Windows Explorer hangs when opening Word or Excel? Fix it up

That Windows Explorer crashes globally can happen, but it can also happen on specific occasions, such as when we open Word, Excel or other Office programs that cause it to crash. However, if we open any other type of files, they do not affect the functioning of the Explorer at all. This problem can prevent many users from being able to work normally with their documents, so today we are going to try to solve them.

Why do Office files crash Explorer

In general, the use of the File Explorer is common throughout the day, because through it we will be able to access all our stored files, so if it does not work we will be able to access these files. If it freezes or blocks only when we try to open files from Microsoft’s popular office suite, it may be because they are damaged.

Likewise, it should be noted that locating the reasons why this problem occurs is not easy, so we may have to try different types of actions until we find the one that can find the solution. From restarting the browser, to enabling or disabling the preview. We can also use the system file checker, or directly use the repair tool of the office suite itself. If nothing works we can always uninstall and reinstall the application or restore Windows to a previous version.

How to fix this problem

In the event that we suffer from this annoying problem, then we are going to see different procedures that we can carry out to solve it.

Restart File Explorer

The first thing we must do is try restarting Explorer, because sometimes the problems are not as complicated as you might expect, and a simple restart can save us major headaches. When it hangs for whatever reason, restarting it from Task Manager is usually able to get it back to normal. Thus, this makes it the first action that we must perform and as we have commented we must access the “Task Manager”. Then we click on the “Processes” tab and look for the “Windows Explorer” in the list. Once found, click on it with the right button and click on “Restart”. Finally, we reboot the system and check if the problem persists.

Restart Windows Explorer

Enable or disable the Preview Pane

It is possible that enabling or disabling the Explorer preview pane, depending on how we have it configured, can help us solve the problem. To do this we just have to click on the “View” tab and on the left side we find the button «Preview pane» or directly press its keyboard shortcut «Ctrl + P». We can also try toggling it with the “Details Panel”. By pressing it we will activate or deactivate and with this the problem with the Office files can be solved.

Explorer Preview

Use SFC and scan the system for faults

Microsoft’s operating system has its own System File Checker. This tool takes care of remove corrupt files from the system before replacing them with their cached versions. In this way, it helps us to automatically repair damaged system files along with other problems, being able to solve the problem with Windows Explorer when opening documents from the Microsoft suite.

In order to run it, we write cmd In the search box of the Start menu to display the Command Prompt, which we must execute with administrator permissions, clicking on the Run as administrator section. Later we write the following command and press Enter:

sfc / scannow

Run SFC Scannow in Command Prompt

Once finished, we close the Command Prompt and proceed to restart the system to see if the problem is solved.

Repair Microsoft Office

Microsoft’s office suite has its own repair tool which can help us to fix the problem. To do this, we must access the System Configuration section by pressing the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Subsequently, click on the “Applications” section. This will take us to a new window where all the installed programs are listed at the bottom. Here we must locate the Office application that we have installed, click on it and then on «Modify». This will open a new screen where we can choose between a “Quick Repair” or “Online Repair” and finally press the “Repair” button.

Repair Office from Settings

Reinstall Office

In the event that the repair does not solve the problem, we can choose to uninstall the application and reinstall it again. To uninstall it, just enter the Windows “Settings” section, click on “Applications” and locate the Office application that we have installed on our system. Now we must click on the option “Uninstall”. Later, your assistant will inform us of the entire uninstallation process. Once finished, we go back to installing it to see if this definitively solves the problem.

Uninstall Office

Roll back to a previous version of Windows

If we continue with the problem that is responsible for blocking the File Explorer when we open an Office file, we can try to go back to a previous version of Windows where this error did not appear and everything worked correctly.

This is something we must do from the Control Panel. To access this, we must write control panel in the search box of the Start menu and select it. Once open, in the group by tab, we select small icons. Subsequently, we click on “System” and then on “Advanced system configuration”, which we find in the right part of the window. Doing this should open the window where the “System Properties” is displayed. Here we will click on the “System Protection” tab. Finally, we click on the “System Restore” button.

Restore the system to a previous version

In the new window, click on «Next» to see the restore points that we have available. We select the desired one and click Next again to start the entire restoration process. Of course, we should not fear losing our data since the system will offer us the possibility of keeping it if we wish.

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