If opening Office files crashes or freezes the File Explorer on your Windows 11/10 system, this post may help you fix it. The affected users have reported that the File Explorer crashes only when they open Office files, like Word, Excel, etc., whereas, the other files like images, videos, etc., do not affect the File Explorer. This issue is very annoying as it prevents users from working with Office files. Hence, fixing it becomes important.
We will describe here some solutions that will help you fix this issue. But before we begin, we suggest you restart the File Explorer and see if it helps. This could save your time being invested in other troubleshooting tricks listed in this article, as sometimes the issue is not as complicated as we think. The steps to restart the File Explorer are as follows:
- Launch the Task Manager.
- Click on the Processes tab.
- Right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.
- Restart your computer.
After restarting your device, open Office Files from the File Explorer and see what happens. If the issue still persists, proceed ahead towards the troubleshooting methods explained below.
Opening Office files crashes or freezes Explorer
If opening Office Word, Excel, etc, files crash or freeze your File Explorer, try the following suggestions:
- Enable or disable the Preview Pane in File Explorer.
- Toggle the Details Pane in File Explorer.
- Disable useless Startup programs.
- Check installed Add-ons.
- Run antivirus or antimalware scan.
- Run SFC and DISM scan.
- Repair Office.
- Repair or Reinstall Microsoft Office.
Let’s see the procedure of each of these fixes.
1] Enable or disable the Preview Pane in File Explorer
For some users, enabling the Preview Pane fixed the issue, on the other hand, some users got rid of the issue by disabling the same in File Explorer. You should also try this trick. Maybe this will work for you too. The Preview Pane option is available in the View menu in File Explorer. If you are a Windows 11 user, go to “View > Show > Preview Pane.”
2] Toggle the Details Pane in File Explorer
You can also try this. Launch the File Explorer and then:
- Enable the Details Pane if you have disabled it.
- Disable the Details Pane if you have enabled it.
Now, check if this fixes the issue. Some users have found this method useful.
3] Check installed Add-ons
Installed Add-ons are usually the culprit! 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 Explorer to crash on particular actions. Several programs add items to the right-click context menu. To see them in detail, you may download the freeware utility ShellExView.
It will let you view & disable suspect 3rd party shell extensions. Using the trial & error method, you may disable/enable the extensions to try and identify if any of them are causing a problem. ShellExView can also be used for solving context-menu problems in Explorer, like, say, if the right-click is slow.
4] Disable useless Startup programs
Some programs in Windows OS run on startup. Sometimes this creates issues with other software or programs. Hence, disabling the Startup programs that you don’t require to run automatically every time you start your system may help fix the issue.
5] Run antivirus or antimalware scan
You might be facing this problem due to a virus or malware infection. Hence, we suggest you run an antivirus or antimalware scan.
6] Run SFC and DISM scan
One of the causes of this type of issue is damaged or corrupted system files. This might be the case with you. Hence, we suggest you run SFC and DISM scans to repair the damaged or corrupted system files.
After the process gets completed, check if you can open the Office files from File Explorer or not.
7] Repair Office
If opening Office files still crash or hangs File Explorer, repairing the Microsoft Office application may fix the problem. The steps to repair the Office app are listed below:
- Launch Windows 11/10 Settings app.
- Go to “Apps > Apps & features.”
- Scroll down the list and select Microsoft Office.
- Click Advanced Options and then Modify. If you are a Windows 11 user, you have to click on the three vertical dots on the right side of the Microsoft Office and then select Modify. Click Yes if you receive a UAC prompt.
- Select Repair from the list of options and then click Continue. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Now, check whether or not the issue is fixed.
8] Repair or Reinstall Microsoft Office
In most cases, repairing the Microsoft Office application fixes the issue. But if the problem still exists, we suggest you manually remove the Office application and then reinstall it. Depending on the type of Office application (Office 365, individual Microsoft Office apps, Microsoft Office click to run, etc.) installed on your system, the uninstallation process is not the same.
After completely uninstalling the Office application, reinstall it and see if you are able to open the Office files from File Explorer.
These Explorer related fixes may also interest you:
- Explorer crashes when you right-click
- Explorer crashes after resizing or snapping
- Explorer.exe High Memory & CPU usage
- Windows Explorer Crashes in a particular Video folder.
Why does my computer freeze when I open File Explorer?
We need to open File Explorer several times a day because it allows us to access all the files stored on the hard drive. If your File Explorer crashes or freezes while opening or working, you will not be able to access your files. One of the causes of this issue is system file corruption.
Why do Microsoft Office programs keep crashing?
One of the causes of this issue is damaged or corrupted Office files. Such types of issues can be fixed by repairing the Microsoft Office application. We have explained the process to do this above in this article.
Sometimes, a problematic Add-in also crashes the Microsoft Office applications. Starting the Microsoft Office in Safe Mode can help you identify the add-in causing the problem. If you find such an add-in, consider disabling it.