Windows 11 brings the same file explorer you know from previous versions. As before, the utility is not without its problems. You may experience File Explorer slowing down or not responding to your commands.
Some of the problems are a minor problem with your PC, a system file that gets corrupted, or your PC is infected with a virus or malware. In this guide, we look at some possible solutions to the problem.
Restarting File Explorer doesn’t mean you have to close and reopen your folder windows. Your PC will provide you with an option that will stop the Windows Explorer process and then restart the process.
By doing that, minor issues with the utility can be resolved.
- Right click on the Get started menu icon and choose task management†
- Right click Windows Explorer in the Task Manager window and select Restarting†
- Your File Explorer will automatically close and reopen. Note that Windows Explorer contains more than just File Explorer. You will also see your taskbar and desktop disappear for a moment and then reload.
If your problem is not resolved after restarting Windows Explorer, restart your pc and see if that works. Restarting your Windows 11 PC can fix many minor issues, including issues that prevent File Explorer from functioning properly.
Be sure to save your unsaved work before proceeding with the PC restart.
- open you Get started menu.
- Select the Current option in the lower right corner.
- To elect Restarting in the menu that opens.
- Your PC will shut down and then turn back on.
- Launch a Explorer window when your PC is turned on.
One reason your file explorer is not working as expected is that the tool has accumulated too many cached files. These files sometimes slow down or cause the tool to not work at all.
In this case, your best solution is to: clear the file explorer cache files† This will delete the underlying cache data so that your problem can be solved.
- Open Explorer on your computer.
- Select the three dots at the top of the window and choose Options†
- Choose the Clear button next to Clear File Explorer History†
- Close and reopen all your Explorer Windows.
Whether or not you have File Explorer issues, we highly recommend that you keep your Windows PC up to date. This ensures that you always have the latest security and bug fixes, resulting in a smoother experience.
It’s fast, easy and free to update Microsoft Windows:
- Open Settings on your PC by pressing the Windows † l Keys.
- Select Windows Update in the sidebar on the left.
- To elect Check for updates in the right pane.
- Download and install the available updates.
- Restart your PC and start a Explorer window.
Windows 11 includes a system maintenance tool that can scan your PC for common problems. You should use this tool whenever your file explorer gets confused as there is a good chance that you will be able to solve your problems with this tool.
You can start System Maintenance from Control Panel as follows:
- Gaining access to Get started menu, search for Control paneland choose Control panel in the search results.
- Select System and security in the Control Panel.
- To elect Security and Maintenance on the window that follows.
- Fold the . from Maintenance section and choose Start maintenance†
Viruses and malware can cause various problems on Windows PCs, including malfunctioning of system tools such as File Explorer. While unlikely, it’s worth it run a virus scan to see if your PC is infected with threats.
Thanks to Windows 11’s built-in antivirus, you don’t need to install a third-party app to find and remove various threats from your computer. You can run a scan with this built-in utility and find and remove the items that are preventing the File Explorer from working.
- Open the Get started menu, search for Windows Securityand select the tool from the search results.
- To elect Virus & Threat Protection on the window that opens.
- Select Scan options†
- Switch the . in Full scan option and select Scan now†
- Wait for the scanner to scan and remove the viruses from your PC. This may take a while.
- Restart your PC when the virus scan is complete.
One possible reason that you are having problems with File Explorer is that your PC’s system files have become corrupt. This can happen for several reasons.
Fortunately, Windows 11 includes a tool called SFC (System File Checker) to find and repair corrupt files on your computer. You can use this command with DISM to get the original Windows core files and then replace the corrupt files with the working ones.
This method involves running a number of commands from the command prompt, but you don’t need to know everything about the command line to use the technique.
- Open the Get started menu, search for Command Promptand select Run as administrator†
- To elect Yes in the User account control fast.
- Type the following command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter†
DISM.exe /Online /Cleaning-image /Restorehealth
- Let Windows repair the recovery image on your system. This may take several minutes.
- Enter the following command in the command prompt and press Enter† sfc /scannow
- Wait for Windows to find and fix corrupt files on your system.
- Restart your PC when the files are recovered.
If you get an error while running the SFC command, boot your PC in safe mode and try running the command that way.
File Explorer is the best file manager tool on Windows PCs. If this tool ever stops working, you won’t be able to access your files, which is a huge problem. Fortunately, you have several ways to troubleshoot your Windows Explorer and get the tool back in action. Good luck!