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How to Fix Windows 11 File Explorer Crashing [8 Solutions]

Are you experiencing issues with Windows 11 File Explorer crashing? Check out these 8 solutions to help fix the problem and get your File Explorer running smoothly again.

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Table of Contents

Windows 11 File Explorer crashing can be a frustrating experience, disrupting your workflow and causing inconvenience. The stability of File Explorer is crucial for seamless navigation through your files and folders. 

In this article, we'll dive into the common reasons behind Windows 11 File Explorer crashes and provide effective solutions to resolve these issues. 

Whether it's incompatible applications, system glitches, or conflicts with updates, understanding the causes is the first step toward a stable File Explorer. Let's get started!

How to Fix Windows 11 File Explorer Crashing

Windows Explorer, a fundamental system process overseeing the graphical interface for utilities like File Explorer, the taskbar, and the "Start" menu, might encounter temporary issues leading to unexpected closures of File Explorer in Windows. Here are 8 useful fixes:

  1. Fix 1. Restart File Explorer from Task Manager on Windows 11
  2. Fix 2. Run DISM Commands with CMD to Fix File Explorer Crashing
  3. Fix 3. Clean the Windows 11 File Explorer Cache
  4. Fix 4. Keep your Windows 11 up to Date to Fix Windows 11 File Explorer Crashing
  5. Fix 5. Run the Windows 11 Memory Diagnostic Tool
  6. Fix 6. Run CHKDSK and SFC Scan to Find Errors in Windows 11 File Explorer
  7. Fix 7. Uninstall an Update on Windows 11
  8. Fix 8. Update GPU Driver in Windows 11

Fix 1. Restart File Explorer from Task Manager on Windows 11

Instead of opting for a system-wide reboot, a more efficient solution involves restarting the Windows Explorer process. Follow these steps to fix the Windows explorer has stopped working:

Step 1. Right-click the "Start" button and opt for "Task Manager" from the provided list.

Choose manager task

Step 2. Within the "Processes" tab, find "Windows Explorer." Right-click on it and opt for the "Restart" option.

Find explorer windows

Your taskbar may momentarily vanish and reappear, signaling the successful reboot of the Windows Explorer process. Subsequently, File Explorer should resume normal functionality on Windows.

Fix 2. Run DISM Commands with CMD to Fix File Explorer Crashing

The Windows file explorer not responding problem may stem from corrupted system files. To address this issue, you can inspect and rectify your PC's corrupted, missing, or damaged system files through the use of DISM and SFC scan tools. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Launch the run dialog box by clicking "Win Keys + R."

Step 2. Input cmd and hit "Ctrl + Shift + Enter" to launch Command Prompt as an administrator.

Input cmd

Step 3. Input the DISM.exe/Online/Cleanup-Image/restorehealth command and press "Enter."

Type in DISM.exe

Step 4. Allow the process to complete.

Step 5. Initiate a "System File Checker" scan by typing sfc /scannow in the run dialogue box and pressing "Enter."

Type sfc /scannow

Step 6. Wait for the process to finish, then restart your device.

If you find this information helpful, please share it with others on social media to assist them in overcoming this common challenge.


Fix 3. Clean the Windows 11 File Explorer Cache

Like various applications, File Explorer stores cache data to enhance its performance. Yet, when this data becomes obsolete or corrupted, it can result in different problems, including the crashing of File Explorer. 

You can try to remove the current File Explorer cache to check if it resolves the issue. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Open the "Start" menu, look for "File Explorer Options," and choose the first result.

Look for explorer file

Step 2. In the "General" tab, choose the "Clear" button beside "Clear File Explorer history."

Choose clear

Fix 4. Keep your Windows 11 Up to Date to Fix File Explorer Crashing

An outdated operating system is a potential cause for File Explorer crashes on your Windows 11. It may encounter issues if your system lacks the latest updates or Windows update not working. To address this, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open your device's settings simultaneously by pressing the "Windows + I" keys.

Step 2. Click on "Update & Security" among the options displayed.

Click on update

Step 3. Choose "Windows Update" from the left menu and check for available updates.

Choose update windows

Step 4. If updates are identified, proceed to install them.

Fix 5. Run the Windows 11 Memory Diagnostic Tool

Having numerous folders open simultaneously or dealing with many files might lead to File Explorer not opening or crashing. 

This is often attributed to insufficient system resources or low memory. The built-in Windows utility, such as the Memory Diagnostic tool, can scrutinize your RAM for potential errors.

Step 1. Launch the "Run" dialog box by clicking "Win+R." In the box, type the command mdsched and then hit "Enter." 

 Type the command mdsched

Step 2. After that, go to "Restart now and check for problems (recommended)" in the Windows Memory Diagnostic window.

Select and check for now problems restart

Step 3. Allow the Windows Memory Diagnostic to scan your PC's RAM for errors. If any issues arise, take appropriate measures to address them.

Fix 6. Run CHKDSK and SFC Scan to Find Errors in Windows 11 File Explorer

If File Explorer is frequently crashing or becoming unresponsive, it may indicate corrupted or missing system files. In such instances, running SFC (System File Checker) or CHKDSK (Check Disk) can help detect, repair, or replace problematic system files.


Step 1. Press "Win + Q" and type Command Prompt in the search box.

Step 2. Right-click on the search result and opt for "Run as administrator."

