Sometimes, File Explorer is not working on Windows 10 when you try to open files or folders. This can happen when you try to open the computer or a folder from the desktop. It can be really frustrating not to be able to access your own files on your own computer. File Explorer may stop working on Windows 10, Windows 8, or 7 preventing you from accessing your folders. In this article, we will see what to do if the file explorer won’t open.
File Explorer is an old tool, in fact, file explorer is a file manager that exists since Windows 95, and believe it or not, a lot of the source code still exists in Windows 10’s file explorer. Bugs happen every day and we discover them at each Windows update.
File Explorer not working in Windows 10 can be caused by a bug in file explorer itself, damaged files due to sudden crash, or corrupted file systems by viruses. This can lead to Windows 10 file explorer not working properly or won’t open at all.
Why File Explorer Is Not Working In Windows 10 ?
Many problems can lead to the File Explorer to stop working in Windows 10, opening or responding :
- Corrupted system files due to a virus
- Third-party softwares that manipulate File Explorer system files (Softwares to add functionalities for example)
- Deleted system files
- Graphics card driver problems
- A bug in the File Explorer itself.
We will review in this articles many method to solve the problem of File Explorer not working in Windows 10, 8 and 7
How To Fix File Explorer Not Working By Restarting File Explorer Process
The easiest way to fix file explorer not working is by restarting the file explorer process.
If the File Explorer opens in Task Manager but is not visible, restarting the File Explorer process will fix the problem.
Follow the steps below to restart File Explorer in Windows 10
1. Right-click on the taskbar
Right-click on any open space on the taskbar
2. Click on “Task Manager“
Click on Task manager to open the Windows task manager
3. Click on “More details”
In the Windows Task Manager, click on More details to show all running processes
4. Find “Windows Explorer” in the processes list
In the list of processes, scroll down until you find Windows Explorer (It has a folder icon)
5. Click on Restart
Click on Restart button to restart File Explorer process.
This simple trick should solve your File Explorer not working problem. as this might be a recurrent problem, you will maybe need to restart the Windows Explorer process every time File Explorer won’t open.
How To Fix File Explorer Not Working With CMD
If File Explorer is not working and won’t open, this might be due to problems with Windows system files. Some third-party software offers the possibility to add plugins to Windows File Explorer to add some functionalities like adding tabs to File Explorer to make it work like chrome for example. If this software contains bugs, this may lead to File Explorer crashes or prevent it from opening and not working properly. A virus can also corrupt system files like DLLs and .exe files and thus prevent File Explorer from working.
Follow the steps below to fix File Explorer not working in Windows 10 with CMD
1. Click on Start and type “cmd”
Click on Start button or hit Windows key on your keyboard and type “CMD”
2. Right-click on “Command prompt” and click on “Run as administrator”
Right click on the “Command prompt” and run it as administrator.
3. Type “sfc /scannow” in CMD and hit ENTER.
In the CMD window type “sfc /scannow” and hit enter.
4. Wait for verification to complete and restart your computer
sfc /scannow will scan all Window’s system files for corrupted files or files that present problems and replace them with clean ones.
After the System File Checker completed its verification, restart your computer. After restarting the Windows File Explorer will be working again properly.
FIX File Explorer Problems Using DISM
The Deployment Image Servicing and Management command (DISM) is a system’s tool used to manage Windows images. This is a commonly used tool to repair Windows problems that SFC can’t fix. DISM repairs your system by using the hidden recovery image on your computer.
To fix issues with the system images of Windows 10 and repair File Explorer not working properly, use DISM with the RetoreHealth option. this will scan your system’s image and files and automatically repair Windows problems.
To repair Windows 10 Files Explorer not working problems with DISM, use these steps:
- Click on Start and type “cmd”
Click on the Start button or hit the Windows key on your keyboard and type “CMD”
- Right-click on “Command prompt” and click on “Run as administrator” Right-click
on the “Command prompt” and run it as administrator.
- Type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” in CMD and hit ENTER.
DISM will start an advanced system analysis to find issues with system files. If so, DISM will download corrupted of missing files and replace them.
After DISM completed its reparation process, restart your computer. After restarting the File Explorer should work properly again.
Fix File Explorer Not Working By Updating Graphic Card Driver
File Explorer not working may be caused by an outdated or faulty graphic card driver. A bug with the graphic card driver may cause the file explorer to not open, stop working, or stop responding.
You can fix File explorer not working problems by updating your graphic card drivers.
Follow the steps below to fix File Explorer not working in Windows 10 by updating graphic card drivers
1. Open Device Manager
Click on the Windows button on your keyboard and start typing “device manager”, search for the Device Manager and click on it.
2. Right click on the graphic card driver
In the list of devices, go to Display adapters and right click on your graphic card driver
3. Update or reinstall your driver
Click on Update Driver to update your device driver with a new version of your driver. You can also uninstall the device and reinstall it if the device’s driver is corrupted.
If the Windows Update tool doesn’t find an up-to date driver for your graphic card, visit your graphic card’s manufacturer website and manually download the driver for your device.
After updating your video card drivers, the File explorer should work normally again.
Scan For Virus
A virus can infect your systems files and corrupt them. This usually leads to system problems like File Explorer not working or crashing. If you fix this problem using one of the methods above, your system may be corrupted again. To permanently solve this problem, we recommend making a complete scan of your computer with a good antivirus like Kaspersky Security Cloud Free.
Reinstall Windows 10
If after trying all these solutions, the File system is still not working in Windows 10, we suggest installing a fresh Windows 10 copy on your system to solve this problem and launch a full antivirus scan on your computer. Viruses can actually infect and corrupt your system files after you have tried the methods in this article to solve the File Explorer not working problem. If your problem is due to a virus there is always a risk of the problem appearing again if you don’t completely remove viruses from your computer with a good antivirus.