By Dylan / Last Updated April 26, 2020

Windows File Explorer not responding

Windows File Explorer not responding

My Windows File Explorer often becomes not responding when I browse my files. What are the causes of it? And how to fix this problem? Thank you!"

- Question from Microsoft

Why is File Explorer not responding?

File Explorer, also known as Windows Explorer, File Resource Manager, is a basic tool to view files and folders in Windows. It provides a graphical interface to display items on the monitor. However, many users have experienced the “File Explorer not responding” or “windows 10 file explorer hangs” or other similar issues.

What causes the “File Explorer not responding” error? You can refer to the following situations to find out the reason that makes your File Explorer stopping working.

● The Windows system is outdated.
● There are corrupted files on your drive.
C drive is getting full.
● Too many File Explorer history files slow down running speed.

According to the causes listed above, you can try the following methods to fix the “File Explorer not responding” issue.

How to fix File Explorer not responding?

You may not know the specific factor making your File Explorer not working in Windows 10, 8, 7. You can try these ways one by one until the issue gets fixed.

Method 1. Restart the File Explorer

Step 1. Press “Ctrl + Shift + Esc” to open Task Manager. And right-click the “Windows Explorer” and select “End task”.

End Task

Step 2. Click “File” on the left top of the Task Manager interface, and select “Run new task”.

Run New Task

Step 3. In the pop-up window, input “Explorer. exe” and click “OK”

Create New Task

Then, the File Explorer will be restarted, and see if the File Explorer would just hang again. And try other solutions.

Method 2: Check for updates

Step 1. Go to “Start” > “Setting” > “Update & Security” > “Windows Update”, and click “Check for updates”.

Check Update Window 10

Step 2. Then the computer will check if your Windows is the latest version. If it is not, install the latest Windows.

Method 3. Check Corrupted files

The File Explorer not responding issue is probably caused by file corruption. You can check if there are some corrupted files with Command Prompt.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” to open Run box and input “cmd” to open Command Prompt.

Step 2. Type “sfc/scannow” and press enter to execute the command.

Scannow Windows

Step 3. And wait for the scan to complete, and it will be fixed by itself if there are corrupted files. And restart your computer.

Method 4. Extend the C drive

The system drive, usually it is C drive, needs some extra space to guarantee the smooth running of system. Otherwise, lots of programs, including File Explorer would not working as well as it should be.

In this case, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, which can help you to extend your system drive with unallocated space, or free space of other partitions. You can download the Demo version to see the detailed steps to extend the C drive.

Step 1. Open the AOMEI Partition Assistant, and click “All Tools” > “Extend Partition Wizard”.

All Tools

Step 2. Choose the “Extend system partition” as the extend method. And click “Next”.

Extend Partition Method

Step 3. Select a partition that will be released to the system partition. Then click “Next”.

Select Partitions

Step 4. In this window, you can use the sidebar to specify the size of C drive. When you finish, click “Next”.

Extend Size

Step 5. Check the operation information and click “Proceed”.


Just wait for minutes the C drive will be extended, and the running speed will be improved.

Method 5. Clean File Explorer history files

A lots of history files would be automatically created when you view files via File Explorer for backing up data. And if you do not clean up them regularly, a bunch of history files would slow down the computer speed and make File Explorer not responding. And you can follow the steps to clear File Explorer history files.

Step 1. Open Task Manager and end the File Explorer as method 1 do.

Step 2. Press “Win + e” to restart File Explorer, click “File” and choose “Change folder and search options”.

Change Folder Search Options

Step 3. Right behind the “Clear File Explorer history”, click “Clear”. When it is done, click “OK” to return to File Explorer.



In a word, if you don’t want File Explorer hangs and similar issues appear, you need to “clean” disk and computer regularly and use the latest version of the system, and so on.

Thus, you can install the AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional which we mentioned above. It provides lots of functions to make your computer and disk at their best performance, like clone system to SSD, align partition, and convert system disk to GPT.

Note: There is also a Server Version of AOMEI Partition Assistant specialized for Windows Server users.