How To Fix/Solve Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding PC And Laptop

Microsoft has provided the users with the best user experience programs and products for a long time and when we look at the track record of the Microsoft, you can find several apps and updates they provide are magnificent.

they make sure to fix the issues with every Windows Update, which is why they ask you to keep the updates turn on because it helps you to get rid of the problems and bugs the version is experiencing from various Softwares & Apps.

However, there are many issues with the Windows 10, which are filled with bugs that are not possible to fix unless you know the right method to get rid of it. Also you can try other windows explorer alternative that will help you to browse the saved files with ease.

Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding | FIX

Among the problems, which we face in the Windows 10 are not easy to resolve because there are issues, which sometimes is way out of the hands of regular people, who don’t have the technical knowledge. Yes, I have been there too. At those times you need someone who can give you the best advice and show you the right way to resolve it.

There are three methods, and by using those three, you can resolve “File Explorer Not Responding.” I will give my best to explain the issue easier as possible.

Method One: Open Separate Window

Step 1: Open the File Explorer (If you are not able to open it then move on to the Next Methods.).

Step 2: As you can see below the image, click on “View” at the top.

view tab

Step 3: The panel has dropped down and look for “Options” in the left corner and click on it.


Step 4: A tab is open now, and you can see that there is another tab called “View,” click on it.

view folder

Step 5: There are several options and scroll down until you find “Launch Folder Window in Separate Process,” you have to check/tick the area.

launch tab

Step 6: Click “Apply” then “Okay.”

apply ok

In several cases, this is the primary cause of the problem and it will help you to get rid of the unresponsive file browser to another window and helps you to get rid of it instantly.

Method Two: Text, Apps & Images

Step 1: Open the search bar and search for “Display Settings.”

display driver

Step 2: Open the Display Settings.

Step 3: Check if the Text, Apps and other Items are not exceeding more than (1) 200%. If it does then make sure to reset to the (2) Recommended point.


It might not look much but it has an incredible impact on your PC/Laptop because the size is not recommended and it will crash the File browser due to unaccepted size of the Screen and Text. You can give this option a shot and it happens in rare cases.

Method Third:

This method has worked for 80% of the users in the past and it will definitely work for the Windows 10 users as well. This is the final curtain of the all methods. So let’s begin.

Step 1: Go to the search bar and search for “Control Panel,” if you can find it on your own then you can proceed.

control panel

Step 2: In the “Control Panel“, you have to find the “Search Bar“, which is located on the top right side of it. If you have located it then proceed to next step.

file explorer

Step 3: If you have found the search bar then type “File Explorer” and results will show up based on your System Configuration.

Step 4: The first result would be of “File Explorer” and click on it.

Step 5: As you can see above that a tab pops up on your screen.

Step 6: As you can see from the image below that you have to use the “Clear” option to erase all previous data that is the primary cause of the issue. You can just click on the “Clear“.

system configuration

Step 7: Now click “Apply” or “Okay.”

apply once

This option will remove the recently used files in the Quick Access, and it will also remove the Quick Files.


We tried to resolve your issue in just few steps and easy as possible. If you are unable to resolve then you can Reset your PC, it will definitely help. If the problem occurs because the OS is corrupted then Re-install Windows 10 on your PC/Laptop. Let us know your thoughts, ideas and how you have managed to fix the problem in the comments below.

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    You are a star. Thank you. My problem only existed when connected to the network and OneDrive specifically. Now everything is A-OK again.

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    With different answers on different sites I wasn’t sure what to do. I first decided to try the third method here and it just worked. So quick and easy! Thank you so much, I can just get back to my work now!

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    I was hoping the 3rd method would work for me, too, but still having an issue with File Explorer not responding. Sadly, my second major issue with a brand new HP lap top.

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      just to add… my issue is not loading File Explorer, but instead accessing files. I can select them, but then not open them or move them or do anything with them. It happened right after I plugged in an old Flashdrive, but I’m hoping that was just a weird coincidence.

      • 15

        I have a brand new HP laptop also. The third method worked for one click on File Explorer. I finally fixed it by going through Method 3 Step 6 and selecting ‘My PC’ instead of ‘Quick access’ in the top drop down box, then going to the Privacy section in the same box and un-checking ‘Show recently used files in Quick access’ and ‘Show frequently used folders in Quick access’. It’s still messier than it should be but doable. Maybe this will help.

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            Frustrated here. I tried all 3 methods with no success. Just tried Anne’s solution with no success but I did notice something strange. It only seems to hang with MS Office files. I do not have an MS Office license and use a free office product instead. I can open those applications and select the same file that hangs File Explorer with no problem. I think I am narrowing the issue down. Thanks for the help here but it seems my problem is with MS Office.

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    Option 3 worked for me. I had tried some other suggestions from two other websites first with no success. When file explorer was launched it was unresponsive to any action other than to shut it down. It loaded ok for other users on the laptop, but became stuck on trying to load up the ‘Quick Access Folder’ on my account. I ‘chickened out’ of deleting registry entries option from another website in case things got worse.

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    The third method worked for one click on File Explorer. I finally fixed it by going through Method 3 Step 6 and selecting ‘My PC’ instead of ‘Quick access’ in the top drop down box, then going to the Privacy section in the same box and un-checking ‘Show recently used files in Quick access’ and ‘Show frequently used folders in Quick access’. It’s still messier than it should be but doable.

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    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The third option was exactly what I needed. I didn’t need to make any other adjustments. Thanks again for providing the details that Microsoft wouldn’t or couldn’t.

    … and say ‘Hi” to your advertisers, ‘Dynotrance’. Let them know your page is a great place for exposure. Much appreciated.

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    Thank you so much for this!

