Windows 10 File Explorer – File Selection Crashes (Tip)

The other day I noticed as tried to prepare a selection of files to be packaged into a Zip file, after one or more selections on a random basis, Windows 10’s File Explorer would either hang or crash.

In all the years I had been working with various Windows versions I had never come across this issue and I was having a hard time believing that something had gone inherently wrong between File Explorer and its integration with Windows 10 as I keep my systems as clean as possible with strong virus protection.

Off I went to the Internet to research this problem and what I found was quite amazing in that many complaints had been posted by users in the past few years of similar issues with this venerable Microsoft program.  Everything from slow-downs to crashes were reported with a standard litany of solutions to assist users in resolving such problems.

I tried all of them to no avail as among the few that I attempted are shown below…

  • File corruption scans & repair
  • Netsh Winsock reset
  • Force File Explorer to start in a separate process

However, after nearly half a day of research and attempts at resolving this issue I finally decided to maybe try an alternative to File Explorer.  And I found quite a few that were quite good.

Tinkering with the ones I wanted to try and finding them all working to my satisfaction I came to the conclusion that it was possible that Microsoft’s File Explorer had a “bug” in it that many people may have not come across before.

In my case, I have historically used File Explorer without any right-most Preview or Details Pane being displayed.  Such panes can display additional information on a selected file or image that is not currently being shown in the primary view list.

On this occasion I had earlier opened up a Details Pane in order to do some research on what additional file information would be available if I required it for an application I am developing.

Leaving this pane open, I later went to do my file selections for my Zip file package when I ran into the issue of my File Explorer crashing.

Believing that File Explorer had been a venerable part of the Windows ecosystem for so many years, it never crossed my mind that leaving the Details Pane open in the right side of File Explorer would in any way cause an issue.  If it were to, I assumed the application would be smart enough to gracefully circumvent it when selecting multiple files.

Unbelievably, this was not the case…

As I came to see, if you have a right-most pane open in File Explorer and you attempt to select multiple files, File Explorer will not attempt to display any data in the pane of the last file selected but in fact start to hang and eventually crash.

Closing the pane will immediately alleviate the issue and bring File Explorer back to its normal working self.

One would think that such an issue would have been found by Microsoft years ago but it appears that this was never tested for, for if it were, such crashes, as a result, would have never had happened.

A simple Try-Catch block in the code for the selection process would have easily rectified the issue or better yet, the simple forcing of a pane being closed upon the multi-selection of a second file…

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