Fixing “Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” Error in Windows 7

A common problem while either installing (or uninstalling) software applications on Windows 7, as well as attempting to download updates utilizing Windows Update is that your PC either locks up, or completely crashes – (not a full blue screen operating system crash, but an application crash) causing either Windows Explorer or Windows Installer to display one of the error messages below:

“Windows Explorer has stopped working”
“Windows Installer has stopped working”

The actual error messages that appears will be similar to this:

windows 7 error

There are multiple reasons for why Windows Explorer or Installer could be locking up, so we have listed some possible solutions below:

Before You Proceed:

1. First thing you should always do is make sure your exact PC manufacturer drivers are updated to their latest versions! Outdated PC drivers cause a lot of Windows errors and updating your network devices can fix most Windows Internet connection problems. You can either search the manufacturer’s websites and download/install all your current drivers, or you can run a recommended driver update program that will find and update them for you.

I personally use DriverFinder to ensure all my Windows device drivers are up-to-date.

2.  After ensuring your drivers are updated, REBOOT your computer and make sure you are still experiencing the crash before going on to the possible solutions section.

Solutions For “Windows Explorer Has Stopped Working” Error:

Option 1. Run CHKDSK

  • Go to the Start button.
  • In the Search box, type “cmd” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  • At the command prompt, type “chkdsk /r /f” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  • Reboot your computer.

NOTE: You might receive an error message that states:

“Access denied as you do not have significant privileges. You have to invoke this utility in elevated mode.”

If you receive the above error message, it means you are not logged into you computer as an Administrator. If that’s the case, follow these steps to run the command prompt in elevated mode:

  • Go to theStart button.
  • Go to “All Programs > Accessories” and right click on “Command Prompt”.
  • Select “Run as Administrator”.
  • In the Search box, type “cmd” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  • At the command prompt, type “chkdsk /r /f” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  • Reboot your computer.

Option 2. Tweak IE Options

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Go to “Tools > Internet Options > Advanced Tab”.
  • Uncheck “Enable third-party browser extensions”.
  • Click “Apply”.
  • Reboot your computer.

Option 3. Machine Throttling

  • Go to the Start button.
  • In the Search box, type “regedit” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  • Look for the following registry key: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ SQMClient\Windows\DisabledSessions”.
  • On the right window pane, delete the subkey: “Machine Throttling”.
  • Reboot your computer.

Make sure you try the options in order and only move to the next option if your are still receiving the “Windows Explorer or Installer Has Stopped Working” error message.

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