Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

File Explorer is a vital tool on Windows 11 for browsing files, folders, and cloud storage like Onedrive, Google Drive, and iCloud. But what happens when it becomes unresponsive or stops working? Many Windows 11 users experience this issue. Files Explorer problems can interrupt workflow and cause anxiety. To help, we’ve compiled fixes to get you back to browsing files quickly. Let’s begin.

1. Restart Windows Explorer

Whenever File Explorer becomes unresponsive or crashes, you can try restarting the Windows Explorer process to see if it helps. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.

Step 2: In the Task Manager, click More details.

Step 3: In the Process tab, scroll down to find Windows Explorer. Select it and click Restart.

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Now, wait for Windows to restart File Explorer and see if it’s working fine.

2. Reboot PC

If restarting Windows Explorer doesn’t help, consider restarting your PC. This will stop all apps and processes, giving them a fresh start.

3. Clear File Explorer Cache

The more you use file explorer, the more data it accumulates. This cache data might slow down or crash the File Explorer if not cleared regularly. Thus, try removing it by following the steps below.

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Step 1: Click the Search icon in the taskbar, type File Explorer options, and press Enter.

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2: Open the File Explorer Options window. Go to the General tab. In the Privacy section, click Clear followed by OK to delete the File Explorer cache.

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

4. Run SFC and DISM Scan

SFC (System File Checker) scan is a utility on Windows that finds and restores corrupted system files. If File Explorer on Windows 11 crashes, try running an SFC scan. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Right-click the Start menu icon and select Windows Terminal (admin).

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2: Type the command below and press Enter.

SFC /scannow

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Wait for the process to complete (it might take a while) and then restart your PC. If the issue persists, you can try performing a DISM scan. Similar to SFC, DISM repairs system images and files on your Windows. Here’s how to run it.

Launch Command Prompt with admin rights and enter the following commands one by one.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Once done, restart your PC and see if the File Explorer is working fine now.

5. Run System Maintenance Troubleshooter

If the methods mentioned above don’t solve the File Explorer issues on Windows 11, you can try using the System Maintenance Troubleshooter. It optimizes your PC’s performance by fixing broken desktop shortcuts, unused icons, disk volume errors, and more.

Follow these steps to run the troubleshooter on your Windows 11 PC:

1. Click the Search icon in the taskbar and enter “control panel.” Press Enter.

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Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Step 2: In the Control Panel, switch the view type to large icons and go to Troubleshooting.

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Step 3: Go to System and Security. Click on Run maintenance tasks.

Follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter and restart your PC. Check if the issue is resolved.

6. Scan for Malware

A malicious virus may have affected your PC and is disrupting normal Windows 11 operations. To confirm this, scan your PC for malware and viruses with a quick scan.

7. Check For Windows Updates

If the above solutions haven’t worked, check for pending updates on your PC. Install them first. Microsoft is usually quick at releasing fixes. The newer Windows 11 build may have resolved the current File Explorer issues.

To check for updates, press Windows key + I to open the Settings app. Navigate to Windows Update to install any pending updates.

Top 7 Ways to Fix File Explorer Not Working on Windows 11

Apply updates and restart your PC to check if the issue is resolved.

Explore Your PC

Even with Windows 11, many of the solutions that helped fix File Explorer problems on Windows 10 will still work. The way you apply those fixes has changed a bit. Hopefully, the above solutions have helped get File Explorer back up and running for now.

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