How to Fix File Explorer Not Responding When Opening Downloads Folder on Windows 11 or 10

The Downloads folder is the default location where all downloaded files are saved on Windows 11/10 computers. However, some users have reported that the folder may stop responding at times, which can be frustrating. If you are experiencing this issue, here are some solutions that you can try.

Fix the Downloads Folder Not Responding in Windows

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1. Restart the Explorer Task

If the Downloads folder isn’t responding, the problem might not be with the folder itself but with the File Explorer. In this case, you can try restarting the Windows Explorer process using Task Manager.

2. Optimize the Downloads Folder

You can also optimize the Downloads folder to make it load faster by following these steps:

1. Right-click the Downloads folder and go to Properties.

2. Go to the Customize tab and select the General items option from the Optimize this folder drop-down menu. It may be set to Pictures or Video by default.

3. You can also select “Also apply this template to all subfolders” if the folder contains any subfolders.

4. Apply the settings and restart Windows Explorer.

By doing this, you can improve the folder’s loading speed and responsiveness.

3. Run SFC Scan

Sometimes, missing system files can cause the Downloads folder to stop responding. In this case, you need to run the SFC scan by following these steps:

1. Search for Command Prompt in the Windows Search bar and select “Run as administrator” in the right pane corresponding to the application.

2. Type the following command in the elevated Command Prompt window:

sfc /scannow
sfc scannow
sfc scannow

3. Restart the PC if required.

Tip: Read our SFC Scan Guide for a detailed tutorial.

4. Delete Extra Download Files

If your system drive (usually the C: drive) is overloaded with data, it can slow down your computer and cause the Downloads folder to stop responding. To fix this issue, delete unnecessary downloads from the Downloads folder to free up space.

5. Run Disk Cleanup

If you want to free up more space on your computer than just deleting files, you can perform a Disk Cleanup. This will delete junk files and folders.

1. Search for Disk Cleanup in the Windows Search bar and open the application.

open disk cleanup
open disk cleanup

2. Check all the boxes associated with temporary files.

disk cleanup result
disk cleanup result

3. Click on OK and select “Clear files“.

disk cleanup delete files confirmation

By following these solutions, you can fix the Downloads folder not responding issue on your Windows 10 or 11 computer.

Why does my File Explorer keep not responding?

There could be several reasons why your File Explorer keeps not responding on your Windows computer. Some of the common reasons include:

  1. Outdated or corrupted software: If the software associated with File Explorer is outdated or corrupted, it can cause the application to freeze or crash.
  2. Malware or virus infection: Malware or virus infection can also cause File Explorer to stop responding.
  3. Hardware issues: If your computer’s hardware is faulty or damaged, it can cause issues with File Explorer.
  4. Too many files or folders: Having too many files or folders in a directory can slow down File Explorer, causing it to stop responding.
  5. Incorrect settings: Incorrect settings or configurations can also cause File Explorer to not respond.
  6. Insufficient system resources: If your computer does not have enough memory or processing power, it can cause File Explorer to freeze or crash.

To fix the issue, you can try updating or reinstalling the software associated with File Explorer, scanning your computer for malware or virus infections, checking for hardware issues, optimizing the number of files or folders in a directory, adjusting settings, or upgrading your system’s resources.

If your File Explorer is freezing or not responding upon doing a right-click, you might be fix it by using our fixing guide on the same.

In conclusion, if you are experiencing issues with your Downloads folder not responding on your Windows computer, there are several potential solutions to try. You can restart the Explorer task, optimize the Downloads folder, run a SFC scan, delete unnecessary files from the folder, or run a disk cleanup.

By following these steps, you can hopefully resolve the issue and improve the performance of your computer. If you continue to experience issues, you may want to seek further assistance from a technical support professional.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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