[Easy-Fixes] Files on Desktop Not Opening on Windows PC

Folders/Files no desktop not opening? This article contains nine simple solutions to the problem of desktop files that would not open or start.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Scenario: Why can't I open files on my computer?

“When I boot up my computer today, I am unable to view any of the folders I have made on my desktop. I press the button, but nothing occurs. The screen may occasionally flicker and then return to the desktop, however, files and folders won’t open. I tried right-clicking and selecting open, but the same thing happened. What happened? How to fix this problem?”

--From Microsoft Community

As our scenario shows, some users find files on desktop not opening after double-clicking, or File Explorer can’t open files. This is not an uncommon problem. When you look up this issue on the internet, you will notice that many people are troubled by it. This problem always occurs when anything is amiss with your computer's system files. It may also occur after making modifications to your PC.

To assist you in resolving the problem, we have compiled a list of relevant remedies and included them in this post.

5 methods to fix files on desktop not opening

Method 1. Run the system maintenance troubleshooter

Step 1. Click the search icon from the taskbar. Then, search for Control Panel and select Control Panel from the search result to open it.

Step 2. Select Troubleshooting to continue.

Step 3. On the next page, click View all from the left panel to continue.

Troubleshoot view all

Step 4. The following page displays all accessible troubleshooters. To execute it, click System Maintenance and then the Next button on the pop-up window. Please follow the on-screen instructions to locate and resolve problems.

Troubleshoot system maintenance

Method 2. Check PC via System File Checker

Step 1. Click the search bar in the taskbar and search for cmd.

Step 2. Right-click Command Prompt from the search result and select Run as Administrator.

Step 3. Type sfc /scannow into Command Prompt and press Enter to run the command.


On a Windows 10/11 computer, you can run the inbox Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool prior to running the System File Checker.

Run the following command in Command Prompt:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /restorehealth

DISM restorehealth

Method 3. Change incorrect folder options

If no errors on your PC, then the problem might be the file selective ways.

Step 1. Press “Win + E” to open Windows File Explorer and select a folder at random.

Step 2. Under the “View” tab, click the “Folder Options” button.

Step 3. In the Folder Options window, click General > Double-click to open an item (single-click to select) > OK.

Folder options

Method 4. Adjust mouse settings

If you never set the mouse speed correctly, Windows 10 won't open files/folders.

Step 1. Type “Mouse settings” in the search bar on your PC and hit “Enter” to open it.

Step 2. Go to Mouse Settings and click the “Addition mouse options” at the bottom.

Step 3. Locate the Double-click speed section. Then adjust the indicator at a fast speed. Please click “OK” to close the window.

Mouse properties

Method 5. Modify login profile in Registry

If you encounter the "files on desktop not opening" issue, it is possible that some keys in the Login Profile have been changed. You must edit the Login Profile to remedy the aforementioned issue.

Please keep in mind that changing the Login Profile is dangerous and may impair the regular operation of your system. Ensure that all important files are adequately backed up.

Step 1. Type “Regedit” in the search bar and hit “Enter” to open it.

Step 2. Go to the Regedit Editor window and locate HKEY-CURRENT-USER\Control Panel\Mouse in the left panel.

Step 3. Find “DoubleClickHeight” and “DoubleClickWidth” on the right. Then change the numerical data of these two keys.

Modify login profile

Further reading: Recover lost files on desktop

The preceding section discussed how to resolve the issue of files on desktop not opening. Another possible reason that makes users can’t open files/folders on PC is that the target files are removed or missing by your system. Usually, this happens after you update your OS, or some other operations trigger some unknown settings that modify some data files, which affects common data files you saved.

If this happens, don’t worry, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to recover these files/folders. The “Recover Data” function of this handy tool can scan your disk to find the original path, filename, and format for the lost files.

Support Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista system.
Recognize Word, PPT, Videos, Audio, Excel, PDF, Photos, Videos, Audio, folders, and other 200+ types of files.
Available for internal/external hard drives, USB, SD cards, etc.
Compatible with NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.
Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, click Recover > Recover Data.

Recover data

Step 2. Select the source drive where the Word document was saved > Start Scanning.

Select location to scan

Step 3. Search wanted Word file by filenames, extensions, Path, Type, Date modified, etc.

Scanning drive

Step 4. Go to Deleted files, navigate to the original location of the Word files, and select the Word docs, and click Recover x files.

Step 5. Please select a path to save recovered documents.

Select save path

The recovery progress will start and data will be saved to the path if it is successful.

Tip: If there’s a drive missing error on your PC, you can also trust this tool to recover lost partitions.

To sum up

Files on desktop not opening are not a thorny problem. Hope this post can help you fix this issue. AOMEI Partition Assistant is a practical disk and drive manager for Windows users, you can clone disk, move apps, release disk space, convert disk to MBR/GPT without losing data, and so on. And it offers the Server Edition for Windows Server users.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.