Type Command Prompt and choose run as administrator

Step 3. Enter the command chkdsk C: /f /r and press "Enter."

Step 4. Confirm by pressing "Y" and hitting "Enter." Restart your computer to initiate the hard disk check.

Enter chkdsk C: /f /r and input y

🔎If the issue persists, proceed to the System File Check (SFC scan.) Here's how to do it:

Step 1. Launch Command Prompt as administrator as described above.

Step 2. Type sfc /scannow and press "Enter."

Type sfc /scannow

Step 3. Allow the scanning process to complete without interrupting your computer.

After completion, your PC will automatically address detected errors. Restart your computer and verify if the File Explorer issue has been resolved.

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Fix 7. Uninstall an Update on Windows 11

In case your Windows 11 File Explorer becomes unresponsive following a recent system update, you may attempt to uninstall the update to address any issues. Follow these steps:

Step 1. Launch the "Settings" from the start menu.

Step 2. Scroll down and access "Update & Security." Then, navigate to "Windows Update" > "View Update history" > "Uninstall updates."

Choose uninstall updates

Step 3. Double-click on the most current update and select "Yes" to initiate the uninstallation process.

Fix 8. Update GPU Driver in Windows 11

If you encounter crashes with Windows Explorer, an outdated or corrupted graphics driver could be the culprit. If the initial solution doesn't resolve the issue, consider updating your graphics driver manually or automatically.

For a manual update, visit the manufacturer's website for your graphics card and locate the latest driver compatible with your Windows OS version.

For an automatic update:

Step 1. Open "Driver Easy" and click the "Scan Now" button.

Step 2. Wait for the scanning process to finish.

Step 3. On the "Update" screen, Driver Easy will display available drivers for updating. Choose the drivers based on your requirements.

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Bonus Tip: Recover Lost Files After Fixing File Explorer Crashing

When addressing the File Explorer unresponsiveness issue, you may encounter the unfortunate loss of crucial files or data, especially when cleaning the Windows 11 File Explorer Cache or uninstalling updates. 

This can be a stressful and frustrating situation, but EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is your go-to solution.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

The EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a robust and effective tool designed to aid users in the deleted file recovery or documents resulting from this problem or any other causes like accidental deletion or system crashes. 

Whether it's images, videos, or various file types, this program proves instrumental in enabling users to effortlessly and promptly regain access to their data.

What Causes File Explorer Crashing on Windows 11

When looking at the causes behind the Windows 11 File Explorer crashing issue, it's crucial to understand the various elements contributing to this inconvenience. 

Here are some underlying issues in your computer or Windows system that may be triggering Windows 11 File Explorer crashing:

  • System glitches: System glitches, arising from temporary errors or malfunctions in the operating system, can lead to File Explorer crashes on Windows 11. These glitches may disrupt the smooth execution of File Explorer processes, resulting in instability and frequent crashes.
  • Conflicting updates: Conflicting updates, where different components of the operating system or software receive incompatible updates, can trigger File Explorer crashes. These conflicts may arise when updates are not synchronized, causing disruptions in the coordinated functioning of the system and external hard drive not showing up in file explorer.
  • Corrupt system files: Corrupt system files are a common culprit for File Explorer crashes. If essential files integral to the operation of File Explorer become corrupted, it can lead to unpredictable behavior, including crashes and malfunctions.
  • Issues with Graphics Drivers: Problems with graphics drivers, such as outdated or incompatible drivers, can impact File Explorer's performance. Since File Explorer relies on graphical elements to display content, issues with graphics drivers can result in crashes and display irregularities.

Bottom Line 

In summary, dealing with a Windows File Explorer crash can be a time-intensive challenge with diverse causes like software conflicts, system errors, and malware. 

However, investing time in investigation and troubleshooting can lead to a resolution, averting further frustration and potential harm to your system. Maintaining vigilance and taking appropriate measures are crucial to running your system smoothly.

If you encounter data loss, the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a trustworthy and reliable tool for file recovery. We strongly advise you to download and use this software.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

Windows 11 File Explorer Crashing FAQs

Here are some questions and answers to help you fix the "Windows 11 File Explorer crashing" error.

1. Why does File Explorer keep crashing in Windows 11?

File Explorer crashes on Windows 11 can arise from various reasons, each impacting the system differently. Incompatible third-party applications, system glitches, conflicting updates, corrupt system files, and issues with graphics drivers are among the factors that can contribute to File Explorer instability.

2. How do I fix File Explorer in Windows 11?

Here are some ways to fix File Explorer:

  • Restart File Explorer.
  • Clear the File Explorer cache.
  • Perform an SFC Scan.
  • Keep Windows 11 up to date.
  • Update GPU drivers.
  • Run the Windows 11 memory diagnostic tool.

3. Why does my File Explorer keep crashing?

A corrupted File Explorer cache can cause unexpected crashes or unresponsiveness in Windows File Explorer. This interference with smooth functioning prompts crashes or unresponsiveness. Clearing the cache is a potential solution to resolve this issue.

4. What replaces File Explorer in Windows 11?

If you're seeking an alternative to File Explorer on Windows 11, consider using the "Files" app. This open-source file manager is designed to be more modern and user-friendly than the default manager in the operating system.

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Updated by Jaden

Jaden is one of the editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on topics concerning PCs and Mac data recovery. Jaden is committed to enhancing professional IT knowledge and writing abilities. She is always keen on new and intelligent products.

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