Windows 10 File Explorer slow working – How to Fix?

File Explorer is the default application of Windows 10 with the help of which the user can manage the hard disk drives. It is one of the most used applications to either copy, delete, move or paste the data from one folder to another or one drive to another drive.

However, many have complained that after upgrading the PC to Windows 10, the File Explorer activity has slowed down and this usually happens whenever you reboot your system and try to access one of your drives. In that case, the “File Explorer” freezes on “working on it”.

Users often ask many related questions such as:

  1. How do I fix Explorer not responding?
  2. How do I speed up Windows 10 Explorer?
  3. How do I fix Windows 10 File Explorer “working on it” issue?

While there are many solutions but in this article, we are going to provide you with some best concrete solutions.

See also 10 Useful Tips and Tricks of Windows 10

Solution 1 – Restart File Explorer

Restarting the Windows 10 File Explorer might be a temporary solution but it is worth a try.

  1. Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc using your keyboard.
  2. Once the Task Manager Window has appeared, locate Windows Explorer under the “Processes” tab.
  3. Now, with the help of mouse, Right-click on Windows Explorer and then select option Restart. After that, the File Explorer will restart and it should work correctly.
Restart File Explorer
Restart File Explorer

Alternatively, you can also choose the option End Task instead of Restart. After that when you try to open the File Explorer again, it will start again. Either way, the File Explorer will restart again.

Solution 2 – Disable Windows Search Service

There are several services that run in the background in Windows. Most of them are necessary and required by Windows 10 to run properly but sometimes some of the services can cause problems.

If your File Explorer is slowing down on search green bar, then disabling windows search service must be a solution.

Press Windows key + R or go to Windows Start and locate Run.


When the Services Windows opens, find Windows Search and then double click on it.

windows search
windows search

When the Windows Search Properties screen opens up.

Set the Startup type to Disabled. If the Service status is running, then stop it by clicking on the Stop button as you can see in the image.

Finally, click on the Apply button and OK to save the changes.

windows search properties
windows search properties

Solution 3 – Change Folder Optimization Settings

Windows 10 optimizes all the folders in a drive in the background and that my dear can also cause the File Explorer to be slow.

These issues can be encountered very easily. Just follow the steps mentioned below:-

  1. First of all, Right Click on that particular folder which is slowing down the File Explorer and then select the Properties Option.
  2. Go to the Customize tab.
  3. Now, set the Optimize this folder to General Items.
  4. Also, set the Also apply this template to all subfolders option.
  5. Finally, click on the Apply button and OK to save the changes.
File explorer
File explorer

Solution 4 – Rebuild the Indexing Service

Windows have an Indexing service created to improve search performance. If File Explorer stops working properly or stops working completely, restoring this service fixes the issue.

You can fix this problem simply by rebuilding the index:

First, go to Control Panel, and then set the icon size to Large icons. Find Indexing Options and then click on it.

Indexing Options
Indexing Options

When the Indexing Options window appears on your screen, click on the “Advanced” button.

Indexing Options
Indexing Options

Once the Advanced Options window appears, click on the Rebuild option. Then, finally, click on the OK button.

Advanced Options
Advanced Options

Solution 5 – Set the Launch folder windows in a separate process

To speed up the File Explorer, you can choose the option to launch each folder in a separate Explorer task. If one window crashes, it will not affect the other launched window and it will remain open. However, this option might increase the usage of system resources such as RAM. But if you have enough RAM, then it shouldn’t worry you much.

  1. First, open the Control Panel and then click on File Explorer Options.
  2. Now under the View tab and check the Launch folder windows in a separate process option.
  3. Finally, click on the Apply button and OK to save the changes.
Launch Folder windows in a separate process
File Explorer Options

Solution 6 – Disable Cortana virtual assistant

Cortana is one of the most anticipated features of Windows 10. It works as a virtual assistant. While it’s most certainly a useful feature, a few users claim that Cortana slows down the File Explorer.

To fix this, follow the following steps :

First press Windows key + R using your keyboard and then type regedit. Then click on the OK button or press Enter.

Run regedit

When Registry Editor opens, look to the left pane and navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Windows/Windows Search key.

Once the Windows Search Key opens up, right-click the white space on the right pane and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Registry Editor
Registry Editor

Now, Enter AllowCortana as the name of the new DWORD. Then, Double click AllowCortana DWORD and set its Value data to 0. Finally, Click OK to save changes.

Allowcortana value to 0
Registry Editor

Now, Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

Solution 7 – Disable Quick Access option

The Quick access list is useful to navigate to a certain folder quickly. However, some users reported that certain folders in the Quick access list are causing File Explorer to become slow.

  1. First, open the Control Panel and then click on File Explorer Options.
  2. Second, Navigate to General tab and then change Open File Explorer to This PC
  3. Then, click on the Apply button and OK to save the changes.
File Explorer Options
File Explorer Options

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