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Fix 'File Explorer Won't Open in Windows 10' Error

Updated on Nov 13, 2018 by Abby Haines to Resource


Does the File Explorer won't open from the taskbar and cannot open files & folders in Windows 10? This page collects two easy methods, recommended as the most efficient solutions, to fix File Explorer won't open nor launch issue. Try the methods to regain access to your files and folders.

"I just received a new desktop PC with a clean Windows 10 install. But now, File Explorer window cannot open when I tried to launch it from the taskbar or the start menu. And I can't open any folders. Is there any way to fix the problem and open file explorer on windows 10? I need to get access to some important files. Please help!" 

Overview of 'File Explorer Won't Open' Issue in Windows 10

Sometimes, when you try to launch file explorer to open some files or folder from the taskbar, it doesn't show you the Windows. The problem has happened on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, preventing users from getting access to any of their folders or files.

And now, it happens more and more frequently in Windows 10 and makes more and more users become the victims of the folder won't open issue. If you are having trouble opening or viewing your folders or files in Windows 10 because you can't open file explorer, this article provides the right solutions for you.

Follow the instructions below to see which methods finally help you fix the problem and regain access to your files and folders.

Fix 'File Explorer Won't Open' Issue in Windows 10

To fix this issue from the taskbar error without losing any data, we suggest you try provided methods in Part 1 first; then you can follow Part 2 to restore files from inaccessible folders or hard drive partition.

Part 1. Fix 'File Explorer Won't Open' Error in Windows 10 (2 Methods)

Here you can try either method in the below to fix and repair File Explorer to work and open your files or folders again:

Method 1. Restart File Explorer in task manager

  • Step 1: Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to start "Task Manager". Then locate "Windows Explorer".
  • Step 2: Right-click on Windows Explorer and choose "End task".
  • Restart File Explorer.
  • Step 3: On top of the Task Manager window, click "File" option and choose "Run new task".
  • Create a new task to fix File Explorer won't open error.
  • Step 4: Type "explorer.exe" in the box and then hit Enter.

Method 2. Create a new path of File Explorer

  • Step 1: Right-click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar, then choose "Unpin from the taskbar".
  • Unpin Explorer from taskbar.
  • Step 2: Right click on the blank spot on the desktop and choose "New > Shortcut" to create a new shortcut.
  • Step 3: Type in the following address: "C:\Windows\explorer.exe" in the Create Shortcut window and click "Next".
  • Create new shortcut of File Explorer to fix it won't open issue.
  • Step 4: Rename the file to "File Explorer" and click "Finish".
  • Rename the new shortcut as File Explorer and fix file explorer won't open issue.
  • Step 5: Right-click the newly created shortcut and choose "Pin to taskbar".

After all the steps, you can double-click on the newly created shortcut to verify that if you can open File Explorer. If it works, right click on the taskbar icon and select Pin to the taskbar if you would like to quickly access files or folders by opening File Explorer from the taskbar.

Part 2. Restore Data from Inaccessible Folders When File Explorer Cannot Open

After fixing the File Explorer error, you can try to open folders or hard drives to check and use your files with File Explorer. If your folders or hard drive partition become inaccessible and File Explorer cannot open them, the best way is to restore data from inaccessible folders or hard drive partition is to try let professional data recovery software help in case of unexpected data loss. 

Here, you can try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard which allows you to access and find all data from file folders or hard drive partition. You may be asked to activate it before recovering. We suggest you preview the found files. First, all previewable files are available to recover, then activate this software and restore all data.

Step 1. Run folder recovery software.

  • Launch EaseUS folder recovery software on your PC.
  • Connect the device to your computer if the lost folder is saved on an external storage device.
  • Click "Specify a location" to choose the exact location where you lost the folder.
  • Click "Scan" to begin scanning lost folder with files.
Run folder recovery software.

Step 2. Find lost folder.

  • You can use the "Search" feature to quickly find the lost folder by searching the folder name.
  • Or you can check and find them from "Deleted Files", "Drive (with your device name)".
Scan and find lost folder data.

Step 3. Recover the lost folder.

Last, select the folder and choose to save it to a new & secure spot on your PC by clicking "Recover".

Restore lost folder data.

Do remember to save the files to another secure location and then move to Step 2 for further solutions to fix the File Explorer not opening error.