How to fix File Explorer not highlighting selected files in Windows?

Question

Issue: How to fix File Explorer not highlighting selected files in Windows?

Hello. When I select a file or folder in File Explorer, I cannot see which items I selected. Previously, File Explorer would highlight selected files or folders. How do I fix this?

Solved Answer

File Explorer is a file manager application that comes pre-installed with the Windows operating system. It is used to navigate, organize and manage files and folders on a computer. One of the common issues that users face with File Explorer is that it does not highlight the selected files and folders, making it difficult to determine which files are selected. This can be particularly frustrating when trying to copy multiple files, as it becomes hard to tell which files have been selected for copying.

This issue can impact users in various ways, such as making it harder to organize and manage files, leading to confusion and mistakes. It can also lead to wasted time, as users may have to double-check which files have been selected before proceeding with a task.

There are several possible solutions to this issue, such as restarting the Windows Explorer process, using the High Contrast mode, or changing the background color of the system. Other solutions include running the system file checker. Some users have also reported that updating their graphics driver[1] or uninstalling the latest Windows update has helped them to fix the issue. It is important to note that the solution may vary depending on the cause of the problem.

In this guide, you will find 10 steps that should help you fix File Explorer not highlighting selected files in Windows. Keep in mind that you can also use an automatic solution for a faster process. ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 is a maintenance tool that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[2] corrupted files, and registry[3] issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix File Explorer not highlighting selected files in Windows

Solution 1. Fix Corrupted System Files

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Use Command Prompt commands to repair system file corruption:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Use the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow

Fix Corrupted System Files

  • Reboot your system
  • If SFC returned an error, then use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Solution 2. Restart File Explorer

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys simultaneously to open the Task Manager
  • Switch to the Processes tab
  • Locate the Windows Explorer process in the list

Restart File Explorer

  • Right-click on the Windows Explorer process and select Restart from the context menu
  • This will close all active File Explorer instances and refresh the Taskbar icons
  • Open File Explorer and attempt to select multiple files
  • If they still don't highlight, proceed to the next method

Solution 3. Perform a System Shutdown

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run command box
  • Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the utility with administrator privileges
  • Enter the command shutdown /s /f /t 0 and press Enter

Perform a System Shutdown

  • This will perform a complete system shutdown and may take longer than usual
  • After restarting the system, launch File Explorer
  • Try selecting multiple files and check if the highlighting issue still persists

Solution 4. Disable Fast Startup

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Open the control panel and search for power options
  • From the left pane, click on Choose what the power buttons do
  • Choose Change settings that are currently unavailable

Disable Fast Startup

  • Make sure the box before Turn on fast startup is unchecked
  • Click on Save changes and close the window

Solution 5. Change Background Color

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run command box
  • Type control desktop and press Enter
  • Select Background and click on Personalize your background
  • Expand the list and choose the Solid color option

Change Background Color

  • Select a solid color from the color picker tiles
  • Apply the solid color background to the system and exit the settings app
  • Launch File Explorer and attempt to select multiple files
  • Check if the highlighting issue still persists

Solution 6. Turn on High Contrast Mode

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press Left Alt + Left Shift + Print Screen keys simultaneously to activate High Contrast mode
  • Confirm your selection with the pop-up window
  • Press Enter to activate the High Contrast theme on your system

Turn on High Contrast Mode

  • Attempt to select multiple files on your system
  • Check if they are correctly highlighted

Solution 7. Update Display Driver

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Open Device Manager and expand the Display Adapters tab
  • Right-click on your graphics driver and select Properties
  • Go to the Driver tab and click on Update Driver

Update Display Driver

  • Press on Search Automatically for Drivers
  • If a graphic driver update is available, install it and then restart your PC
  • Upon restart, launch File Explorer and check if it fixed the issue.
  • You may also use a dedicated utility like DriverFix that can find the best drivers for your machine and install them automatically

Solution 8. Uninstall the last Windows Update

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Some users have reported that they started having issues with File Explorer after installing Windows updates. Try uninstalling the most recent update to see if it fixes the issue:

  • Press the Windows key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app
  • Choose the Update & Security option
  • Navigate to the Windows Update section and select Update history from the menu that opens
  • Now click on Uninstall updates
  • Locate the last update in the list

Uninstall the last Windows Update

  • Click on the Uninstall button next to the update

Note: uninstalling a Windows update may cause problems with your system if the update was designed to fix an issue or provide a new feature. It is generally a good idea to leave updates installed unless you are experiencing a specific issue that you believe the update is causing.

Solution 9. Try Clean Boot

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Open the Search menu, type in system configuration, and press Enter
  • Under the Services tab, tick the Hide all Microsoft services box
  • Click on Disable all button
  • Head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager
  • Select a third-party program and click on Disable at the top

Try Clean Boot

  • Repeat this step to disable all third-party apps and programs
  • Restart your PC to enter the clean boot state and see if the issue persists
  • If the issue disappeared in the clean boot state, then you can be certain that a third-party app is causing it
  • Go through all recently installed apps or programs and remove them one by one

Solution 10. Reset Windows

Fix it now! Fix it now!
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

The reset option in Windows will reinstall the operating system but will keep your personal files. However, any apps or drivers that you have installed will be removed, as well as any changes you have made to the settings. The reset option is intended to be used as a last resort when other methods of troubleshooting and repair have failed.

  • Click Start and select Settings
  • Select Recovery on the System tab
  • Next, press the Reset PC button
  • Select Keep my files in the Reset this PC window

Reset Windows

  • Choose either the Cloud download or Local reinstall option
  • Select the Reset option
  • Wait for the process to finish and check if the issue is resolved

Repair your Errors automatically

ugetfix.com team is trying to do its best to help users find the best solutions for eliminating their errors. If you don't want to struggle with manual repair techniques, please use the automatic software. All recommended products have been tested and approved by our professionals. Tools that you can use to fix your error are listed bellow:

Offer
do it now!
Download Fix
  Happiness
Guarantee
do it now!
Download Fix
  Happiness
Guarantee
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
Still having problems?
If you failed to fix your error using Reimage, reach our support team for help. Please, let us know all details that you think we should know about your problem.
Reimage - a patented specialized Windows repair program. It will diagnose your damaged PC. It will scan all System Files, DLLs and Registry Keys that have been damaged by security threats.Reimage - a patented specialized Mac OS X repair program. It will diagnose your damaged computer. It will scan all System Files and Registry Keys that have been damaged by security threats.
This patented repair process uses a database of 25 million components that can replace any damaged or missing file on user's computer.
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

To stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous by encrypting all information, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will stop the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.

 

Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost. To recover lost files, you can use Data Recovery Pro – it searches through copies of files that are still available on your hard drive and retrieves them quickly.

 

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.

Contact Ugnius Kiguolis
About the company Esolutions

References

What you can add more about the problem: "How to fix File Explorer not highlighting selected files in Windows?"