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Windows 10 comes with many features that make it a far better Windows Operating System than many others before it. For example, its interface is user-friendly and looks far better than the previous version of Windows Operating Systems.

In this article we will see what is file explorer and how to get help with file explorer in windows 10 not responding or other common issues


File Explorer in Windows 10

File Explorer is a special program present in Windows 10 Operating System. It makes possible for the end user running this version of Windows to navigate from one file or folder to another.

In the following section we will see how to use it. This helps users know additional windows features.

The File Explorer in this version of Windows has several features that are not found in any of the previous version. This is why the users need to get help.


Methods to launch File Explorer on Windows 10

There are many methods to follow when looking for help with file explorer in Windows 10. We will discuss some of the methods below:


Method 1

This method involves running the device troubleshooter to check if it can resolve the issue. Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Press the letter R and the Window Key. Then type Control Panel
  2. Later, type Troubleshooting in the search bar provided, then click on troubleshooting
  3. Next, you can click on hardware and Sound, after which you should click on Hardware and Devices.
  4. When the wizard pops up, you can follow the instructions to run the troubleshooter.


Method 2

Follow the instructions below for this second method:

  1. First of all, open the Task Manager wizard. You can also open it faster by pressing CTRL+Shift+ESC.
  2. When the Task manager pops up, navigate to and click File, then Run New Task.
  3. Next, check if there is a check mark against "Create this task with administrative privileges."
  4. If there is no checkmark there, simply add it.
  5. Then, type CMD and click on OK.

Next, type the 4 commands below in front of the CMD prompt: dism/online/cleanup-image/restorehealth sfc/scannow powershell GShZCcCXUE2SmC5QxTfsXrTYSn2LvnPEQP {$_.INstallLocation - \like "*SystemApps*"} |Foreeach {Add-Apppackage-DisableDevelopmentMode \-Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXmanifest.xml"}

Afterward, close the CMD window.


Method 3

This is the quickest method to launch File Explorer in Windows 10. It involves pressing the Windows logo + E


Method 4

You can simply type File Explorer in the search bar where you find "Ask me anything." After typing File Explorer, click enters and this will directly open the File Explorer.


get help with file explorer in windows 10


Additional features of the File Explorer 

We will see in this section  some of the additional features of File Explorer:

  • Quick Access: This feature will list the files that you have recently accessed on your computer. It also provides fast and easy access to the files and folders that you use frequently.
  • One Drive: This feature makes it easy to upload and later access files and documents. These files can be accessed from any remote area. It works just like Google Drive.
  • File Sharing: With this Feature, you can select and share files very easily
  • Picture Tools: This feature is a reliable tool for basic image operations, like slideshow settings, background settings, and image rotation.
  • File Menu: With this feature, the end user can launch the Windows Powershell and the command prompt      
  • Search: This feature makes it possible to search various items that are related to the folders and its sub-folders that you are currently working on.
  • Custom Navigation: This feature permits you to open left-pane navigation in line with your specific need. You can do this using the "View” tab at the top.
  • This PC: This means the same thing as "My Computer." It is simply written in a different name in Windows 10.
  • Flat UI: The look is flat.


How to Get help with File Explorer in Windows 10

Get help

To get help with file explorer in windows 10 follow the steps below:

  1. To access the Quick Access feature, right click on the particular folder and then choose "Pin to quick access" option.
  2. You "can launch the File "Explorer faster than ever by choosing "Pin to taskbar" or "Pin to Start".
  3. You can choose "Unpin from Quick Access" if you need to remove associate degree items from the Quick Access menu.
  4. Some end users have complained about the File Explore hanging when they right-click in Windows 10. You can resolve the issue by fooling the steps we provide below:
  5. Click on Windows + X and then select "command prompt (admin)" and then write "netsh" after which you should hit enter and click on "Winsock reset".
  6. Next, restart your computer. This will get the issue fixed.
  7. If the above does not fix the problem, you can simply uninstall the windows update and it will resolve the issue.


How to uninstall updates

  1. In the Search box, type "Windows update" then select "Windows update settings.
  2. Next, type Update History and then uninstall updates
  3. Next, click on "select" and then click on uninstall.
  4. This will uninstall all the updates.

Are you still facing certain issues with the File Explorer despite all the methods described above? You can follow the instruction below to resolve the issue:

Run "sfc/scan now" and .then "PowerShell" in the command prompt as the admin. This can help to fix the issue fast.


File Explorer help useful shorcuts:

  • Windows Key +E: This shortcut will open a new file explorer
  • Alt+Shift+P: This shortcut can hide or show the Preview Pane
  • Alt+P: This can hide or show the Preview Pane
  • Ctrl+N: This opens an entirely new window of File Explorer
  • Ctrl+E: This shortcut will activate the Search bar.
  • Alt+up arrow key: This shortcut helps you to go one folder in the folder tree.

You can open the File Explorer in Windows 10 easily. Simply pressing the F1 key when the File Explorer window is still open.

This key is also for Excel, Word, Chrome and several other 3rd party apps. Which means it is not an exclusive function in Microsoft. The key is a support and quick help button.

Also, some PCs can open a browser window automatically with a Bing search. This is to teach you how to get help in file explorer with Windows 10.

This is how you do it.


Windows File Explorer not working or responding

If you get the error message file explorer not responding in windows 10 just restart doing the following steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. This will start the Task Manager.
  2. Look for the windows explorer process.
  3. Right click on it.
  4. Select End task.
  5. In the upper left side of the screen go to menu File.
  6. Select run new task.
  7. Type Explorer.exe
  8. Click on Ok.

Find more in the official microsoft article here


Randomly popped up Virus

Sometimes the program is randomly popped up. It opens in many tabs with bing search engine. This is a known bug. Although this may look like a virus but don't worry, it's not a virus.

There is more about this issue in the windows official answer here


How to Scan

If you are still unsure about if you have a virus you can do a scan with windows defender.

  1. Launch the program
  2. Select a complete scan of all your drives.
  3. Click on Scan


How to reset windows 10 file explorer

  1. Open file explorer with the keys Win+E.
  2. Click on File
  3. Now you have to select the option "Change folder and search options"
  4. Go to the View Tab
  5. Then, you have to click on Reset Folders.


How to Update File Explorer

A way to quickly fix any possible errors is to update it.

Just like windows 10 update works you have to do the following:

  1. Go to Start Menu
  2. Settings
  3. Update and security
  4. Windows Update
  5. Now Click on Check for updates to ensure you have the last version of all the programs.



Like Windows Vista, Windows 7 has the annoying habit of hiding file extensions in the explorer. Although, it is done primarily to avoid unnecessary change in file extension or deleting it by amateur users (making the file unreadable); this can be harmful as well.

It is dangerous because some scripts do not hesitate to impersonate common file types for you to run and cause damage to your system. It is, therefore, safer to constantly display all the file extensions, which allows you to know at any time what type of file you are dealing with.

If you are still wondering what a file extension is, then let me explain it quickly. A file extension is a suffix that is added to the file name to identify a format and therefore to associate it with the adapted program (if it is present on the system), for example, a file with the extension .txt (text) will open with notepad (default).

Normally, if you open an explorer (for example, say the documents folder), you will only see the file names and no extension following it. It is kept hidden from people who do not know much about the extension and can or delete it during renaming a file.



Windows 7 Show File Extensions


You can make Windows 7 and Vista always display your file extension by choosing the following option:

  1. Open an explorer window; by clicking the Start button and then Computer, for example (Click on the "Windows Explorer" icon, which is by default in the taskbar).
  2. Once the window is open, click on the "Organize" button and click on "Folder and search options."
  3. In the dialog box that appears ("Folder Options"), open the View tab
  4. In the Advanced Settings list, clear the Hide file extensions of the known type checkbox (uncheck the box)
  5. Confirm with OK. From now on, file extensions will always be displayed


They can be made visible through the registry section as well.


The solution with the registry

  1. Open the registry editor
  2. Open: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced."
  3. Create (or modify) a new string value and name it "HideFileExt."
  4. Set it to "0."

When you do not see the extensions, an infected file may seem harmless to you, for example, a simple image (.jpg). Or it can be really an executable file (.exe) or other. By displaying the extensions, you find it easier.

Make sure once the file extensions are visible, not to tamper with them. In case you opt to change the extension, then ensure you maintain the file extension within the same or similar form of files.

For instance, in the event you change the extension of a document file and converted it to an image, you may end up with a file completely unusable! In case you have any doubt, make sure to have a duplicate copy of the initial file to prevent mishandling. It is better to use the visibility of the type to know the file type, particularly when received through an email or an unknown source (to ensure it is not a program that may be a potential virus) rather than changing it unnecessary. You can tamper with it if you have good knowledge of the file types or can seek the help of a veteran.


The extension of a file is a reference of the file type. This information is also know as format.

A file extension is a suffix added to the file name that determines the file format. Examples: the extension of an MP3 file is .mp3: song.mp3 (the .mp3 file extension tells us that the file is normally of type MP3); the extension of a Word document is .doc (or .docx for the most recent versions of Word): document.doc (this .doc lets you know that you normally have a Word document); the extension of a Gif image file is .gif: image.gif; the extension of a simple text file is .txt: document.txt; and the extension of a program or an application is .exe (it is necessary to be wary of this extension if it is an attachment of an email because it could contain a virus).

How to change a file extension name


Without installing any specific software

If you want to change the extension of one of your files without having to install software, there is a simple trick that will be effective on Windows. Here's how to proceed:

  • Open your file explorer, and display the file whose extension you want to change (for example let us change a .jpg to .png)
  • Select it, and then File> Options
  • In the menu that has just opened, go to the tab "Display," and uncheck the box "Hide extensions of files of known type," then click "Apply" to validate, and "OK" to close the window
  • Then go back to your file explorer, right-click on the file in question, and click on "Rename."
  • Change the extension of your file to replace it with the one of your choice (here we change a .jpg to .png)
  • Press the "Enter" key on your keyboard; a dialogue box will ask you to confirm your operation by warning you: your file may become unusable. Validate by clicking on "Yes."


Other methods of changing file extensions

There are several other methods of changing the file extension without much fuss. Some of the useful methods are:

Change the extension of a file in almost all software

  • Open a file in its default software
  • Click the Save As after clicking the File menu
  • You have to select a location to save the file
  • Give the file a name
  • Observe the dialog box that appears. In the drop-down menu choose a new file type.
  • Then Click the Save button. The original file will always be open in the software
  • You can easily locate the new file at the destination which you selected during saving

Making the file extension visible

In order to change the file extension, it is helpful when you can visualize straightaway the original file extension of the file without the need to click on anything. You can make Windows/Mac display the file extension of your file by following any of the below-mentioned procedures.


Make the file extensions visible in Mac OS X:

  • Select a Finder window ot You can also open a new one. Another option is to click on the desktop to switch the finder. 
  • In the finder menu click Preferences
  • Then click Advanced
  • Select and check the  "show all the file extensions"
  • The process is complete.

If you open a new Finder window. The files will now display their extensions


Make the file extension visible in Windows:

  • Open the control panel. Click on the Start menu
  • You will find Appearance and Personalization in the section of the control panel, just click on it
  • Click on the Options folder
  • Click the View tab. This tab is in the Options folder in the dialog box
  • Make the extensions visible.
    • Go to advanced settings, scroll down until you find the Hide Extensions option for known file types. Click the box to uncheck this option
  • Click Apply and then click OK
  • Open the Windows Explorer browser file. So, you will see the file extensions


For Windows 8 and Windows 10 follow the below-mentioned procedure to make file extension visible:

  • Open Windows Explorer
  • Click the View tab
  • Observe the View / Hide section. Check the box Name of file extensions in this section.
  • The process is complete.


The hidden default option for file extensions

Since Windows Vista, Microsoft has taken the habit of hiding file extensions in its explorer (file manager that can display and manipulate files and folders on the computer). The display of the files is, however convenient to know what the format of the file is (this makes it possible to be wary of the attachments which accompany the emails).

This allows novice users (who may not know what an extension is) to make errors when they want to rename a file. Indeed, if the file extension is deleted, the file will not work properly and cannot be opened in the usual software. This is to protect novice users from false manipulation! In the same way, Microsoft masks some files and folders of its operating system, but fortunately, there is a trick to display the hidden files or folders on Windows.


Think twice before changing the file extension

Be careful to transform the extension by staying in the same type of files. If you change (for example) the extension of an image file into a video file extension, you may end up with an unusable file! When in doubt, be sure to copy the original file to avoid mishandling.

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