Tips When Windows Explorer has Stopped Working

Most people would agree that Windows provides us with a wide range of huge benefits. The operating system contains a range of features to help us get the most from our computers, including the Internet file management system. This is called Windows Explorer and it is used to find and display the contents of folders and files that you have saved on your hard drive. The function of this feature means that it is essential for us to be able to use our computer systems properly. However, what do you do when Windows Explorer has stopped working?

There are a number of possible issues that can cause this to happen. Therefore, when Windows Explorer has stopped working, you need to determine why. This way you can resolve the issue. There are a number of steps that you can take in order to troubleshoot potential issues that may have caused the problem with Windows Explorer. Many of the possible causes are simple to sort out, which means that you are not left waiting around for the problem to be sorted out. You don’t need technical knowledge to try these possible solutions, as they are very simple.

What happens when Windows Explorer has stopped working?

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When Windows Explorer has stopped working, you will generally get an error message come up on your system. This will advise you that it has stopped working and that Windows is restarting. Just before the error message comes up (or just after at times) you may notice the screen flicker. Once this happens, you need to do a little troubleshooting to get everything back up and running.

There are a number of common problems that can cause this issue. The main ones include:

  • Corrupt system files on your PC
  • Files on your PC that are mismatched with other files
  • Your video driver is corrupt or outdated
  • A possible virus or malware infection on your system
  • Applications or services on your PC that may stop Windows Explorer from working

So, in order to address the issue and get Windows Explorer to start working again, you need to look at a number of different steps.

Also Read: What Does 400 Bad Request Error Mean And How Fix It?

Steps that may resolve the issue

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You can try a number of different steps in order to resolve the issue when Windows Explorer has stopped working. Some of these include:

Updating your driver

One of the reasons it may have stopped working is because your video driver is outdated or corrupt. Therefore, it is well worth making sure you download and install the latest driver in order to resolve the problem. This can be done quickly and easily via Windows Update or you can get in touch with the system manufacturer.

Run a system file check

As I mentioned previously, corrupt and mismatched files could be causing the issue with Windows Explorer. Another step you can take is to run a system check on your files. This is very simple to do. You simply go to the search box in your start menu and enter ‘cmd’. When the results come up, right click on ‘cmd.exe’ and then click ‘run as administrator’. You will then either be able to click ‘continue’ or you may need to type in your password first. When the command comes up, type in ‘sfc/scan now’ and hit ‘enter’.

Run a scan on your system

A malware infection or virus could be causing an issue with Windows Explorer. Therefore, make sure you run a scan. You can use your existing scanning software to do this or you can download one free of charge if you don’t have one already. This will then check your system for any viruses or malware infections.

Check on startup problems

Another thing to do is to check for any startup issues that may be causing the problem. You can do this by starting your PC in safe mode and then check to see whether you still get the error when you are using your computer. If you do not get the error message in safe mode, the chances are that something on your startup menu is causing the issue. You then need to perform a clean boot to determine what is causing the problem.

Test the RAM on your system

There are times when intermittent Windows errors can occur as a result of faulty RAM. It is worth checking and testing the RAM on your system just in case. You can do this by using the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool, which can be accessed via your startup menu. Simply go to the search box in the startup menu, type in ‘memory diagnostics’ and when the window comes up, just click on ‘restart now and check for problems’.

These are some of the key steps to take if Explorer stops working and you start getting error messages. With any luck, one of these should be able to sort out your issue and get the application back up and running. If it doesn’t, you should consider other steps such as:

  • Performing a system restore
  • Checking for corrupt picture files
  • Performing an in-place upgrade

If you head to the Microsoft support website, you will find details on how to run any of these processes if you are stuck.


When you rely on your computer for work, entertainment, or research, you naturally want to get issues sorted as quickly as possible. Following the above steps in the event of a Windows Explorer problem can save you a lot of time and hassle. Make sure you try these various potential solutions before you call a professional to look at your system, as it could be something very simple. This could then save you a lot of time, inconvenience, and money.

Most of these steps will take up very little time and could sort out the issue right away. It is, therefore, good idea to go through them one at a time until the error stops occurring.

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