File Explorer

Windows Explorer crashes due to the Quick Access View

The Quick Access feature in Windows Explorer is a really useful tool for accessing your recently used files and folders. However it does not seem to be intuitive enough to remove items from it's list that may have been deleted or renamed. 

Recently a client of ours reported that Windows Explorer would keep crashing. Once we invetsigated it further it became apparent that Explorer would crash due to the files or folders listed in the Quick Access view. These items may have been renamed or deleted at source so the network path that the Quick Access view was trying to use is now invalid or does not exist.

If you can open Explorer for a moment without it crashing there is a quick fix - right click on "Quick Access" and select "Options". Under the "General" tab click on the "Clear" button to remove all items from the Explorer history. This will remove all links to recent folders and files including any links that are no longer valid and causing Explorer to crash. 

In addition you can untick "show recently used files in Quick Access" and "show recently used folders in Quick Access" to avoid this issue occuring again - but of course you will lose the functionality of the Quick Access view. 


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Two of my clients (at the same company) has the same problem. They're a big Office 365 user. I think turning off recent items is a workaround but not a very acceptable one. They've recently gone through the anniversary update and the fault is still there. I'm amazed this bug is still present. I try to like Windows 10 and the more rapid update & release schedule but I get the impression that some important bugs are being pushed back.

Yup, the cause is due to a mapped network drive and a file path near the max path length default. It looks like it tries to read outside of its expected range then crashes because it thinks there is a memory heap corruption. Interestingly you can use a unc path instead of a mapped drive path to the same file and not get the crash as a workaround. The bug also happens in the file explorer search as well.

Brendan, I have experience this very thing now going on 11 months. Dell's Pro-Support have no answers, and everyone else seems to think I need every virus cleaner under the sun. System is Win-7 64 (Office 2010) and when I say I keep a clean house, I mean nothing is automated. I get my own "Important" only Windows Update, if going to a web site Flash or anything else is "Always Ask", and stay away from the, Al Bundys words, 'Nudie Bars', as I have over 22 years of business clients lists and pictures to protect. Although, as of last March Windows Explorer would crash regularly. Remove a thumb drive, drag a folder to one of four monitors, more than one instance of Explorer open, 'Open With' W-Media Player, crash! After reading this Sep 08, 2016 from you my heart damn near leapt (Akin to 'offt') from my chest. However, I see nothing mentioning my Win7 2010 Office Windows Explorer. I see no Quick Access in my variety. Any suggestions?

I have the exact same problem and by now it is 2018. Have they still not found a solution for this?

I could not even open File Explorer to change this setting. I did find another way to change the File Explorer Options: 1. Open the Start Menu, and click on the Gear to go to Settings 2. Type File Explorer in the Search. You should then get an option to select File Explorer Options. 3. Click on File Explorer Options. Change the "Open File Explorer To" dropdown to "This PC". 4. Click Apply, then OK.

Great help! I was strugling with this problem for several days. It was very weird, because Windows Explorer crashed only in Quick Access File Explorer location, I could go to any other location and File Explorer would work fine. I tried almost everything (sfc scann, dism scan, chkdsk, safe boot), but the solution was much easier :) Thanks again!

"If you can open Explorer for a moment without it crashing there is a quick fix - right click on "Quick Access" and select "Options". Under the "General" tab click on the "Clear" button to remove all items from the Explorer history." Press windows key + r on keyboard: type in c: and hit enter. Should work every time.

Thanks, I woke up to this issue this morning. A brand new computer, latest W10 release. I have been using Windows since day one. Window's hairball architecture will prevent it from ever working right. Microsoft just is not competent enough to make windows reliable. Thanks mush for posting.

Thanks a lot - this solved my problem.

I'd like to let you know that this simple solution has eluded the Microsoft customer support team for years! This worked like magic. Thank you immensely.

This fixed my issue, thank you!

Thanks Eric. Really good useful fix!

For me the solution was to disable the Spybot S&D shell extension. See this page for instructions:

Looks like there's a new bug going around because all the sudden there's a bunch of activity on this thread. This is the first time this happened to me and the posted fix resolved my issue. I was able to turn the features back on and now it all works. Yeah!

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