Among the most common and concerning problems— File Explorer crashing.

Understanding File Explorer and Its Importance

What is File Explorer?

File Explorer, formerly known as Windows Explorer, is a fundamental application in the Windows operating system. Pivotal in the visualization and navigation of the file system, File Explorer enables users to access their data, browse directories, open files, and manage folders.

The Role and Importance of File Explorer

File Explorer is the bedrock of your interface with the operating system. It plays an integral role in system operation as it facilitates access to your documents, photographs, videos, and other files. A seamless functioning File Explorer is crucial for enhancing the system’s efficiency and maintaining a smooth workflow. Consequently, when the file explorer keeps crashing, it’s not a minor annoyance but a significant issue that requires instant fixing.

Possible Reasons for File Explorer Crashing

File Explorer crashes can be caused due to a variety of reasons. From corrupt system files and faulty updates to pesky third-party applications and software conflicts. Outdated drivers, hardware issues, or viruses can also prompt this issue. The exact cause may be difficult to pinpoint without thorough investigation and diagnosis.

Recognizing the Symptoms of File Explorer Crashes

Signs and Symptoms of a File Explorer Issue

Indications of a File Explorer crash can range from simple unresponsiveness of the system to unexpected closing of the application or triggering a blue screen of death error. Other common symptoms include slow system performance, inability to open files and folders, and frequent system restarts.

Diagnosing a File Explorer crash

Accurate diagnosis involves carefully observing the symptoms, tracing back to recent system changes, or new software installations that might be causing conflicts. Useful tools for diagnosis include the Windows Event Viewer and Reliability Monitor, which provide detailed information on system issues and their sources.

Quick Fixes for File Explorer Crashes

Simple and Quick Solutions

A variety of quick and simple solutions might fix File Explorer crashes. These include restarting the File Explorer, updating the system, running a virus scan, or disabling third-party extensions.

Applying Quick Fixes

Restarting File Explorer can often resolve minor glitches. This is done by accessing the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc), right-clicking on Windows Explorer, and choosing ‘Restart’. Updating the system and drivers is another quick fix that can be achieved via the Windows Update settings. Running a full system scan using Windows Defender or any other trusted antivirus software can also resolve conflicts resulting from malicious files.

Advanced Solutions to File Explorer Crashes

In-depth Solutions for Persistent Crashes

If simple fixes don’t work, advanced solutions might be necessary. These include running the System File Checker, using the DISM tool, rolling back recent updates, or performing a system restore.

Using Windows Tools and Third-Party Software for Troubleshooting

Windows provides built-in tools like the System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) that can rectify corrupted or missing system files. Third-party software like ‘WhoCrashed’ or ‘BlueScreenView’ can help identify faulty drivers and provide insights into addressing the problem.

How to Prevent File Explorer Crashes

Preventing File Explorer crashes involves keeping your system and drivers updated, regularly scanning for viruses, minimal installation of third-party software, and regularly backing up your data. It also helps to periodically run maintenance tools like SFC and DISM to ensure system integrity.

When to Get Professional Help

If the File Explorer keeps crashing despite trying all of the aforementioned solutions, it might be time to contact professional tech support. Signs that you need professional help include persistent blue screens, drastic system slowdowns, inability to access files and folders among others.

Microsoft’s Windows support is readily available and can provide expert guidance. You can contact them through their support website, via phone, or by visiting a physical store.


Ensuring the smooth operation of File Explorer is crucial for an efficient workflow. Timely diagnosis and rectification of issues can help maintain its health. While the quick solutions might solve minor glitches, do not hesitate to use advanced fixes or seek professional help for recurring issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my File Explorer keep crashing?

File Explorer could be crashing due to numerous reasons like corrupted system files, outdated drivers, software conflicts, or malware.

How can I solve File Explorer crashes?

You might be able to solve File Explorer crashes by restarting it, updating your system, running a virus scan, or disabling third-party extensions. If the issue persists, running tools like SFC or DISM, or contacting professional support might be necessary.

Is File Explorer crash a serious issue?

Yes, a File Explorer crash can seriously hamper your workflow and productivity. It is important to address it promptly and efficiently to maintain smooth system operation.