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How to Fix File Explorer Not Responding on Windows 11 (9 Methods)

Windows 11 is the latest desktop operating system from Microsoft. Compared to Windows 10, Windows 11 has more amazing features and customization options. Yes, it also has many bugs and glitches that may prevent you from using the operating system.

Recently, many Windows 11 users have been facing problems with File Explorer. File Explorer or ‘This PC’ is one of Windows’s most frequently used apps. It’s used to browse folders and files.

Many users have reported that File Explorer is not responding on Windows 11. File Explorer crashing or not responding is a common problem, especially on the new operating system Windows 11.

How to Fix File Explorer Not Responding on Windows 11

This guide may be helpful if your Windows 11 File Explorer is not responding or crashing. This article lists some of the best methods to resolve file explorer not responding to Windows 11. Let’s get started.

1) Restart the Windows 11 File Explorer

If you cannot access the file explorer and it’s showing ‘Not Responding’, you need to restart it from the Task Manager. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Open Windows 11 search and type in ‘Task Manager‘. Next, open the Task Manager app from the list of matching results.

2. On the Task Manager, find the Windows Explorer Process.

3. Select Windows Explorer and click on the Restart Task button.

Restart Task

That’s it! This will restart Windows Explorer. Once done, open the File Explorer; this time, the File Explorer will respond.

2) Restart your Windows 11 PC

Restart your Windows 11

If restarting Windows Explorer didn’t help, you need to restart your computer. Many forget to shut down or restart our computer and keep it on for a long time.

Just like humans, gadgets require some rest, and restarting, or Shutdown is important since it gives your hardware time to cool down. So, restart your computer if you haven’t done it for a long time.

3) Clear the File Explorer History

As you use File Explorer, it stores the cache file on your system installation drive. Along with it, you also have a file that stores all file Explorer history. Sometimes, these files get corrupted and prevent File Explorer from functioning correctly. To fix this issue, you need to clear the file explorer history.

1. Click on the Windows Search and type File Explorer options. Next, open the File Explorer options from the list of available results.

File Explorer options

2. On the File Explorer options, switch to the General tab.

3. On the General, click the Clear button in the Privacy section.

Clear

4. Next, on the Open File Explorer dropdown, select This PC.

This PC

5. After making the changes, click on the Apply button.

That’s it! This is how you can clear the File Explorer history on Windows 11.

4) Run the System File Checker

System File Checker or SFC command is used to resolve corrupted system files. The command effectively scans your PC and finds the corrupted system files. Not only that, but SFC Command also attempts to fix or replace the corrupted system files.

So, if your Windows 11 File Explorer is not responding, you can try running the SFC command on the Command Prompt. Here’s what you need to do.

1. Click on the Windows 11 search and type in CMD. Next, right-click on the CMD and select Run as administrator.

Run as administrator

2. On the Command Prompt, paste the sfc /scannow command and hit the Enter button.

sfc /scannow

3. This command will run the System File Checker utility. The process might take a few minutes to complete.

That’s it! This is how you can run the SFC command on Windows 11 to fix File Explorer crashing problem.

5) Run the DISM Command tool

If the SFC method returns an error message, you must immediately run the DISM command. DISM or Deployment Image Servicing and Management is a command-line tool that can fix system problems.

If your Windows 11 File Explorer freezing or crashing due to system file problems, the DISM tool will fix it. Here’s how to run the tool.

1. Click on the Windows 11 search and type in CMD. Next, right-click on the CMD and select Run as administrator.

Run as administrator

2. On the Command Prompt, paste the given command and hit Enter.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

paste the given command

3. This command will run the DISM tool. The process might take a few minutes to complete.

That’s how easy it is to fix Windows 11 problems with the DISM command tool.

6) Run the Disk Cleanup Utility

There are chances that the File Explorer of Windows 11 is not responding due to more amount of junk files & less storage space.

The best way to free up storage space and clean junk files is to run the Disk Cleanup utility. Here’s how you can run the Disk Cleanup utility on Windows 11.

1. Click on the Windows 11 search & type in Disk Cleanup. Next, open the Disk Cleanup app from the list.

Disk Cleanup

2. When the Disk Cleanup prompt opens, select the drive of your system installation. Once done, click OK.

select the drive you want to clean

3. You can now click the OK button to clear all files. If you don’t want specific files to be deleted, uncheck them and click the OK button.

click on the Ok button

4. On the Disk Cleanup confirmation prompt, click on Delete Files button.

click on the Delete Files button

That’s it! This is how you can run the Disk Cleanup utility on Windows 11 to free up storage space and to fix File Explorer not responding problem.

7) Disable the Antimalware Software

Even though Windows 11 ships with a full-fledged security tool called Windows Security, users still prefer to use third-party antimalware software.

While there’s no problem using reputed antimalware programs, sometimes security tools conflict with File Explore.

The best way to determine whether the Antimalware program is the culprit is to disable it and restart your computer. After the restart, open File Explorer. If the File Explorer opens and functions properly, your antimalware program is the culprit.

You need to open your antimalware program and check whether it’s blocking any system files. If not, start using the Windows Security app that ships with Windows 11.

8) Update your Windows 11

Windows 11 is still new and has more bugs and glitches than Windows 10. Because Windows 11 is still under testing, it’s best to install the available updates.

It’s possible that a bug or a glitch in the operating system version is preventing File Explorer from functioning correctly. You can easily resolve this by installing all pending updates. Here’s how to update your Windows 11.

1. First, click the Windows 11 Start button and select Settings.

Settings

2. On Settings, click on Windows Update.

Windows Update

3. On the right side, click on Check for Updates.

Check for updates

That’s it! Now, Windows 11 will download and install any available updates for your device.

9) Reset Windows 11 PC

Reset Windows 11 PC

If nothing worked for you to fix File Explorer not responding Windows 11, you could only reset your PC. Resetting Windows 11 to default factory settings is a good idea if you don’t know how to fix certain problems.

It will give your PC a fresh start and possibly fix File Explorer crashing on Windows 11. We have already shared a detailed guide on how to reset Windows 11 PC using Settings. Make sure to follow the steps shared in that guide.

So, these are the few best ways to fix Windows 11 File Explorer Not Responding. If you need more help fixing Windows 11 File Explorer freeze or crashing, let us know in the comments below. Also, if the article helped you, share it with your friends.

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