Fix File Explorer Not Responding, Crashing upon Right-Click in Windows 11, 10

If you’re experiencing issues with your File Explorer, such as crashes when using the right mouse, or Windows hangs on the right-click, it could be caused by a bad context menu handler. For those who are unaware, a context menu handler is a shell extension handler that adds comments to an existing context menu, such as cut, paste, print, and more.

File Explorer is an essential component of your Windows system and can become corrupted for various reasons. Corrupted system files or incomplete/problematic Windows updates can cause crashes and malfunction.

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Fix File Explorer Freezing or Crashing on Right-Click

Before delving into software troubleshooting, it’s crucial to undertake some preliminary steps. Restarting your computer and closing all the programs you’re currently using after saving your progress can sometimes fix any problem almost magically.

If you’ve already completed these preliminary tasks and are still experiencing issues, try the following solutions:

1. Restart Windows Explorer

Restarting the Windows Explorer service can potentially fix crashes and enable you to run File Explorer without problems.

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

2. Click the Windows Explorer process, and select the Restart task option.

Check whether the issue persists.

2. Run the Search and Indexing Troubleshooter

1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard to open Windows Settings.

2. Navigate to System from the left pane and click on Troubleshoot section from the right side afterward.

3. Select Other Troubleshooters.

go to other troubleshooters
go to other troubleshooters

4. Here, look for the Search and Indexing troubleshooter and click on the Run button associated with it.

If the right-click causes File Explorer to be slow, this solution will address the issue.

Although the Search and Indexing troubleshooter is for Windows Search, it will also look for any troubles within File Explorer.

3. Perform an SFC Scan

1. Press the Windows key, type cmd, and select Run as administrator under the result on the right side.

2. Type or copy-paste the following command and press Enter:

sfc /scannow
sfc scannow
sfc scannow

You can also let a third-party software, such as Restoro, perform an SFC scan automatically.

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

4. Update Windows

1. Open Settings by pressing Windows + I.

2. Navigate to Windows Update from the left menu.

3. Click the Check for updates button on the right side.

update windows 11

The button may also display as Download now.

4. Reboot your computer to apply the changes made, then check if right-clicking on the folder still crashes Explorer.

Fix 5. Perform a Clean Boot

1. Launch the Run console by pressing the Windows key + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.

2. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, select Hide all Microsoft services and click Disable All.

checkmark hide all microsoft services
checkmark hide all microsoft services

3. On the Startup tab, click Open Task Manager, and for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable.

click open task manager
click open task manager

4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, click OK.

5. Then restart the computer to fix the “Windows Explorer crashes when I right-click on a drive” issue.

Tip: Read our detailed guide on How to Clean Boot Windows for a better understanding.

Performing a Clean Boot could be a solution for many problems, and it may fix ours as well. However, be aware that your computer may lose some functionality after you perform a Clean Boot, but the functionality will return after starting your PC, so there’s no need to worry about that.

6. Use a Third-Party File Manager

If performing a clean boot did not resolve the issue, then it’s possible that a faulty context menu handler is the culprit. Fortunately, there’s a quick and efficient solution to handle your files in a better way.

When you experience crashes in File Explorer due to right-clicking, the best course of action is to install third-party software that can manage your files instead of relying on the built-in tool.

A couple of free File Managers for Windows are:

All the solutions listed above are effective in resolving the issue of File Explorer crashes in Windows 10 and 11 when right-clicking with the mouse. We hope that one of these solutions has helped you solve your problem.

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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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