Windows 11 | File Explorer not responding

Last couple of years, I stopped evaluating new Windows OS, as they were shipped with so many bugs and updates breaking them further. I felt reporting the bugs didn’t make anything better & few of the folks from Microsoft on Twitter are just lame like their OS. Always finding excuses for a broken OS.

Well, regardless, I always applied the updates, always fixed the issues and continued working on my projects, which are Oracle development (mostly). Like usual, I’ve downloaded the Windows11 22H2 the very first day it was released and upgraded my work laptop. Basically the OS is once again filled with many bugs, one of the notorious being the large file copying lag issues, that is openly acknowledged by Microsoft.

Well I was stuck by an undocumented issue ;) Whenever I tried to open File Explorer, it took many minutes before it was ready to interact with. None of the searches landed me on a proper solution & I just wasted hours tweaking the OS following tips to parameterize the OS for better performance. Then I was expected to copy a large SQL output for our sales manager and I had a shortcut for a folder in his computer on my desktop. I couldn’t open this folder this time & I couldn’t find his laptop’s hostname in the DNS. As the folder was mapped using the hostname, every time I tried to access the folder, gave me the same network path not found error. It took the same amount of time file explorer tried to open & I could make a guess towards what was going wrong with the file explorer.

I remembered this particular folder always listed under the quick access area of the File explorer & I removed it from the quick access area once after the File Explorer was ready next time. File Explorer started opening as snappier as possible then onwards.

Now, this looks like another problem from Microsoft’s latest release that attempts to connect to all the items listed under quick access, ie, like connecting the network folders & failing to establish a connection, throws the exception “File explorer not responding” and taking minutes until the attempts are aborted.

I’ve many folders pinned to quick access area, as a developer I work with multiple projects and this saves loads of time for me. Windows 10, 11 keep tabs on regularly accessed items and pin them to quick access area, a default behavior of the OS. This might create certain unexpected situations like the one I described above. I will not say this feature is useless, but sometimes a user who is not that tech savvy may never realize what is going on here. If I were the File explorer designer/developer I will definitely make sure to code the piece in a way that Explorer would try to connect to network folders only when the user tries to open the folder.

Said, if you are having the same issues with File Explorer taking too much time to open, please check whether any network folders are listed under Quick Access area. If yes, remove them. Unless you are a die hard of fan of automatically pinning items in the Quick Access area, disable the automatic pinning.

This could OS automatically pinning items to your Quick access area & avoid the issue I were discussing.