5 Methods to Fix “Windows Explorer Not Responding”


Summary: In this article you will find the best ways to fix Windows explorer not responding error.

The Windows Explorer or the explorer.exe or as it is called now on Windows 10, the File Explorer is an application for file management. In Windows, the file explorer is used for navigation to your hard drives where it displays the folder and its contents. It is launched automatically whenever you open a folder in the operating system.

Windows explorer not responding_main

But if the “Windows Explorer is not responding” error shows up on the screen, you won’t be able to open any folder on any version of Windows. If this error shows up, you will need a solution immediately. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do anything on your computer. Although, there are a few temporary fixes which will ease the issue for the moment.

  • You can wait for Windows to find you a solution.
  • You can close the File Explorer via the Task Manager and start again.
  • Reboot your computer.
  • Update the video driver with a proper 64 or 32-bit version.
  • Lastly, it could be caused by a virus or malware. So, use anti-virus software to eliminate such stuff from your computer.

Sadly, these are all temporary patches and it will fix the issue momentarily, but it will happen again if a vast underlined cause caused the said error. To fix this issue permanently, you will have to use the advanced solutions which are detailed below;

Part 1: Advanced Solution to Fix “Windows Explorer not responding” Error

Method 1: Use SFC or System File Checker

This is a straightforward method and kit works like a charm for Windows explorer not responding error. Let’s take a look;

Step1: Make a right-click on cmd.exe and select “Run As Administrator”.

Step2: Then, type “sfc/scannow” and hit “Enter” to proceed.

sfc scannow

Step3: Now, a scan will begin.

After the scan, restart your computer, and the error shouldn’t have popped up again.

Method 2: Check the RAM and clear some if you need

You can quickly check your RAM using Windows Memory Diagnostic. It is a relatively simple procedure, take a look;

Step1: Press Win logo key + R and then type Control panel in the dialog box.

Step2: Now, type Memory at the top-right search box to open Windows Memory Diagnostic.

Diagnose your computer memory issue

Step2: You have to choose if you want to Reboot the computer or run the tool immediately or schedule the tool to run automatically after the restart.

Step3: If you set to run the Windows Memory Diagnostic after the restart, then you will make a regular memory check. If you want to run more tests, then the hit the “F1” key, then use the Arrow keys to change the test standard to Basic or Standard or Extended.

Step4: After that, hit the “F10” key to confirm the settings and then the testing will resume.

After completing the tests, your computer will reboot automatically. After it starts again, the test results will be visible on the screen.

Method 3: Repair the Thumbnail File

This is quite a different procedure but simple enough to be executed by anybody with the least amount of computer knowledge.

Step1: Bring up the File Explorer by pressing Windows and E keys together.

Step2: Then, go to “View” at the top menu of the panel, and then click on “Change Folder Search option” under “Option” Menu.

Step3: Now, navigate to the “View” tab after opening the window.

Always show icon

Step4: After that, check the box and activate the option called “Always Show Icons”. Lastly, click “OK” to execute.

Part 2: Restore Files with a Professional Data Recovery Software

Well, the error Windows explorer not responding could cause an abrupt exit of your file explorer and it may result in the deletion of a few files. It is also possible that due to some unforeseen reason you deleted a few files to fix the said error but after the issue gets fixed, those files will remain lost forever.

But don’t worry, with the help of Bitwar Data Recovery Software, those files can be recovered immediately. The operation is easy-to-go and which requires you only 3 steps to get back the lost data, no expert skills needed!

Bitwar Data Recovery is available for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Mac, which is capable of restoring any file formats, like document, image, video, audio, archive file, etc. From any storage medium, such as USB flash drive, internal & external hard drive, SD memory card, etc.

External Devices Recovery

To recover your deleted files, you can check on this tutorial:

How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files with Bitwar Data Recovery

Other Solutions worth a try:

Method 4: Restart the Windows Explorer using Task Manager

Step1. Right-click on the taskbar and then choose Task Manager, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+Delete simultaneously, hit on Task Manager to launch Task Manager.

Step2. Switch to Details tab and look for Explorer.exe and then right-click on it.

Step3. Now, choose End Task, ignore the alert message and hit on End process directly.

explorer.exe end task

Step4. After ending the process, please move to File – Run new task from the top menu.

Step5. Type explorer.exe and then click OK.

create new task

The explorer.exe process will be restarted and you can now check whether the Windows explorer is not responding issue persisted or not.

Method 5: Restart Explorer using CMD

Step1. Go to Start Menu and then type CMD, right-click on it and then choose Run as administrator.

Step2. After opening the Command Prompt window, type taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe to terminate the explorer process.

Step3. To restart the explorer.exe, you’ll need to type the command: start explorer.exe

restart explorer.exe using cmd

You’ll see the desktop back to normal right now, press Win Logo key + E at the same time to check Windows file explorer not responding error is fixed or not.


The Windows explorer not responding is a common but a very terrible error of Windows. It forces you to stop all your work, as everything becomes inaccessible to you. But we have mentioned several quick fixes and advanced solutions to eliminate the error from the root. But during the abrupt exit of the File Explorer, if any of your files got lost or deleted, you will be able to simply get it back with the help of Bitwar Data recovery software.

Read More

  1. 5 Ways to Fix “Error Copying File or Folder Unspecified Error”
  2. Fixed: Windows cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error
  3. 9 Solutions to Fix Folder Disappeared Windows 10 Problem
  4. How to Restore files from Windows old folder
  5. [Q&A] Will Upgrading to Windows 10 Delete My Files?

Leave a Reply

Notify of