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Can't Open Windows Explorer (Windows 10)


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#1 peterfoster

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

When I right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen and then click on "file explorer" file explorer screen opens for a few seconds with the spinning blue circular "working on it" icon and then the file explorer screen disappears. I have tried the following to fix the problem-

 

1. I ran "sfc scannow" and saw the message "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations. (I'll run this a few more times and re-start after after each time as I gather that it can take 2 or 3 runnings of "sfc scannow" for it to highlight any issue.) 

 

2. I downloaded the ShellEXView software, ran it and disabled each of the "non-Microsoft/Windows items" shell extensions in turn but on each occasion the problem with File Explorer remained.

 

3. I've checked my display settings and it's 100% not the 175% which I gather can cause this issue.

 

4. I don't have AVG products installed - I gather there is a suggestion that these can cause this issue.

 

I able to work around the issue by searching for any one of my folders I know exists. This brings up the normal "file explorer" screen but it's  bit of a pain.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:36 AM

Even though you've already run SFC (which should only require one pass to find what it will find) you haven't also run DISM.  Give that a try.

 


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

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#3 peterfoster

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for the suggestion, britechyguy. 

 

I've run DISM and it came up clean. I rebooted and ran SFC /scannow again which also was clear. I've rebooted and, sadly, the problem persists.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 08:15 PM

Do you have backups of your user data?  If not, I'd take them.

 

Will File Explorer open successfully from anywhere?  (e.g. search on File in Cortana/Windows Search and it should be the first thing that comes up.)

 

Did you install any new software recently [including Windows Updates] that triggered this behavior?  If so, and System Restore is on, you could try rolling back to a restore point prior to the install.

 

If you don't have System Restore on and this File Explorer behavior has come out of the blue and SFC & DISM come back clean then my next step would be a Windows 10 Reset with the "keep my files" option (but having backed everything up first).  That is unless someone knows of some system log to check for a specific and esoteric error code that might explain this mystery, and that someone's definitely not me.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#5 peterfoster

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:19 AM

I have a back up from last week.

 

When I type "file" into Contana/Windows Search I see "file explorer." When I click on this I get the same result as I get when I right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

 

The only way I can get file explorer up properly is to search for any file which I know exists on my pc.

 

I tried yesterday System Restore but when it reboots I see the message that the Restore didn't work and that consequently my pc has not been changed. I say that but I've just had a look in System Restore and all my restore points have gone. All I have is the option to reverse yesterday's System Restore which it's telling me I achieved yesterday (notwithstanding the message I say informing me that the Restore hadn't happened!) Last week I altered settings to try to get System Restore to produce a Restore Point every day but this clearly hasn't been happening. 

 

I can't recall installing any Windows updates lately.

 

Ok. I'll wait a day or two to see if there are any further suggestions failing which I'll produce a new back up before performing the Windows 10 Reset you suggest.

 

Many thanks for your help, britechguy.  



#6 FreeBooter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 04:30 AM

Open Control Panel --> File Explorer Options and View tab place a check mark for Always show icons, never thumbnails and see issue resolves.


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#7 peterfoster

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 06:29 AM

Ha! Ha!

 

Thanks, FreeBooter! 

 

That did the trick!

 

I want to have your babies! (not really....)

 

After making the change you flagged I rebooted and now I have "File Explorer" back again!



#8 britechguy

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:18 AM

Freebooter,

 

           What's going on that makes that work?  Is there thumbnail cache corruption that tweaking this setting has File Explorer avoid encountering?

 

           I know that if this worked for me, I'd still want to eventually want to flip that setting back as having the folders with thumbnails displayed on them can prove really helpful for me at times.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#9 peterfoster

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:45 AM

I "flipped the setting back" to thumbnails and my problem returned - viz - I couldn't open File Explorer. I've therefore made the change back to exclude thumbnails and I'm able to access File Explorer again.



#10 britechguy

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

I "flipped the setting back" to thumbnails and my problem returned - viz - I couldn't open File Explorer. I've therefore made the change back to exclude thumbnails and I'm able to access File Explorer again.

 

Which lends support to my postulation that thumbnail cache has become corrupted.

 

If you happen to use the CCleaner utility on your computer I'd appreciate it if you might help to test this theory.  When you run the cleaning option, under the Windows Explorer section one of the checkboxes is for "Thumbnail cache."  If you check it this causes all of your thumbnail cache to be deleted and then it gets rebuilt as you access the folders over time.  If you check this box the next time you run CCleaner (if you use it) try turning that Windows setting back to its default state afterward.  If File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer) no longer does the instant close then we have an answer.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#11 FreeBooter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:39 AM

Thumbnail cache could be corrupted or one of the media files is corrupted which can make Windows Explorer crash  if this is the case then it will be hard to find out which one it is will come to this issue if its the cause of Windows Explorer crash.


Edited by FreeBooter, 31 March 2017 - 09:40 AM.

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#12 peterfoster

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:02 PM

I don't have CCleaner but I've just now downloaded and installed and run it with just the "Thumbnail Cache" box ticked.

 

It removed a load of stuff.

 

I rebooted and flipped the settings back to "thumbnails" and my problem with File Explorer returned.

 

I then excluded the thumbnails again and can now access File Explorer properly. 



#13 FreeBooter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

We are glad to hear your issue resolved!


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#14 peterfoster

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

Indeed! And I'm very grateful to everyone who has contribted to the thread.



#15 FreeBooter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:28 PM

You are very welcome!


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