[SOLVED] Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing – 8 Effective Strategies to Resolve This Problem in 2023

by Sachin


  • Windows Explorer, the file manager of the Windows operating system, sometimes crashes, hindering your user experience.
  • The issues causing this problem can range from outdated Windows versions to corrupted system files.
  • In this guide, we will present nine comprehensive strategies to solve the “Windows Explorer keeps crashing” issue, each backed with a relevant image for your understanding.
  • You are not alone in facing this problem, and we have compiled real-world examples to help illustrate these strategies.


What’s the Ideal Scenario Without the Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing Issue?

Windows Explorer, also known as File Explorer in later Windows versions, is an essential tool for navigating your files and folders.

In the ideal scenario, it should operate smoothly without crashing, allowing you to open files, move documents, and browse directories efficiently.

In this uninterrupted workflow, you can use your PC for various tasks without disruptions, from editing documents to browsing photos, improving your overall productivity.

Case Study: When Does the Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing Error Happen?

Let’s consider a case where John, a freelance graphic designer, faces frequent Windows Explorer crashes. He notices these crashes when he’s browsing through his files to select images for his projects.

The crashes disrupt his workflow, causing project delays and client dissatisfaction. This case demonstrates that the “Windows Explorer keeps crashing” issue can happen during regular file browsing and can have serious impacts.

When Does the Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing Error Happen

Initial Diagnosis: Have You Tested These Measures?

Before moving on to the detailed strategies, let’s ensure that you have done the basic troubleshooting:

  • Restart your system: This can often clear up temporary issues causing the crash.
  • Check for updates: Make sure your system is up to date with the latest Windows updates.
  • Close unnecessary applications: Sometimes, other resource-heavy applications can cause Windows Explorer to crash.

The Significance of Rectifying Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing

Fixing the “Windows Explorer keeps crashing” problem is crucial for maintaining an efficient workflow. As a core element of the Windows operating system, Windows Explorer’s functionality affects your productivity. Frequent crashes can lead to loss of unsaved work, delayed tasks, and general frustration.

Interactive Guide: [8] Functional Strategies to Address Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing

Make sure to follow each step thoroughly to maximize the chances of resolving the issue.

Strategy 1: Update Windows

Windows is constantly evolving, and its regular updates can often help iron out any kinks in your system. Hence, updating Windows should always be your first step.

Steps to update Windows:

  • Press the “Windows” key and type in “Check for updates”.
  • Open the “Check for updates” option.
  • If there are any updates available, click on “Download and install”.
  • After the update is complete, restart your computer to ensure changes take effect.

Check for updates in Windows Update

Strategy 2: Run ‘sfc /ScanNow’ Command

This method involves the system file checker (SFC) utility built into Windows. It scans and repairs corrupted system files that may be causing your Windows Explorer to crash.

Steps to run ‘sfc /ScanNow’:

  • Right-click on the “Start” button and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type in “sfc /scannow” and press “Enter”.
  • Let the scan run.
  • Once it’s done, restart your computer.

Run 'sfc /ScanNow' Command

Strategy 3: Run DISM Commands

DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) can fix Windows corruption errors when Windows Updates aren’t working. Running DISM commands can help fix issues with Windows Explorer.

Steps to run DISM commands:

  • Open “Command Prompt” as an administrator.
  • Type the command “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth”, press “Enter” and wait for the process to finish.
  • Now, type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth”, press “Enter” and wait for it to complete.
  • Restart your PC after these steps.

Run DISM Commands

Strategy 4: Remove Startup Applications

Certain startup applications may interfere with Windows Explorer, causing it to crash. Disabling unnecessary startup applications can help resolve the issue.

Steps to disable startup applications:

  • Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open Task Manager.
  • Go to the “Startup” tab.
  • Right-click on any application that you think might be causing the issue, and click on “Disable”.

Remove Startup Applications

Strategy 5: Reinstall Windows

If all else fails, you may have to consider reinstalling Windows. It’s a drastic step, but it should resolve any issues that have been causing Windows Explorer to crash. Remember to back up all your important data before proceeding.

Steps to reinstall Windows:

  • Go to “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Recovery”.
  • Under “Reset this PC”, click “Get started”.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reinstallation.

Reinstall Windows

Strategy 6: Reinstall Visual C++

Reinstalling Visual C++ can also help, as corrupted Visual C++ installations can cause issues with Windows Explorer.

Steps to reinstall Visual C++:

  • Go to “Control Panel” > “Uninstall a program”.
  • Right-click on any “Microsoft Visual C++” entries and click “Uninstall”.
  • Once done, go to the official Microsoft website and download the latest version of Visual C++.
  • Install Visual C++ and restart your PC.

Reinstall Visual C++

Strategy 7: Run an Offline Scan with Windows Defender

In some cases, malware might be causing Windows Explorer to crash. Running an offline scan with Windows Defender can help identify and eliminate any threats.

Steps to run an offline scan:

  • Go to “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Windows Security” > “Virus & threat protection”.
  • Under “Current threats”, click on “Scan options”.
  • Select “Windows Defender Offline scan” and click “Scan now”.

Run an Offline Scan with Windows Defender

Strategy 8: Check Your Drive’s Health

Hard drive issues can sometimes cause Windows Explorer to crash. Checking your drive’s health can help identify if this is the issue.

Steps to check drive health:

  • Open “This PC” and right-click on your hard drive.
  • Click on “Properties” > “Tools” > “Check”.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the check.

Check Your Drive's Health

How to Prevent Windows Explorer Keeps Crashing Error in the Future

To avoid running into the “Windows Explorer keeps crashing” error in the future, ensure that your Windows is always updated, regularly check your drive’s health, run system file checks, and keep your startup applications to a minimum.

Final Thoughts

Windows Explorer crashing can be a nagging problem that affects your productivity. But with the strategies outlined above, you should be able to resolve the issue. If all else fails, do not hesitate to contact Microsoft Support for further assistance.


What causes Windows Explorer to keep crashing?

Windows Explorer can crash due to several reasons, including outdated software, system file corruption, interference from third-party software, and hardware issues.

How can I fix Windows Explorer if it keeps crashing?

You can fix Windows Explorer by updating Windows, running system file checks, disabling startup applications, reinstalling Windows, or checking your drive’s health, among other strategies.

Can a virus cause Windows Explorer to crash?

Yes, a virus or malware can cause Windows Explorer to crash. Running an antivirus scan can help identify and eliminate any threats.

What happens if Windows Explorer crashes?

When Windows Explorer crashes, it can lead to your files and folders becoming inaccessible. It may also cause your desktop to go blank and the taskbar to disappear.

How can I prevent Windows Explorer from crashing in the future?

Keeping your Windows updated, regularly running system file checks, and minimizing the number of startup applications can help prevent Windows Explorer from crashing in the future.

Is it safe to reinstall Windows if Windows Explorer keeps crashing?

Yes, it’s safe to reinstall Windows, but it’s a significant step that should only be considered if other methods fail. Remember to back up all your important data before you proceed with the reinstallation.

Can corrupted system files cause Windows Explorer to crash?

Yes, corrupted or missing system files can cause Windows Explorer to crash. Running system file checks can help identify and repair these files.

What should I do if Windows Explorer crashes frequently?

If Windows Explorer crashes frequently, you should try to identify and rectify the issue by following the strategies outlined above. If the issue persists, consider seeking assistance from a professional or Microsoft Support.

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