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Explorer exe process keeps crashing without warning

troubleshoot explorer_exe error using eventviewer

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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).

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How to fix explorer exe error

  1. Open Event Viewer

Open Event Viewer using any of the method.

  • Press Windows Key + R to open Run window
  • Type eventvwr.exe

You can also open Event Viewer using Start > Right click My Computer > Manage > under System tools on the right side > Select Event Viewer

  1. Open Application Log

Expand Event Viewer. Under Windows Logs click on the Application Log.
troubleshoot explorer_exe error using eventviewer

  1. 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.
check explorer_exe error eventviewerIn 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.

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Here are the troubleshooting steps in a nutshell

  1. Open Event Viewer
  2. Check the report which coincide with the time when explorer exe crashed
  3. Find the responsible program using the details in Faulting Application Path and Faulting Module Path
  4. Uninstall Program
  5. Restart and confirm the problem is fixed
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Pappy August 16, 2015, 7:44 pm

    Hi, I’m having the same issue. please see below for the application error

    Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 10.0.10240.16405, time stamp: 0x55b4596f
    Faulting module name: IDTNC64.cpl, version: 1.0.6319.0, time stamp: 0x4d0b38bb
    Exception code: 0xc0000005
    Fault offset: 0x000000000000114e
    Faulting process id: 0x1b48
    Faulting application start time: 0x01d0d82cfb978784
    Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\system32\IDTNC64.cpl
    Report Id: 44d1d2fe-9fa1-464e-bce9-dc42589442bf
    Faulting package full name:
    Faulting package-relative application ID:

    thanks for the help!

    • Anup Raman August 18, 2015, 5:21 am

      IDTNC64.cpl is related to IDT High Definition Audio Codec. This seems to be a problem with audio driver. Try this.

      1) Uninstall if you have any audio or video codecs installed under list of installed programs.Then check if the problem is solved.

      2) If not solved, uninstall all sound drivers from computer. Go to your computer manufacturer website and install the latest sound drivers.

      3) Open cmd with admin rights (type cmd in search window, right click on the cmd listed in the search and select “Run as Administrator”)
      Type the following commands
      cd c:\windows\system32
      ren idtnc.cpl idtnc.cpl.copy
      Now restart explorer or restart computer.(The above step rename the original file to idtnc.cpl.copy).
      By restarting the computer, a fresh copy of idtnc.cpl is created which hopefully is not corrupted. This should fix the problem.

      Hopefully this should fix the problem. Feel free to update on the results.

      • Kit Cheng February 11, 2016, 9:33 pm

        I don’t know when this was posted but it applies and fixed my problem today.

        Thank you

  • Shayan July 1, 2015, 3:07 pm

    Man you really rock. I’ve been looking for a solution for 2 days and I hate Microsoft support and answers because all they say is” restart in safe mode and if it didn’t work, contact us again”. But you really investigated the issue and taught me how to understand and solve it personally. Here, I had the problem caused by an AutoCAD 2014 .DLL file. I try reinstalling it. Thanks again.

  • fexplorer January 31, 2014, 12:14 pm

    Please I need help!!

    Faulting application path: C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE
    Faulting module path: SecurityManager.dll

    I don’t know what to do now.

    • Anup Raman February 1, 2014, 5:15 am

      This seems to be an issue with Office Outlook. Do you have it in your computer? Most probably, repairing the software or re-installing Outlook will fix the problem.

      • Muhd February 11, 2014, 8:47 am

        I’m going through with the same problem..
        Faulting application path: C:WindowsExplorer.EXE
        Faulting module path: SecurityManager.dll

        I repaired microsoft office (whole) then restarted windows, still windows explorer is crashing.

        Please Help!

        • Anup Raman February 11, 2014, 3:02 pm

          Just came across a couple of cases related to GIMP creating this problem.
          Do you have GIMP installed in your computer? If yes, remove it. You can always install it back since it’s a free software.

    • brooke February 11, 2014, 6:37 am

      i also have the module path as securitymanager.dll

      Unfortunately this isn’t related to only outlook or one program…..
      Another with this module path found the problem to be with the program GIMP

      I have so far followed some help instructions to use crash-app-view to get a more detailed report showing other loaded modules and am waiting on some advice on what to do now and hoping that this report makes something clear to whoever understands it and I am able to fix this once and for all… I will update here with further details once I have heard back in hopes if anyone else has this problem and finds themselves at this forum they won’t have to keep searching πŸ™‚
      This is the loaded module view

  • frank f. July 6, 2013, 7:11 pm

    re crashes “without warning.”

