If you face an issue where the Windows File Explorer keeps popping up randomly, this post will be able to help you troubleshoot the issue.
Fix Explorer keeps popping up in Windows 11/10
If File Explorer keeps opening up new windows by itself randomly in Windows 11/10, here are working solutions to help you fix the issue:
- Restart Explorer process from the Task Manager
- Make sure that Win+E keys are not stuck
- Check the connection to the external drive
- Disable Autoplay
- Scan your computer for malware
- Check Explorer add-ons
- Troubleshoot in Clean Boot State.
Before you begin, check for Updates and ensure that your Windows has all the latest patches installed.
1] Restart Explorer process from the Task Manager
One may encounter this issue due to some temporary glitches. These glitches can be resolved by ending the process related to File Explorer.
To restart Explorer, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, right-click on File Explorer, and select Restart.
2] Make sure that Win+E keys are not stuck
Win+E opens an Explorer window. So check the Win and E keys on your keyboard and ensure they are clean and no dust is lodged in the gaps.
3] Check the connection to the external drive
If you have connected an external drive to your computer, ensure its connection is tight. If the connection is loose, Windows will enter into the connecting and disconnecting loop. So, when your computer detects that it is connected to the drive, it will open the File Explorer, and when it detects that the connection is broken, it will automatically close it. However, if you can’t help but live with a loose connection, go to the next solution.
4] Disable Autoplay
Autoplay is a feature that allows Windows to open the connected drive automatically. This may sound like a good feature, but there are two instances where one may have to disable it when there is a bug or the connection to the external drive is loose. To do the same, follow the steps mentioned below.
- Open Run by Win + R.
- Type “Control” and hit Enter.
- Now, set View by to Large icons.
- Click on Autoplay.
- Untick the box associated with Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.
- Finally, click on Save.
Hopefully, this will do the job for you.
5] Scan your computer for malware
Open your antivirus software and run a full-scan to remove any possible malware infection. You could also run AdwCleaner to remove PUAs.
6] Check Explorer add-ons
Check if you have installed any helpers or add-ons to your Explorer. Uninstall or disable them. Often, even 3rd-party shell extensions can cause issues. Several programs add items to the right-click context menu. To see them in detail, you may download the freeware utility ShellExView.
Read: File Explorer keeps restarting in Windows 11
7] Troubleshoot in Clean Boot
We need to make sure that the issue is not caused by conflicting third-party apps. In order to find out what app is it, we need to start the system in a Clean Boot state. It is a condition where the system starts with only a minimal set of drivers and no third-party application. Once you know what’s causing the issue, disable or delete it to resolve the issue.
We hope that your issue is resolved.
How do I stop File Explorer opening a new window each time?
If you want to stop File Explorer from opening a new window every time you ask to open a file, you need to make some changes to the property of the app. To do the same, open the File Explorer option, then go to the General tab, select Open each folder in the same window, and click on Apply > OK.
How do I stop File Explorer from opening on startup?
To stop File Explorer from opening on startup, open Task Manager, go to the Startup apps tab, right-click the File Explorer option, and select Disable. This will do the job for you.