    I have been struggling with this problem for several weeks now. I truly regret my upgrade to Windows 10. There are far too many bugs in this OS and far too little help from MS in resolving these issues. I am very grateful that you took the time to so thoughtfully and correctly address this particularly frustrating issue.

    Much gratitude!

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    thank you – I have been struggling with this with my brand new laptop – and trying to follow the instructions on other sites was waaaay beyond my tech nical knowledge (which is zero) – so thank you for publishing these tips which I actually could follow and actually worked –

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    Thanks much!! 3rd option was the fix. Now that it’s fixed, I totally see the logic behind the issue. Well, as logical as we can get with Windows…

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    3rd method! I don’t know what or how. I was hitting clear and retore defaults on each of the tabs… I don’t care what happened or how it happened, it works now!!!

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    I tried all the options and none of them worked for me. On the third option, when I clicked on “clear” nothing happened. The apply button was still ghosted. I also got an error message recently saying that Windows 10 needed to be activated. I’ve been using Windows 10 the past year. Any ideas on what to do next?

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      “Windows 10 needed to be activated” means you need to genuinely add a working Serial Number or CD key of Windows 10. That’s the only solution here, sorry to say that 🙁

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    Another user and I were experiencing something very similar. If I try to launch File explorer from the icon on the taskbar or by using Win+E then the File Explorer window opens but it doesn’t respond at all. If I open the start menu and type the path to a folder then it works fine.

    My work around to fix this was pretty simple. First I unpinned the File explorer shortcut from the taskbar. Next I created a shortcut to my C: drive on the desktop. The shortcut’s icon can be changed by right clicking on it and going into Properties. Under the Shortcut tab you have the option to Change Icon. Once I chose the icon that looks like the File Explorer icon that I’m used to, I just dragged it to the taskbar. It now works just like the old File Explorer icon.

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    IT WORKED! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH! This was really wrecking my nerves. I’m so glad I came across this. YOU’RE FREAKING AWESOME! Btw the 3rd method worked for me.

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    Thank you so very very much!! The 3rd method worked! I am so grateful after the stressful day of trying for hours to fix it with no luck. GOD BLESS you and your website!

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    Method #3 did the trick. Now I will slowly re-install the files I need and determine which file was corrupted. Thanks!

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    Sadly none of these options have worked this problem just persists every time I use my computer it has become so infuriating as it has stopped me working on projects and I have just given up on Windows 10.

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    The third method worked just as you suggested.
    Many thanks for your help; I was getting very frustrated with this new computer.

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    First method did not work. Second method was not needed as my settings were already ok. I didn’t really mess with the third option. Here is what I did that seems to have fixed the issue.

    I used the download section of the Edge browser where there is an option to “Open Folder” which opens the Downloads folder in Windows explorer. Once this is done I can click anywhere just fine, its just trying to open File Explorer using the pinned icon in the Taskbar would open File Explorer but it was unresponsive.

    I simply right clicked on the icon in the Taskbar, unpinned it, then with the correctly opened File Explorer window, repinned it to the Taskbar (right click the icon in the Taskbar, then repin it. Now every time I click the icon in the Taskbar it works fine.

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    The third method worked!! Thanks so much! Other solutions I found involve modifying Registry or Windows Defender stuff… very risky! You did a real favor for a lot of people!!!

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    Thankyou very much… I m at foreign country for work now.. And my explorer not working i dont know anything about computer.. And you save me…

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    Thank you!! The 3rd option worked for me. I believe there may have been a corrupt file in the Quick Access/My documents folder.

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    Alas, I’ve tried all the options, file explorer still not responding…I’m going to try opening via the Edge browser

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    Rather than clear the File Explorer History, just uncheck “Show recently used files in Quick Access.” That worked for me on all my Windows 10 machines.

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    Mine was locking up when it was set to open “quick access” and the preview pane was enabled. Disabling preview pane allowed ‘quick access’ to stop locking up.

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    Thanks so much!!!! Spent hours searching for different options, and trying them to no avail. Finally, I came accross your solution, which was the only solution that worked, which was to check the box for “Launch Folder Window in a Separate Process”.. Thanks so much! Wish I had found your blog 2 hours ago.

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    I found this after 2 days without being able to access my files and 3 hours of installing updates and deleting apps.
    3rd Method was like magic.
    Thank you.
    You were much more helpful than HPs “Virtual Assistant”

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    Heeppyy!! The third method worked for me!

    Thank you so much for your purposefulness … if you only knew the lengths I went through before reaching this site and your solution. Thank you, thank you.

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    What worked for me was unchecking both preview and details pane…
    Step 1: Open the File Explorer (If you are not able to open it then move on to the Next Methods.).
    Step 2: As you can see below the image, click on “View” at the top.
    Step3: Under navigation pane and Uncheck both preview and details pane.

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    Could not accomplish method 3 and it didnt help. Windows 10 and file explorer is not displaying pictures or files properly. preview screen is not available and files normally displayed with pictures are mountain icons and dont respond. view options are grweyed out and not availabel

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    I found that in the “Quick Access” area (Near top left) of the folder dialog, when it opened it, I had items pinned that were pointing to services like Dropbox for example. If the service wasn’t running then system spent time trying to find it. Removing the pinned location brought everything back to normal. This may also apply to things like mapped drives which have no access, etc.. You may want to remove any pinned items that are not pointed to a local running drive location.

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      Oh dear, it did work with option 1 then failed again then tried option 2 then option 3 it worked once then failed and it has gone back to (not responding) – i guess i’ll just have to learn to live with out explorer…..

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    Step 5: “Launch Folder Window in Separate Process,” you have to check/tick the area. worked for me. Thank You, I was experiencing 10 second delays every time I needed to open or save anything 🙂

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