The Windows Explorer in the operating system allows us to browse our files, folders, and other data. At a point in time, during browsing, you may face a problem: your Windows Explorer may crash or freeze frequently. And when that happens you may see the following message:

Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working

One of your installed programs can possibly be responsible for causing this error, as it can interfere with the smooth functioning of explorer.exe. You can try troubleshooting all the installed programs. And if a program doesn’t fix the error, restore it back to default.

You can use this troubleshooting guide’s steps to address the Windows Explorer keeps crashing error.

  • First of all, make sure that your Windows is up to date. You should check if all the Windows Updates are installed or not. Then you should scan your computer for any malware. If you have a new Windows 8 or Windows 7 laptop, then it is possible that it may include some pre-installed craplets. These can interfere with the explorer.exe. You should remove all the unwanted trialware and get your machine all set.
  • Secondly, you should try performing a System Restore. System Restore takes your PC back in time to a point where nothing was wrong with it. It can reverse all the errors and solve most of the problems.
  • Then running CHKDSK can also help. It is also a very clever way to go about the Windows Explorer keeps crashing error.
  • You can also try disabling the Preview Pane in Windows Explorer.

If you don’t know how to do that, then follow these steps:

  • Click on Organize.
  • Then go to Layout.
  • And then click on Preview Pane.
  • You’ll find the disable option there.
  • Also, try disabling the Thumbnails.

If you don’t know how to do that, then follow these steps:

  • Open the Folder Options by clicking on it.
  • Click on View tab.
  • Then look for Always show icons, never thumbnail option and check the box besides it.
  • Don’t forget to uncheck the box besides the Display file icon on thumbnail option.
  • Finally, click on Apply or OK.
  • If your PC is running Windows Vista, then try disabling the UAC. Disable it temporarily.
  • Next, you can try disabling DEP (Data Execution Prevention) or No-Execute Protection.

If you don’t know how to do that, then follow these steps:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator. If you don’t know how to do it, then go to the Start Type cmd in the Start menu and then press Enter. From the search results, right-click on Command Prompt and select run as administrator.
  • When the black window of the Command Prompt opens, type the following command: bcdedit.exe /set {current} nxAlwaysOff
  • Press Enter.

However, you should know that DEP is a security feature. It protects your PC by preventing viral damage and deals with other security threats. Harmful programs can attack Windows by running code from system memory locations that are only authorized and reserved for Windows and other specific programs. Attacks like these can harm your files and programs. DEP helps make sure that the system memory is used safely by monitoring the programs on your PC. Any program found using the memory incorrectly is closed by the DEP. And later you’re notified about this action.

So if you disable DEP, you might lose this protection, and your PC may be open to attacks.

  • Launching folder windows in a separate process can also help in resolving the error.

If you don’t know how to do that, then follow these steps:

  • Open Explorer.
  • Click on Organize.
  • Then click on Folder & Search options
  • Next, click on View.
  • And go to Advanced Settings.
  • In the Advanced settings window, look for Launch folder windows in a separate process option and check the box besides it.
  • Then click on Apply or OK.
  • Usually, the culprit behind this error is the Installed Add-ons. So you should check if any add-ons (or helpers) are installed in your Explorer. If you find any, then disable or uninstall them ASAP.

Also, third-party shell extensions can cause the Windows Explorer keeps crashing error. You have to get to know all these programs in detail. To do that you can download ShellExView. ShellExView is a freeware utility that allows you to view and disable the third-party shell extensions. Use the trial & error method to deal with the third-party extensions. That way you can identify which extension is causing the error (if any). You can also use ShellExView to solve the context menu problems in Explorer.

ShellExView Screen

  • To resolve this error, you can also try running sfc /scannow. After the process is complete, you may want to reboot your system if the system file checker asks for it. The reboot process may replace all the corrupted system files solving the error indirectly.
  • Using the Problem Reports & Solution Center can also help. To open the center, you can type wercon in the search space available in the Start menu. Once open, look at the right side panel and click on View Problem History. All the problems may appear in a list. Look for the Explorer.exe problems and double-click on them to open the report. Then see if you find anything that can help you.
  • The error can also be solved by updating outdated or corrupt video drivers. Such drivers can cause the Windows Explorer to stop working.
  • Another thing you can do is start your computer in Safe Mode. Once on, try creating the error that was available in the normal mode. If the error is no longer seen, it means that some startup program is interfering with the smooth functioning of the Explorer. In this case, you can try performing a clean boot. That can identify and troubleshoot the offending program.
  • Lastly, you can utilize the Windows Memory Diagnostic Running this tool can scan your PC for any possible memory problems. It can also test the Random Access Memory (RAM) on your computer. And thus, may succeed in resolving this error.