Fix: Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working

Recently we have faced with a strange problem on Windows 10 PC. When we try to open the context menu by right-clicking on the desktop shortcut, occurs an error Windows Explorer has stopped working. After that all the shortcuts on the desktop disappear for a few seconds, and after some time appear again. To our surprise, this problem is quite common for users of all versions of Windows (since Windows XP and up to Windows 10). In this article we will explain a few methods which may help to solve this problem.

The error is look like this:

Windows Explorer has stopped working

Windows can check online for a solution to the problem and try to restart program

windows explorer has stopped working

How to fix Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working error?

If Windows Explorer (or File Explorer in Windows 8/Windows 10) is closed when you try to open a folder or a context menu of some element, the problem is related with some third-party application. The most common causes of the problem are:

  • Context menu items (an Explorer crash when you try to show menu)
  • Third-party codecs (Explorer is closed when you open a folder with video files)
  • Control Panel items

Method 1: Turn off the problem third-party Shell Extensions

In most cases, to resolve the problem the easiest way is to use the utility ShellExView.

  1. Download and unpack an utility archive from the link bellow and run shexview.exe.
  2. Sort an items by the Type column (click on the column name).
  3. We are interested in the items, where Type of extension is Context Menu, and in a File Extensions column present character *.
  4. One by one disable all items that don’t belong to Microsoft. Disabling is performed by right-clicking -> Disable Selected Items or by pressing F7 key.
    shell ex view
  5. After turning off the item, restart the computer and check the Explorer work of the conductor.
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If disabling of content menu extensions with an asterisk did not helped to solve the problem, try to disable all other third-party menu extensions (not belong to Microsoft).

Method 3: Update Video Driver

Update your video card drivers to the latest version available on the vendor’s website.

Method 4: Check if Windows Explorer works in Safe Mode

If you turn off all third-party extensions, but did not resolve the problem, you need to check if the problem occurs in safe mode.

Boot your computer into Safe Mode, and check if the problem occurs. If it didn’t helped, proceed to the next method.

Method 5: Disable startup of a third-party services and programs

Run Win + R -> msconfig -> OK and then go to the Services tab. Check the item Hide All Microsoft Services.

windows 10 system config services

Disable all displayed service (not belong to Microsoft) and reboot the machine. If the problem occurs, the reason of problem is related to one of these services.

A similar way is to disabe all programs at startup (Task Manager -> Startup tab).

Tip. Disabling certain programs may cause a malfunction in the device if you disable their drivers. Therefore, do not disable a programs from manufacturer of your hardware (eg, Intel, AMD) or turn them off at the last.

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windows 10 task manager startup

Most likely, you can find a third-party program that is causing problems with the Explorer in this way.

Method 6: Check the integrity of system files

If the problem occurs even in Safe Mode, the cause may be related to the damage in some system files. Open a command prompt as Administrator and run System File Checker:

sfc /scannow

sfc scannow

This starts the system files scanning and all found errors will be automatically fixed (you may need the Windows installation disc). Use the /verifyonly key to perform only test, without automatic correction.

Cyril Kardashevsky

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