Recently I noticed my explorer.exe keeps crashing down as soon as I open a specific folder inside my external drive. A quick google search revealed that there are lots of similar issues reported on the internet. Some users reported explorer.exe crashing when they tried to open a certain drive, folder or file. For others, it happens only when they run a particular software or application.
There were some helpful articles, but most were a shot in the dark with no logical troubleshooting. In this article, let me guide you through the logical step by step to troubleshoot explorer.exe crashing problems. For this, we will be using the freely available OS tool Event Viewer.
What is Event Viewer?
Event Viewer is an in-built advanced tool that displays detailed inconfigurationation about significant events and helpful when troubleshooting errors with Windows and other programs. When the computer is turned on and running, every program and services sends a notification to event viewer which is logged in as a log. The program notification not only happens when the programs start, but also when it shuts down or whenever it come across an error. The notification is shown in the form of information, warning or an error. The reporting is not only restricted to programs, but also for administrative tasks, system tasks, setup tasks and system security tasks as well.
A computer user or administrator can use these logs in order to find where the problem lies inside the computer. In computer networks, system administrator can configure the event viewer to be viewed remotely for tracking information. It is quite common that you may not be aware of an error in your computer until the log in event viewer tells you so. (I just found from Event viewer that my PC is having an issue with installing a windows update).
How to fix explorer exe error
1) Open Event Viewer
Click Start -> Run -> eventvwr.exe
Start -> Right click My Computer -> Manage -> Select Event Viewer under System tools on the right side.
2) Open Application Log
Expand “Event Viewer”. Under Windows Logs click on the Application Log.
3)Check the error logs.
In this case, there are lot of error logs reported. Check the latest error that coincide with the time explorer.exe crashed. Below the window, you can see the details related to that particular error.
In this case, the details show :
Faulting application Path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe
Faulting Module Path : C:\Program Files\K-Lite Codec Pack\ffdshow\ ffdshow.exe
Report ID: 2bc14e2c-930e-11e1-a640-001641f612a8
The faulting application here is explorer.exe and the faulting module path is a file related to K-Lite Codec Pack which I installed in my computer for supporting more video files. From this I can assume that the problem is associated with some corruption in the application K-Lite Codec. K-Lite Codec is a very popular codec pack and there is no reason to suspect it as a bad software. The only explanation is that it might have got corrupted for some reason.
In this case, I uninstalled K-Lite Codec Pack and checked if the issue was fixed. Once confirmed, re-install the software back and check if the problem is re-occurring. Hope you got the logic behind how to fix such issues. Event viewer is a very useful application since it logs in all events that happen in your PC. If properly used, the information inside Event viewer can be used not only to fix explorer.exe errors, but other errors as well.
Here are the troubleshooting steps in a nutshell
- Open Event Viewer
- Check the report which coincide with the time when explorer exe crashed
- Find the responsible program using the details in Faulting Application Path and Faulting Module Path
- Uninstall Program
- Restart and confirm the problem is fixed
- Ease of Use