When Windows Explorer crashes (not Internet Explorer) the cause is often afflicted third party shell extensions.
Explorer shell extensions make up the things you see when you right click something, some are built into Windows and other shell extensions may be added to Explorer by third party programs you install - and sometimes without your knowledge or consent.
Of course it is unlikely that a shell extension that comes with Windows is the problem but an afflicted third party shell extension can cause Explorer crashes.
When Explorer crashes you may see something like this:
Several recent incidents involving Acer and ASUS systems and MyWinLocker from EgisTec (which is already known to include some troublesome Explorer shell extensions) which may have come preinstalled on your system.
** Note: You may see this issue after the installation of Windows Update KB4038777 but the Windows update is not the problem - the update patches security holes that bring the real problem to the surface.
Even if your system is not from Acer or ASUS it may have MyWinLocker installed and since there have been many reports of it contributing to Explorer crashes it seems a good place to start looking.
If you look in your Installed Programs and find MyWinLocker or anything from EgisTec and you don't know what it is or why it is there consider just uninstalling it, rebooting and then see how things work. You can always reinstall it again later if needed, right?
If you have determined that MyWinLocker or any other EgisTec programs are NOT involved follow the general purpose instructions below so you will be able to see all the Explorer shell extensions and figure out which one is afflicted.
After using The following program suggestion if you see any extensions from EgisTec, PSD Security Software, eDataSecurity, DragDropProtect (they will be some of the pink extensions) start with those first.
If none of those things are present, continue:
A quick test is to use a free program called ShellExView to see all the Explorer shell extensions then sort them so all the non Microsoft extensions are together (those would be third party shell extensions) and just disable all the non Microsoft extensions and see if that fixes the problem.
Disabling shell extensions does not uninstall anything and you can easily go back and enable all the third party extensions again.
If disabling all the third party extensions fixes the problem then you have to isolate the afflicted exension sometimes with a process of elimination.
Here's how to get started:
Download ShellExView from here to see which Explorer extensions you have loaded:
ShellExView doesn't install anything on your computer, it just runs and displays.
After you launch ShellExView (double click shexview.exe) and acknowledge any security warning, adjust the column widths so you can see everything clearly. Under Options, choose to "Mark Non-Microsoft Extensions" and the non Microsoft extensions will be in light pink, but on some systems that is a hard color to see, so click View, Choose Columns and move up or move down the Microsoft column so it is closer to the top (Move Up) so you can see it on your screen without having to scroll left and right.
Next, click the column header called Microsoft (it may be way out on the right side of the screen) to sort the display (by clicking the Microsoft column header) so all the non Microsoft extensions are at the top and easy to see. They will say "No" and be marked in pink since they are not Microsoft extensions, something like this:
The non Microsoft extensions would be things you have added (non Microsoft) and are what you need to be suspecting.
If you see extensions that do not have anything listed under Description, Product Name, Version, Company or have peculiar names that looks like they might be just random numbers and letters, you might want to look at those first.
You can also Google the name of a suspicious add-on and see if there are any hits regarding Explorer crashes or DEP errors and what other people have done about it.
You might Google something like:
<my-suspicious-add-on> windows explorer crashing
You have to fill in the name of your suspicious add on.
See what kind of search results hits you get and look for solutions or situations that sound like yours.
I am not a trial and error advocate, but I can't think of another way to do this...
Right click and disable the non Microsoft extensions one at a time (or perhaps in little groups of 3-5) keeping a list so you can enable them again later if desired. The result of the change is immediate and no reboot is required. Test your (right click) failure condition. If Explorer starts to act normally, you will know that some extension you just disabled in that group of 3-5 is the culprit so you can start to enable them one at a time until explorer fails again.
One user reported that there was a need to restart Explorer after each adjustment so to do that press Ctrl-E from within ShellExView.
If you recognize any extensions that may have been added or downloaded recently, start with those first.
Disabling an extension does not uninstall the extension - it is just disabled. You can always enable it again later, so keep track of things by writing them down.
Disable them one at a time or in little groups (to make things go faster) until your right click does not generate an error, then reboot and test again to be sure. That last extension you disabled would be the suspicious one.
You can also just disable all the non Microsoft extensions, reboot, test your failure condition and enable them one at a time until you find the one that generates the failure condition.
If you have a lot of extensions, you could disable them is little groups, 3-5 at a time instead of 1 at a time until your system starts to behave.
When it does behave, you will know that the problem is one of the extensions in that little group and you can enable those in the group one at a time until the problem comes back, then the problem will be with the last extension you enabled.
The hope is that you will find the one extension that causes the problem and then you can figure out what to do about it - either uninstall it or see if you can get an update from the maker of the extension from their web page.
I don't have your issue but I can when you disable/enable the extensions, the extension is immediately disabled, so disabling an extension does not seem to require a reboot but if you think you found the problem, I would reboot and retest anyway to really be sure the problem is gone.
If you post up a list of your non Microsoft extensions, maybe someone will recognize it as a potential problem.
If you find the offending extension that is the problem, please let us know what it is so I can add it to my list!
Edited by joseibarra, 27 April 2018 - 07:57 AM.