Windows File Explorer crashes when I right-click

Windows File Explorer is one of the most important elements of any Windows version as it helps users access different folders and files. Its right-click context menu offers several useful items that let you perform several useful operations. But at times, you may find that your  Windows File Explorer crashes when you right-click to open its context menu. If you are facing this problem, here is what you need to do to troubleshoot the issue.

Before going forward, you should know that this issue mainly occurs when your programs add a lot of items to the right-click context menu. Poorly coded items which get added by third-party software or service may cause this problem.

Explorer crashes when I right-click

What you need to do first is to perform a Clean Boot. In Clean Boot State, it is easier to diagnose the problem.

Press Win + R, type msconfig and hit the Enter button. On the General tab, make sure the “Selective startup” option is chosen. Then, uncheck the “Load startup items” option.

Windows File Explorer crashes when I right-click

After that, go to “Services” tab and check the option that says “Hide all Microsoft services.”

Windows File Explorer crashes when I right-click

After that, select all the services and click on “Disable all.”Click Apply and then OK.

Your system will ask for a restart. Go ahead, and on a restart, you will find that your PC has booted in Clean Boot State.

Now open File Explorer and right-click and see. Does Explorer crash or not? If yes, then it is some system item that is causing the problem. If not then it is some non-Microsoft item that is the offender.

Now you need to identify it, and the only way to do it is by disabling one item after the other.

Reboot in normal mode and remember to undo the changes you made in msconfig.

Now download and open ShellExView, which is a third-party software that allows users to scan for all the shell extensions that have been added to your right-click menu by third-party software.

You will see all the extensions, current status (disabled/enabled), type, description, product name (that has added the item), company, etc.

Shell extensions that are added by Microsoft generally do not create any problem. So you should hide them from the list. To do so, go to Options > Hide All Microsoft Extensions. Now you will see only the extensions added by third-party software.

Now, to select all and click the red button. Right-click on the items and opt for “Disable Selected Items.”

Windows File Explorer crashes when I right-click

It will disable all the extensions at once. Now, you need to enable each one one after the other and find out which of these create the problem.

Once you find out the culprit, you need to keep it disabled or remove that item.

After this, restart your computer to check whether it is working fine or not.

See this post if Windows File Explorer crashes or freezes.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.