In Windows 10/11 as well as in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 you may face an issue with the explorer.exe process crashing and restarting occasionally. This how-to article provides guidance on how to fix explorer.exe crashes in Windows.
Follow the steps below to fix explorer.exe crashes in Windows.
- Run disk health checks in Windows.
- Run a full anti-malware check with your third party anti-malware tool, Windows Defender and ideally with the latest version of Microsoft malicious software removal tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=9905.
- Check the Windows registry health by following instructions from the following articles.
- Make use of the Nirsoft tool for extensions removal. This regards any third-party apps which could tamper with explorer.exe causing it to crash. You should combine these checks with Process Monitor traces from the affected machine(s). Also make use of the AppCrashView tool to get more details about the crashes.
- Try a tool such as LockHunter to check if there are any locked files which are causing the crashes.
- Check all Explorer.exe settings and ensure these do not tamper with another third-party application you are using.
- Ensure that the crashes are not occuring due to multi-monitor setup and HDMI devices. Try to work in a single-monitor setup without HDMI devices and see if you can still replicate the issue.
- Ensure that you install the latest graphics driver updates from your software vendor. Ensure that all Windows drivers are updated to the latest version by trying Windows update and another 3rd party tool if needed, such as DriverEasy.
- If you are using Citrix or another VDI environment, review the following KB articles and apply fixes, if any of these cases applies to your environment.
- https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX107825/how-to-disable-citrix-api-hooks-on-a-perapplication-basis and https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX216907/disable-ctx-hooks-perapplication-based-on-when-the-excluded-image-doesnt-work
- If all else fails, create a clean Windows profile or finally re-install Windows on your affected machine(s).