    Would the problem be any less if it first gave a warning? ”
    “Attention: Am about to crash, please take cover.”

  • Kice January 22, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Okey i have this problem now when i start windows 8 enterprise the start menu doesn’t show up at all so i need to sign out couple of times so it would get back to normal i have run sfc /scannow it has repaired some error but the problem is still here please help me if you can.

    Faulting application path: C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE
    Faulting module path: unknown

    • Anup Raman January 25, 2013, 6:38 am

      Faulting module path says unknown which makes this issue complicated and hard to find the real culprit. From my experience, unknown source is usually the security software. This can happen if the security software is corrupted. Remove security software and check if issue is fixed.

      Another method is to check if the error happens in safe mode.Restart computer and keep tapping F8 will take to safe mode. Mostly the issue will not re-occur in safe mode which is a confirmation that the issue is caused by some third party software. There is no easy way to find which third party software is responsible for the issue other than finding it by doing trial and error by either disabling or removing third party software one by one and checking the status. Also if you remember installing any software soon after which this problem started, remove it.

      Good Luck
      Anup Raman

      • Kice January 26, 2013, 12:37 am

        Thank you for the advice i have found the problem it was the security software i was using Avast Free Edition and it’s known it can make problems with windows 8 i hope it will help to other people ! You are good at this πŸ™‚ Thanks again.

      • Bhaskar March 8, 2013, 12:11 pm

        Spot on Anup.. That should be the reason. But some Security softwares run even in safe mode. So F8 might not always work but that is the way to go about solving the problem..


        • Bhaskar March 8, 2013, 12:12 pm

          Ooops!! I did not see the answer below. So it was the problem that Anup said. Well done.

  • xDw94xD December 26, 2012, 9:21 am

    Thank you for this information. I applaud for your amazing skills !

  • Ell December 13, 2012, 12:19 pm


    Recently explorer.exe of my Win 8 Pro keep crashing whenever i open the explorer window. Typically within a few seconds of opening the explorer. As i use directory opus regularly, this doesnt annoy me as much but its problematic if i were to need to open control panel or toher explorer related functions. My event logs is as follows:

    Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 6.2.9200.16433, time stamp: 0x50763130
    Faulting module name: msaud32_divx.acm, version:, time stamp: 0x3dd50000
    Exception code: 0xc0000005
    Fault offset: 0x00052170
    Faulting process ID: 0x1058
    Faulting application start time: 0x01cdd928f275be43
    Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\msaud32_divx.acm
    Report ID: 7475ed18-451d-11e2-afb8-10bf48bcfaaa

    As the fault seems to point to a microsoft related dll, i’m not sure if its due to an application i had installed. Hope u can shed some light on this. πŸ™‚


    • Anup Raman December 14, 2012, 2:34 pm

      Hi Ell,

      The file msaud32_divx.acm is associated with Windows Media Player. So the problem should be a program or add-on that you might have installed for Windows Media Player. In this case, I wonder if you installed any codec packs for windows media player.By coincidence,the problem I mentioned here is associated with a codec pack. Even it is not a codec pack, check for any software that you might have installed which interferes with windows media player. It may even be something related to playing divx format. Once you narrow down the problem, Just uninstall it and then re-install after confirming the issue is fixed.If the problem comes back even after re-installing, maybe that add-on or program may be having issues with the latest Windows 8.Check the manufacturer website if they have released any fix for it.

      Good Luck

      • Shannon August 5, 2016, 8:18 am

        Hi Anup,
        Thanks for your helpful advice.
        I just did the free upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 and I am now getting the same file explorer crashing problem, with msaud32_divx.acm appearing in the error log. I went into safe mode so I could access Control Panel and found a “My Free Codec” application, so I uninstalled it. Unfortunately, back in normal mode, the problem did not go away. SO, I went into the SYSTEM32 folder and renamed the file msaud32_divx.acm to msaud32_divx.acm.copy to see what would happen and restarted the computer. Now the problem is gone, file explorer working fine, but have I set myself up for another problem by renaming this file? I checked, and Windows did not re-generate it under the original name. I have not noticed any problems so far with audio or video. What do you think?

        • Anup Raman August 5, 2016, 1:46 pm

          It seems the problem is with Windows Media Audio. Knowing it’s a problem with sound, my first step will be to re-install Audio software. Since everything is working fine, you don’t have to do that.

          I dont think you have to worry about file not getting recreated after renaming the file. It might be because Windows 10 might be using a different file for performing the same function.

        • Daniel November 22, 2016, 10:54 pm

          I experienced a client’s (Win10) Windows file explorer crashing whenever a file was opened. Error Viewer showed msaud32_divx.acm to be at fault (log below). I repeated Shannon’s renaming fix above, Windows File Explorer no longer crashes. Interestingly, the last time the file was modified was year 2002 (fix made in 2016), so msaud32_divx.acm is clearly a legacy file.

          Faulting application name: explorer.exe, version: 10.0.14393.447, time stamp: 0x5819c081
          Faulting module name: msaud32_divx.acm, version:, time stamp: 0x3dd50000
          Exception code: 0xc0000005
          Fault offset: 0x00052170
          Faulting process id: 0x1454
          Faulting application start time: 0x01d2450f5d65250a
          Faulting application path: C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
          Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\msaud32_divx.acm
          Report Id: af1ba4b2-4b56-4578-bf23-9acd2b8de5b3

  • miya November 5, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Need some help here.

    Faulting application path: C:\Windows\explorer.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\kernel32.dll

    So should I reformat my laptop or what?

    Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Anup Raman November 5, 2012, 5:11 pm

      As of now, I dont think it’s worth formatting the laptop for this simple issue.
      It seems the .dll file is corrupted. Re-registering the dll file should help fixing it.

      Open command prompt with administrative privilege
      Execute the command regsvr32
      You will get a confirmation that it successfully re-registered the dll file.

      This should help fix the problem.Please do update the result.

      Good Luck

      • Anup Raman November 5, 2012, 5:22 pm

        On second thought, kernel32.dll need not be an issue with the file itself.It can be an issue with a program or application using kernel32.dll which is creating the problem.
        Check if you have the same problem in safe mode with networking. If no, then it should be a third party software problem.
        Think about the recent changes or any software which you may have added recently after which this problem started.Removing the program might help.

        • Dan July 1, 2019, 8:44 am

          Faulting application name: Explorer.EXE, version: 6.1.7600.16385, time stamp: 0x4a5bc9bb
          Faulting module name: mso.dll_unloaded, version:, time stamp: 0x52715665
          Exception code: 0xc0000005
          Fault offset: 0x000007feec052878
          Faulting process id: 0x600
          Faulting application start time: 0x01d52fa5235dcacd
          Faulting application path: C:\Windows\Explorer.EXE
          Faulting module path: mso.dll
          Report Id: 898a5b7c-9b99-11e9-a017-8c89a54ff6e7

          My explorer.exe stops after 5 minutes without warning and Desktop freeze, no icons, no taskbar,
          I hit CTRL+ALT+DLT and Run new Task “Explorer.exe… it help
          but After 5 minutes desktop icons and task bar doesn’t show again need to run new Task of explorer.exe
          Do you have any solution for this matter? thanks

          • Anup Raman July 2, 2019, 2:03 pm

            Faulting application name shows explorer.exe which shows the Windows itself need repairing. It means you will have to do an SFC scan or do windows operating system repair.

            However, I have seen explorer.exe corrupted in client computer many times and got it fixed by simply removing a third party software which might be conflicting with Windows. The main culprit is usually security software. Start with checking for any security software which is not in use and still installed. Remove all the security software. If not able to remove normally, use an uninstaller program to remove all traces of files from the software. Restart the computer and check if it works. If the problem remains, it is worth removing the security software which seems to be working fine. Install it later when the problems are fixed.

            If removing security software didn’t work, check for other third-party software which seems to be not running properly such as slow performance or error messages while opening. Software such as MS Office is common culprits. Also, go through the list of software already installed and remove the unwanted one.

            If none of this work, you can go for an SFC scan and if that didn’t work, do an operating system repair.

  • Steve June 7, 2012, 7:21 am

    Thanks Anup
    I haven’t solved my problem yet but you article certainly opened the most important tool to resolving.
    Nice, clear, concise!

    W7 64bit, Toshiba Satellite

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