How to Fix it when Windows 11 File Explorer is Not Responding

File Explorer Icon

Quick tips to resolve most common File explorer issues on Windows 11.

There are many processes required to keep your Windows computer functioning. However, File Explorer is one of the utmost critical processes as it provides the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the user to navigate around in the operations system and access all the menus along with files and folders.

Now, if the File Explorer starts crashing randomly or renders itself unresponsive midway through a task, it can translate into a huge blunder. Fortunately, below are some fixes that will definitely help you regain the functionality of your computer.

Fix Windows File Explorer Using Command Prompt

This method requires you to delete a registry file using the Command Prompt. However, i(write something new)

To do so, press the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut on your keyboard to bring up the security screen on your Windows machine. Next, click on the ‘Task Manager’ option present on the screen.

Next, click on the ‘More details’ option present on the bottom left corner of the Task Manager window. This will expand the Task Manager to its full size.

Once expanded, click on the ‘File’ tab situated in the top left corner of the window. Next, click on the ‘Run new task’ button from the overlay menu that will open an overlay window on your screen.

Then, type cmd in the text box adjacent to the ‘Open:’ field and then click on the ‘OK’ button to launch the Command Prompt.

After that, paste the following command in the Command Prompt and hit Enter on your keyboard.

reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0

Your Windows 11 PC would now restart and the File Explorer issue should be resolved.


Fix Windows File Explorer by Running an SFC Scan

SFC stands for System File Checker, a SFC scan will scan your Windows 11 computer for system file errors and restore them for you.

To run an SFC scan, you will need to summon the Command Prompt. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut on your keyboard to bring up the security screen. Then, click on the ‘Task Manager’ option from the list.

Next, click on the ‘More details’ option present on the bottom left corner of the Task Manager window. This will expand the Task Manager to its full size.

After that, click on the ‘File’ tab present in the upper left corner of the Task Manager window and click on the ‘Run new task’ option from the overlay menu. This will bring up a new overlay window on your screen.

Next, type cmd in the text box adjacent to the ‘Open:’ field and click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Create this task with administrative priviliges’ option. Then, click on the ‘OK’ button.

After that, if you are not logged in as the administrator, you will need to enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button from the UAC (User Account Control) window to launch the Command Prompt.

Then, type sfc /scannow command hit Enter on your keyboard to run the scan.

The SFC scan might take some time to complete depending on your system.

Once completed, click on the Start Menu present on your taskbar and then click on the ‘power’ icon. Next, click on the ‘Restart’ option to restart your PC.

Alternatively, if your taskbar is not responsive at all you can press the Alt+F4 shortcut on your keyboard to launch the ‘Shutdown’ window on your screen. Then, navigate to the ‘Restart’ option by pressing the Down Arrow on your keyboard and click on the ‘OK’ button to restart your machine.

Once restarted your issue should be resolved if it was due to a system file corruption or error.


Fix Windows File Explorer By Uninstalling a Recent Update

If you are noticing the File Explorer has started crashing after you have recently updated your computer, there might be an issue with the update and you can roll it back to fix the issue.

To do so, click on the ‘Settings’ app from the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows+I shortcut on your keyboard to access it.

Next, click on the ‘Windows Update’ option from the left sidebar present on the ‘Settings’ window.

After that, click on the ‘Update history’ tile present under the ‘More options’ section on the left side of the window.

Then, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Uninstall updates’ tile. This will open a Control Panel window on your screen.

Now, from the Control Panel window, locate and click on the most recently installed update and then click on the ‘Uninstall’ button. This will bring up an alert on your screen.

Then, click on the ‘Yes’ button from the overlay alert on your screen.

After that, reboot your Windows computer as shown in the previous section and your issue should be resolved.


Restart Windows File Explorer

If your File Explorer has been non-responsive for a while and it seems stuck, you can quickly restart it. However, please remember this is just a temporary fix and WILL NOT resolve your explorer issue PERMANENTLY.

To do so, press the Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut on your keyboard to bring up the security screen. Then, click on the ‘Task Manager’ option present on your screen.

Then, on the Task Manager window, click on the ‘More details’ option to expand it.

After that, locate the ‘Windows Explorer’ process from the list of processes. Then, click on the ‘Restart’ button present on the bottom right corner of the Task Manager window to restart the explorer.