“Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” Endless Cycle: Fix

Under Windows Vista, Windows Explorer may exhibit an issue in which it persistently displays the message “Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” followed by the message “Windows Explorer Is Restarting.” The two messages loop over and over again, disallowing user access to files. This problem is difficult to troubleshoot, because there generally exists only a 5 to 10 second window in which to perform functions before the error message repeats and Windows Explorer becomes unusable again.


Turn off thumbnails It appears that, in some cases, thumbnails cause this issue. To turn thumbnails off, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button then open the Control Panel
  2. Open “Folder Options” and click the “View” tab
  3. Check “Always show icons, never thumbnails” under “Files and Folders”
  4. Click Apply, then OK

Look for recently created or saved file that might be causing the problem Certain .dll files or other additions can cause this problem to occur. Follow these steps to remedy the issue:

  1. Use control+alt+delete to access the Task Manager
  2. Go to processes and end the explorer.exe task
  3. In Task Manager, click applications then “new task.” Use the browse function, and go to the the “date modified” section. Delete any recently created third-party .dll files, or any programs or other files that were established around the time the problem started occuring.

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