File Explorer won’t open on Windows 10 [Solved]

By Sophie Luo in Common Errors

If you’re having trouble getting your File Explorer to run on Windows 10, no worries. This post provides the right solutions for you. Read on and follow the easy-doing steps with images below. 

1: Change display settings
2: Check for possible faulty programs
3: Restart in task manager
4: Clear history cache and create new path
5: Disable Windows Search 

Note that File Explorer in Windows 7 is called Windows Explorer. The fixes here also suit for Windows 7 Windows Explorer not working properly as well even though the images are shown in Windows 10. 

1: Change display settings

1) Follow the path: Start button > Settings > System

2) On Display panel, change the size of your text to 100%, 125%, 200% etc. Don’t set it to 175% thought, 175% is reported to be the cause of this problem. 

Check to see if you can access to File Explorer now. 

2: Check for possible faulty programs

Some say that it is the antivirus program AVG that triggered this error. Once shut down from Task ManagerFile Explorer is back.

You should do the same as well. Check to see if there are something unusual happen when you lost access to File Explorer. For example, see if you can spot icon disappearance or situation similar to this. 

3: Restart in task manager

1) Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager. Then locate Windows Explorer

2) Right click Windows Explorer and choose End task

3) On top of the Task Manager window, click File option and choose Run new task

4) Type explorer.exe in the box and then hit Enter

4: Clear history cache and create new path

1) Right click the File Explorer icon on the task bar, then choose Unpin from taskbar

2) On your keyboard, press Windows key and X at the same time, then select File Explorer from the list. 

3) Right click the Quick Access link and select Options

4) Under General tab, choose Clear under Privacy category. This will help you clear the File Explorer history. 

5) Right click on the blank spot on the desktop and choose New > Shortcut

6) Then type in the following address: C:\Windows\explorer.exe and click Next

7) Rename the file to File Explorer and click Finish

8) Right click the newly created shot cut and choose Pin to task bar

This should help you fix the problem. 

5: Disable Windows Search 

1) Type cmd.exe in the search box. From the list of choice, right click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator

Click Yes at the UAC window prompt. 

2) In the Command Prompt window, type in the following command: 

net.exe stop "Windows search"

Then hit Enter

If you would like to stop Windows search permanently, please do the following:

a) Press Windows key + R at the same time, and type in services.msc

b) Locate Windows Search option, double click it to enter its Properties window. 

c) Change the Startup type to Disabled. Then click OK to save the change. 

If things still haven’t gotten any better, you might need to consider perform a clean refresh of your Windows 10. If you want to have more information as to how to refresh Windows 10, you can refer to this post here.  

  • Martin Perrett

    There is another problem that can cause this error as I found out!! One of my hard disks was failing. Not the C drive. This gave the same error but also a very slow startup. Disconnect the other drives to see if you have a dying drive if these things only helped a bit.

  • Tom

    My case was a bit different – Windows Explorer was listed under Windows Processes in Task Manager. Once I restarted that, I found the dozens of explorer windows (I had been trying to launch it many times). Problem solved.

  • phal sem

    Thank you very much. It works for me.

  • niico100

    Turns out it was loding on mine – on a second display that WAS TURNED OFF! Make sure you have no displays that are off it could be loading there.

    • Mace Vindaloo

      Thank you!! I have been having the same problem, but realized it only after reading your comment!

  • Tom Moore

    A great explanation of how to better us File Explorer. I haven’t tested it yet but I am hoping it is much better than before I made all the changes from your recommendations.

  • Yohanes Adi

    Thanks sir, for this post
    My Laptop has fix , after change option boot to normal at msconfig.exe and reinstalling display driver AMD latest
    Windows 10 FCU bug explorer, can fix it by this suggestions 🙂

  • Roger Simons

    Try this it worked
    open regedit and browse here:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREClassesLocal SettingsSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShell
    then delete the entire BagMRU and Bags folder.

    this worked! for me, my problem was when I open the file explorer “My pc” was not showing and the desktop was not opening. Also my Icons on my desktop went away sometimes

    • Liz Ramirez

      Thank you so much, this did the trick lets hope that it keeps working!

      • Lord Drake

        Thank you so much! That was the only working thing for me!

  • Diogo Reis

    OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH, i tried restarting and then it completely dissapered from the task manager. then I ran the explorer.exe and it worked!

  • Steven Schmidt

    Look Up Project in your start menu, select project to a second screen, and select PC only, this is the solution that i found from a youtube video and it worked when all these failed

  • Thank you!

  • lowkystmusic

    Sometimes unplugging an HDMI cable from your port if you are using an extended desktop view will help. ( Which was what happened to me ). Couldn’t open file explorer until I unplugged HDMI cable from my laptop. So glad it worked! I have a DJ gig this Sat and was worried I couldn’t access my music files which started to get me worried. ( Hope this helps for someone down the road ).

    • Kaspar Luik

      Tried everything above and finally unplugging HDMI worked for me. Thank you!

    • K Yagi

      I tried all the other things, and turns out unplugging my HDMI cable worked as well! so strange… thanks for the advice 🙂

  • Art

    Thanks for this post. Problem solved. Method 3 worked for me.

  • hari

    Try this it worked
    open regedit and browse here:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
    then delete the entire BagMRU and Bags folder.

    • thx

      this worked! for me, my problem was when I open the file explorer “My pc” was not showing and the desktop was not opening. Also my Icons on my desktop went away sometimes


  • Will Dobson

    Clearing the history and recreating the shortcut was the only solution which worked for my system. Thank you for the solution.

  • Amanda Rodgers

    I tried all 3 of these solutions (not the AVG) and one of them worked – not sure which as it wasn’t until I rebooted that normal service resumed.
    This problem has been around for a few days and the system has been shut down and restarted several times so I’m pretty sure it was one of these procedures that fixed it, not the rebooting.

  • Aandrew T

    Thanks for this post, I was pulling my hair out looking for a solution for this issue, deleting history and creating a new shortcut worked for me the other methods did not work

  • Shivani Sehdev

    I realy helped me thanks a lot