Vista SP2: “Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” Fix

[We have already published two other fixes for this issue: turning off thumbnails and looking for a recently created or saved file that might be causing the problem. If they fail, try the following]

vista_logoAfter upgrading to Windows Vista SP2, you may experience an issue in which you receive the error message “Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” followed by a sudden quit of Windows Explorer or a disappearance of all on-screen windows, or a message that says “Windows Explorer will restart.”


This problem can often be solved by creating a new user account. To do this, follow these basic steps:

(note that if you can’t even get to the control panel to set up a new account, you can try booting in Safe Mode then creating a new user account [using the steps below] and logging into it, then restarting. To start in safe mode, tap the F8 key on your keyboard repeatedly as the computer is starting up. Select safe mode with networking. Once the system is booted in safe mode, you may be asked to install updates–do so. )

Instructions for creating a new user account:

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel
  2. Click “User Accounts”
  3. Under User Accounts and Family Safety, select Add or Remove User Accounts
  4. Click Create a new account
  5. Choose an account name and type it in
  6. Select standard or administrator
  7. Click Create Account
  8. Select the account again and create a password if desired
  9. Log in to the new account and check for persistence of the issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *