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Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10

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Windows 10 is the latest operating system released by Microsoft, but it’s not bug-free, and one of such bug in Windows 10 File Explorer won’t open, or it will not respond when you will click on it. Imagine a Windows where you can’t access your files and folder, what use is the use of such a system. Well, Microsoft has a tough time keeping track of all the issues with Windows 10.

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File Explorer won't open in Windows 10 [SOLVED]

Why is File Explorer not responding?

The main cause of this issue seems to be startup programs which are conflicting with Windows 10 File Explorer. Also, there are many other issues which can stop users from accessing File Explorer such as Scaling Slider issue, File Explorer cache problem, Windows search conflict etc. Still, it really depends on users system configuration as to why this particular problem occurs on their system.

How to Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10 issue?

Disabling Windows Startup Programs can help you in fixing this issue, and it would also help you in troubleshooting the problem. Then re-enable the programs one by one to see which one is actually causing this problem. Other fixes involve are disabling Windows search, setting scaling slider to 100%, clear File Explorer Cache etc. So without wasting any time, let’s see how to fix this issue on Windows 10.

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Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10

Make sure to create a restore point just in case something goes wrong.

Method 1: Disable Startup Items

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

2. Next, go to Startup Tab and Disable everything.

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Go to Startup Tab and Disable everything

3. You need to go one by one as you can’t select all the services in one go.

4. Reboot your PC and see if you can access File Explorer.

5. If you’re able to open File Explorer without any problem then again go to Startup tab and start re-enabling services one by one to know which program is causing the issue.

6. Once you know the source of error, uninstall that particular application or permanently disabled that app.

Method 2: Run Windows In Clean Boot

Sometimes 3rd party software can conflict with Windows Store and therefore, you should not install any apps from the Windows apps store. Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10, you need to perform a clean boot in your PC and diagnose the issue step by step.

Checkmark Selective Startup then checkmark Load system services and load startup items

Method 3: Set Windows Scaling to 100%

1. Right-click on Desktop and select Display Settings.

right click on desktop and select Display settings | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

2. Adjust the size of text, apps, and other items slider (scaling slider) down to 100%, then click apply.

Adjust the size of text, apps, and other items slider (scaling slider)

3. If the File Explorer works then again go back to the Display Settings.

4. Now incrementally adjust your size scaling slider to a higher value.

Change the scaling slider seems to work for many users to Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10 but it really depends on user system configuration, so if this method didn’t work for you then continue. 

Method 4: Reset Apps to Microsoft Default

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Windows Settings and then click System.

Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on System | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

2. Now navigate to Default apps in the left window pane.

3. Scroll down and click on reset to Microsoft recommended defaults.

Click Reset to Microsoft recommended defaults.

4. Reboot your PC to save changes.

Method 5: Restart File Explorer in Task Manager

1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.

2. Then locate Windows Explorer in the list and then right-click on it.

right click on Windows Explorer and select End Task

3. Choose End task to close the Explorer.

4. On top of the Task Manager window, click File > Run new task.

click file then Run new task and type explorer.exe click OK | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

5. Type explorer.exe and hit Enter.

Method 6: Clear File Explorer Cache

1. Right File Explorer icon on the taskbar then click Unpin from the taskbar.

Right File Explorer icon on the taskbar then click Unpin from the taskbar

2. Press Windows Key + X then click File Explorer.

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3. Next, Right-click the Quick Access and select Options.

Right-click the Quick Access and select Options | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

4. Click the Clear button under Privacy in the bottom.

click Clear file Explorer history button to Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

5. Now right-click on a blank area on the desktop and select New > Shortcut.

Right-click on any blank/empty area on your desktop and select New followed by Shortcut

6. Type the following address in the location: C:\Windows\explorer.exe

enter the location of File Explorer in shortcut location | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

7. Click Next and then rename the file to File Explorer and click Finish.

8. Right-click the File Explorer shortcut you just created and chose Pin to taskbar.

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Right-click on IE and choose the option Pin to taskbar

9. If you can’t access the File Explorer via the above method, then go to the next step.

10. Navigate to  Control Panel >  Appearance & Personalization > File Explorer Options.

Click on Appearance and Personalization then click on File Explorer Options

11. Under Privacy clicks Clear File Explorer History.

Clearing File Explorer History seems to Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10 but if you’re still unable to fix the Explorer issue then continue to the next method.

Method 7: Disable Windows Search

1. Press Windows Key + R then type services.msc and hit Enter.

services windows | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

2.  Find Windows Search in the list and right-click on it then select Properties.

Hint: Press “W” on the keyboard to easily reach Windows Update.

Right-click on the Windows Search

3. Now change the Startup type to Disabled then click OK.

set Startup type to Disabled for Windows Search service

Method 8: Run netsh and winsock reset

1. Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt (Admin).

2. Now type the following command and hit Enter after each one:

ipconfig /flushdns
nbtstat –r
netsh int ip reset
netsh winsock reset

resetting your TCP/IP and flushing your DNS | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

3. See if the problem resolved, if not then continue.

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Method 9: Run System File Checker (SFC) and Check Disk (CHKDSK)

The sfc /scannow command (System File Checker) scans the integrity of all protected Windows system files. It replaces incorrectly corrupted, changed/modified, or damaged versions with the correct versions if possible.

1. Open Command Prompt with Administrative rights.

2. Now in the cmd window type the following command and hit Enter:

sfc /scannow

sfc scan now system file checker

3. Wait for the system file checker to finish.

4. Next, run CHKDSK from Fix File System Errors with Check Disk Utility(CHKDSK).

5. Let the above process complete to Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10.

6. Again reboot your PC to save changes.

Method 10: Run DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management)

1. Press Windows Key + X then select Command Prompt(Admin).

command prompt admin | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

2. Enter the following command in cmd and hit enter:

Important: When you DISM you need to have Windows Installation Media ready.

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess

Note: Replace the C:\RepairSource\Windows with the location of your repair source

cmd restore health system

3. Press enter to run the above command and wait for the process to complete; usually, it takes 15-20 minutes.

NOTE: If the above command doesn't work then try on the below: 
Dism /Image:C:\offline /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:c:\test\mount\windows
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:c:\test\mount\windows /LimitAccess

4. After the DISM process is complete, type the following in the cmd and hit Enter: sfc /scannow

5. Let System File Checker run and once it’s complete, restart your PC.

Method 11: Make sure Windows is up to date

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on Update & Security.

Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on Update & security icon

2. From the left-hand side, menu clicks on Windows Update.

3. Now click on the “Check for updates” button to check for any available updates.

Check for Windows Updates | Speed Up Your SLOW Computer

4. If any updates are pending, then click on Download & Install updates.

Check for Update Windows will start downloading updates | Fix File Explorer won't open in Windows 10

5. Once the updates are downloaded, install them, and your Windows will become up-to-date.

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That’s it you have successfully Fix File Explorer won’t open in Windows 10 but if you still have any queries regarding this post feel free to ask them in the comment’s section.

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