Random windows explorer.exe has stopped working

About half an hour ago I got a random pop up saying windows explorer.exe has stopped working when I was typing in the start search bar, I was trying to type in cpu, but it froze before I could typed the u. I have norton antivirus and superantispyware so im positive it is not a virus. Its only happened once which was like today, and I've had this pc for about a year and a couple of months. Solutions would be great if it could be prevented from happening or if it might just be a one off. Thanks.



Extraordinary Member
1. If you get the ‘Stopped working’ message when accessing Folders that contain pictures/videos, it can sometimes be cured by going to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Folder Options > View Tab and put a tick in ‘Always show icons, never thumbnails‘.

2. Look in the Action Center for any issues. Go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Action Center or right-click the icon in the Notification Area (bottom right of screen). In the main window, click the drop-down arrow to the right of Maintenance where you can select View Reliability History. In View Reliability History, right-click on any Windows Explorer errors and View technical details, which may be of help.

Also, at the bottom, click View All Problem reports and Check for Solutions.

3. If the above doesn’t help, the problem is sometimes caused by a third-party extension. ShellExView can be useful to see which shell extensions have been introduced into Explorer. Read about it then scroll down near to the bottom to download the x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version here http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

When you run it, click on the column labelled Company to alphabetically sequence the entries. You have to assume that the Microsoft entries are bona fide, so concentrate on the third-party entries. Is there anything listed that is either unnecessary or unknown? If so, highlight it and click the red spot (top left) to disable it. There shouldn’t be too many of them but you may find it easier to disable them all, then re-enable them (green spot) one at a time and try Explorer until the culprit is found.

4. If the issue still hasn’t been resolved, read about and then download, unzip and run Process Monitor version 3.1 (it doesn’t need installing), from here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx

Because of the huge number of activities, it can be made easier to understand by de-selecting some of the activities. The activities can be toggled on/off by clicking them on the right-hand side of the Toolbar, they are Registry, File, Networking, Processes/Threads and Profiling. Also, click Autoscroll on the Toolbar to see the current real-time events.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Not ignoring BurrWalnut:

Random problems with explorer.exe aren't that critical. No need to worry, I would say.

Explorer.exe is positioned in C:\Windows, plus subordinates, if it is placed somewhere else, it may be a virus. Like would be the case if it's called Explore.exe. You might do well in checking those?

But I don't see need for any panic here. Probably a casual incidence. If it continues, it may be an indication that a new software / hardware you've got, is causing trouble.

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