How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10

File Explorer not responding, won’t open or opens and closes? This guide offers 4 fixes know to repair File Explorer in Windows 10.

The methods are listed in order – from the simplest to the most technical. I strongly recommend that you apply the fixes in order until you repair file explorer in Windows 10.

1. Check for Updates and Restart Your PC

How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Check for Updates and Restart Your PC -

The first method to try to repair File Explorer in Windows 10 is to check for updates. Then restart your PC. To check for Windows update:

  1. Right-click Windows 10 Start Menu and select Settings.
How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Check for Updates and Restart Your PC -
  1. Then, on Windows Settings, click Update & security.
  1. Finally, on Windows Update, click Check for updates and wait. If Windows Update finds any new update, they will be displayed. To install the updates, click Download and install.
Even though Windows Update does not find any update, still restart your computer – this way, any pending updates will be installed.

After restarting your PC, if the problem with Windows 10 File Explorer is not fixed, try the next recommended fix.

2. Check That There Is Enough Space In Drive C (Or The OS Drive)

How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Check That There Is Space In Drive C

If you do not have enough space on the drive your Windows 10 is installed, it may affect Windows 10 adversely – including File Explorer.

One way to repair File Explorer in Windows 10 is to ensure that you have enough space in drive C – or the drive Windows 10 is installed on your computer.

Use the steps in our guide – How to Delete Temporary Files on Windows 10 – to clean up drive C and free up some space. I strongly recommend the second option – How to Delete Temporary Files on Windows 10 with CCleaner.

After performing this task and confirming that your PC has enough space on the OS drive, restart your PC. Then, check File Explorer.

If the problem is not fixed, it is time to try our more tech recommendation – starting with method 3 below.

3. Run System File Checker and DISM Repair Tools

How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Run System File Checker and DISM Repair

I understand that it can be frustrating when your computer just wouldn’t work! It may also be more frustrating that the first 2 steps did not repair your Windows 10 File explorer problem.

Please don’t give up yet. The last 2 methods are almost guaranteed to fix the problem.

Here are the steps to apply the 3rd fix:

  1. Search command prompt, then right-click Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator.
  1. Then, when command prompt opens as an administrator, enter the command below into command prompt – and press the enter key on your keyboard.
SFC /ScanNow

Wait for the command to reach 100%. Then, proceed to the next command.

On the same command prompt, type the command below. Then, press the enter key on your keyboard.

The command below requires you to be connected to the internet. The command connects to Windows update to download files needed to fix Windows 10 – if it needs fixing.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth

Once again, wait for the DISM command to reach 100%. Then, restart your computer.

If in the rare instance your Windows 10 File Explorer is still not repaired at this stage, you need to try the our last card – Run Automatic Repair. See the next section for detailed steps.

4. Run Automatic Repair

How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Run Automatic Repair

Here is our final method to repair File Explorer in Windows 10 – run automatic repair. To run automatic repair, follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click Windows 10 Start Menu and select Settings. Then click Update & security.
  2. On the left pane of Windows Update, click Recovery.
How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Run Automatic Repair
  1. Then, on the Advanced startup section of Recovery, click Restart now. Then wait for the computer to restart and boot to recovery mode.
How To Repair File Explorer In Windows 10 - Run Automatic Repair
  1. When your computer displays Choose and option, select Troubleshoot – the second option.
  1. Then, on the Troubleshoot screen, click Advanced options.
  1. When the Advanced options screen is displayed, click Startup Repair. Your computer will initiate automatic repair – wait for the computer to display the Startup Repair screen.
  1. Then, on the Startup Repair screen, click on your account – enter your password and click Continue – see the 2 screenshots below.

If your credentials are correct, Windows 10 will initiate automatics repair. From this point all you have to do is, wait! During the automatic repair, the computer will restart several times.

If you receive a message saying that “Startup Repair couldn’t repair your PC”, it means that the repair did not work. In that instance, I will recommend resetting your PC.

The reset PC link above has the option to Remove everything – see the second screenshot below. To keep your files, when you get to this stage, please select the Keep my files option.

I hope you found this guide helpful. I also hope that you were able to repair Windows 10 File Explorer with one of the methods.

If you found it helpful, kindly vote Yes to the “Was this post Helpful” question below.

Also, take 1 minute to tell us what you think about this guide – use the “Leave a Reply” form found at the end of this page.

Finally, for more Windows 10 Itechguides, visit our Windows 10 How-To page.

You may also find our comprehensive File Explorer guide very helpful – Get Help With File Explorer In Windows 10: The Ultimate Guide.

Victor Ashiedu

Victor Ashiedu is the Managing Editor of Itechguides.com. Before he started Itechguides.com, he worked in IT for close to 20 years. Having done all things tech all his career, he now focuses on making tech easier for others. Victor writes "How to" guides, "Fix it" guides, reviews and buying guides.

1 Comment
  1. Your guide is really well written and clear. Thanks. My issue was that File Explorer would close moments after I opened it and the task bar would then disappear and then reappear as if it crashed and then restarted. I tried all your steps but without the issue being resolved…

    Then found a simple solution which fixed it – based on advice from http://www.qdoscc.com/blog/windows-explorer-crashes-due-quick-access-view . The problem was Quick Access in file explorer – deleting the file explorer history resolved my problem. I could right click on file explorer and click on a folder to open that up rather than just opening up file explorer in default mode. Then navigate to quick access, right click on it and select options > general tab > and click on “Clear” button within Privacy to Clear File Explorer History. It seems that there was a file within quick access history that had a file path too long for file explorer to cope with causing it to crash. Hope this helps. You might want to include something along these lines to check in your next update – assuming any of it makes sense – I am not an IT techy.

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