How to Resolve File Explorer Freezing Windows 11 PC

  • If your Windows Explorer freezes or hangs, or if you see an error message – Windows Explorer stops working and restarts – on your Windows 11 computer, this article will help you fix the freezing or hanging explorer.
  • If you have changed the font size or other display settings, this can cause the Explorer application to hang.
  • Bloated File Explorer history can slow down or freeze the application.
  • If Windows 11 is outdated, you expose yourself to annoying bugs and security threats.


Navigating through files and folders is an essential part of our daily computer usage. However, encountering a frozen File Explorer in Windows 11 can be frustrating and disrupt our workflow. In this article, we will explore a quick and effective solution to resolve this issue, ensuring a seamless file management experience on your Windows 11 system.

Check for system updates: Outdated software or drivers can often cause File Explorer to freeze. Regularly check for and install Windows updates, as well as updates for your device drivers, to ensure compatibility and stability.

Restart File Explorer and Clear the Cache

To quickly fix File Explorer freezing in Windows 11, you can restart File Explorer and clear the cache. Follow these steps:

1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
2. In the Task Manager window, go to the “Processes” tab.
3. Look for “Windows Explorer” in the list of processes.
4. Right-click on “Windows Explorer” and select “Restart” from the context menu.
5. This will restart File Explorer, which may resolve the freezing issue.

To clear the cache:

1. Press the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “cmd” and press Enter to open Command Prompt.
3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command: ie4uinit.exe -show
4. Press Enter to execute the command.
5. This will clear the cache and may help resolve the freezing problem.

File Explorer freezing is a common issue on Windows 11 that can hinder your productivity and frustrate you. It’s essential to find a solution to keep your PC running smoothly.

Reboot the System and Check for Updates

To quickly fix the issue of File Explorer freezing in Windows 11, you can try rebooting the system and checking for updates. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Restart your computer to refresh the system and clear any temporary glitches. Right-click on the Start button and select Restart from the context menu.

2. After the restart, ensure that your Windows 11 is up to date by checking for updates. Go to Settings and click on Windows Update. If any updates are available, click on Check for updates and let the system install them.

3. If the issue persists, you can try resetting the File Explorer. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, find the Windows Explorer process, right-click on it, and select Restart.

Disable or Uninstall Antimalware Software

To quickly fix file explorer freezing in Windows 11, you may need to disable or uninstall your antimalware software. Follow these steps:

1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

2. Click on the “More details” option at the bottom if it’s available.

3. In the “Processes” tab, locate and select your antimalware software.

4. Right-click on it and choose End task.

5. If the freezing continues, try disabling or uninstalling the software completely. To do this, go to the Start menu and search for “Add or remove programs”.

6. Open the “Add or remove programs” settings.

7. Find your antimalware software in the list of installed programs.

8. Select it and click on the Uninstall button.

9. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.

10. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Remember to enable or install a reliable antimalware software as a security precaution after resolving the file explorer freezing issue.

Change File Explorer Options and Configure Settings

To fix File Explorer freezing in Windows 11, you can change File Explorer options and configure settings. Here’s a quick guide:

1. Open File Explorer by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting “File Explorer” from the menu.

2. In File Explorer, click on the “View” tab in the top menu.

3. In the “Options” section, click on the “Options” button.

4. In the “Folder Options” window that appears, go to the “View” tab.

5. Under the “Advanced settings” section, scroll down and locate the “Launch folder windows in a separate process” option. Check this option to enable it.

6. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.

7. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

By changing these options, File Explorer will run in a separate process, which can help prevent freezing issues. This is a common fix for File Explorer problems and can improve overall performance and productivity.

Remember to regularly update Windows to ensure you have the latest bug fixes and security precautions in place.

Troubleshoot in Clean Boot Mode and Apply Generic Fixes

If you’re experiencing freezing issues with File Explorer in Windows 11, there are a few steps you can take to resolve the problem. First, try troubleshooting in Clean Boot Mode. This will help identify any conflicting programs that may be causing the freezing. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
3. In the System Configuration window, go to the Services tab.
4. Check the “Hide all Microsoft services” box and click “Disable all”.
5. Go to the Startup tab and click “Open Task Manager”.
6. Disable all the startup items in the Task Manager.
7. Close the Task Manager and click “OK” in the System Configuration window.
8. Restart your computer.

If the issue persists, you can try applying generic fixes to resolve the freezing problem. Here are some suggestions:

– Update Windows: Make sure you have the latest Windows updates installed. This can help fix any bugs or compatibility issues that may be causing the freezing.

– Right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager”. In the Task Manager, go to the “Processes” tab and look for “explorer.exe”. Right-click on it and select “End Task”. Then, click on “File” in the top menu and choose “Run new task”. Type “explorer.exe” and click “OK”. This will restart the File Explorer process.

– Create a new folder on your desktop and move all the files from the old desktop to the new folder. This can help if the freezing is caused by a large number of files or folders on the desktop.

Remember to always save your work and close any open programs before troubleshooting or applying any fixes.

Launch Folder Windows in a Separate Process and Use File Explorer Without Interruptions

To fix the issue of File Explorer freezing in Windows 11, you can try launching Folder Windows in a separate process. This will help you use File Explorer without any interruptions. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Right-click on the File Explorer icon on your taskbar.
2. Select “Properties” from the context menu.
3. In the Properties window, go to the “Shortcut” tab.
4. In the “Target” field, add /separate at the end of the existing text.
5. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to save the changes.

By launching Folder Windows in a separate process, you can isolate any issues that might be causing File Explorer to freeze. This can provide a quick fix and improve the performance of File Explorer on your Windows 11 operating system.

 | Website

Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.