How to Fix File Explorer Crashes and Freezes on Windows 10?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -


Issue: How to Fix File Explorer Crashes and Freezes on Windows 10?

My PC is running Windows 10 for a couple of month now, and I have zero complaints up until now. It seems that I did not performed any system changes, except installed a couple of crucial apps. However, for some reason, whenever I try to rename a folder or add a new one, File Explorer freezes as soon as I click a key on a keyboard. While it’s not the worst error I have ever encountered, having an endless number of New Folder makes me feel frustrated. I would appreciate any help!

Solved Answer


File Explorer, formerly known as Windows Explorer, is a core file of the Windows operating system. While it has been so from the beginning of the Windows OS, it’s been revised gradually and heavily improved in Windows 10 OS. Unfortunately, but people encounter issues related File Explorer on Windows 10. For example, when people right-click on the desktop, the PC goes idle and the Contextual Menu shows up just after 10 -15 seconds. In addition, Windows 10 users frequently experience File Explorer’s freezes, crashes, lags, etc. Inability to rename folders is also counted as one of the File Explorer malfunctions. Upon thorough investigations, we have found out that all these problems may be triggered by incompatible Shell Extensions. According to users’ reports, WinRaR extension often appears to be the core of these bugs. Unfortunately, this issue does not seem to be among the most common ones, what may be the reason why Microsoft hasn’t yet released any patches. Nevertheless, here’s several tips that might help you to fix File Explorer crashes.

How to Fix File Explorer Crashes when Trying to Rename Folders?

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Fix 1. Run Shell Extension Manager

Download Shell Extension Manager by clicking on this link. The application does not require installation. What you have to is to:

  • Right-click in its setup file and select Run as Administrator.
  • Once the application is run, select Options and click on Filter by Extensions Type.
  • Opt for Context Menu and place a check mark alongside the following options:

    Ask Before Any Actions
    Mark Disabled Items
    Mark Non-Microsoft Extensions
    Mark Suspicious Shell Extensions
    Hide All Microsoft Extensions

  • On the current window, you should see a list of Shell Extensions (pink background) that are installed by third-party software. Click Shift key and while holding, click on the first item from the list and then the last one.
  • Select All and hit the red button placed at the top right corner of the screen. This way, all the third-party applications will be disabled.
  • Then, click Ctrl +  Alt + Delete and select Task Manager.
  • Navigate to File -> Run New Task -> type explorer -> and then click OK.
  • Once done, try to rename the folder on the desktop or right-click on it to check if the problem has been solved. In case it persists, try the solution provided below.

Fix 2. Run an Elevated Command Prompt

  • Click Win key + R, type regedit in the run dialogue box, and press Enter.
  • When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers location using the left pane.
  • Click on the drop-down arrow and find NVidia or another graphics driver that is running on your system.
  • After that, click File/Export to create backup of your registry.
  • Once the file is created, go back to the NVidia folder and delete it.
  • Then, close Registry Editor and reboot your PC.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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