Windows Explorer “Not Responding”: Fixes

Windows Explorer in Vista may sporadically display the message “Not Responding” during routine operation. This message is accompanied by a temporary freeze of Windows Explorer, or a complete lockup in which explorer automatically restarts or the explorer task must be ended using task manager (control+alt+delete).


Run the system file checker tool Click Start then click All Programs. Go to Accessories and right-click “Command Prompt” then click Run as administrator. Enter the command sfc /scannow and press return. After the scan and repairs are complete, restart.

Check your antivirus software The presence of multiple, conflicting antivirus or anti-spyware/malware programs can cause this issue.

Pick one and only one package and make sure it is updated frequently. Installation of multiple anti-virus packages can create conflicts that might actually weaken your system’s immunity and can create stability and performance issues.

Your antivirus software may also be out-of-date or incompatible with Vista. Here’s a list of some compatible programs–make sure you are using the latest of edition of whichever you choose.

Create new administrator account Issues with your user account may cause the “not responding” issue to occur. Try creating a new user account and check for persistence of the problem:

  1. Open the control panel
  2. Go to User Accounts>Add User account>Create New “Admininstrator” Account
  3. Restart and login to the new account
  4. Check for peristence of the problem. If it is eliminated, transfer your old files from:C:\users\oldaccountname.

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