How to Fix “Windows Cannot Open the Folder”

Windows Cannot Open the Folder

Are you trying to access your files just like a regular user but the Windows cannot open the folder error is stopping you? Opening folders and navigating through Explorer is the most basic process that a user does. If for any reason, you cannot open the folder you want to access, do not panic or worry as there are methods to fix the error.

In this post, let us discuss some working ways to help you resolve the error by opening folders on your computer. Also, we have listed a method that will help you recover your data from an inaccessible folder in case you have no option other than to remove the same.

So without further ado, let us begin!

Ways to Fix “Windows Cannot Open the Folder” Error on PC

Fix 1 – Try Another Way to Launch Explorer

Usually, when you double-click on a folder, it opens the Explorer and you can easily navigate through it. However, if the folder is not working, the explorer may not launch. Hence we recommend you launch the same using a different method and then navigate your way to the folder that has become inaccessible.

Read Also: How to fix Drive is not Accessible “Access is Denied” Error in Windows 11,10,8

Method 1 – Use Run to launch explorer

  • Press Win+R to launch the Run search.
  • In the Run search use the command “Explorer” and hit enter
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  • Check if that launches the Explorer on your PC.

Method 2 – Use the Keyboard Shortcut

  • Press the key combination Win+E to open the Explorer.

Method 3 – Use CMD

  • Go to the Start menu and launch CMD
  • Use the command “Explorer” and hit enter
  • Check if it opens the folders on your PC.

After launching the same, you can try clicking on the folder that is specifically causing the error. Check if it is allowing you to navigate or not. If not, try the next fix.

Fix 2 – Restart the Explorer Process Via Task Manager

Step 1 – Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager

Step 2 – Scroll through Task Manager and find the explorer process in running the application.

cannot access my documents windows 10

Step 3 – Right-click on the process and click on Restart to relaunch the process and remove any glitches from the same.

Fix 3 – Clear File Explorer History

In case the issue has appeared recently, there are chances that the explorer has been hit by malware and has automatically locked itself. The file history is something that may have gone corrupt and hence you may not be able to access the same.

You can resolve this issue by clearing the file explorer history or cache. Here’s how you do it –

Step 1 – Go to the Start menu and search for File Explorer Options.

Step 2 – Open the same from the menu. A pop-up window will appear.

folder cannot open

Step 3 – You may see the Clear File Explorer History option right there under privacy options in the pop-up. Use the Clear button to remove it instantly.

cannot open folders on desktop windows 10

Fix 4 – Check the Page File Management and Set it to Auto

The page file is your virtual RAM that allows the processes to run smoothly when most of your physical RAM is occupied. Sometimes when this is limited to a set parameter of size and usage, it does not allow the added process to run smoothly. This may hamper your explorer experience and hence you might have come across the Windows Cannot open the folder you want to access.

The best way to handle this is by ensuring that the file sizing and management are set to auto. Here’s how you manage it –

Step 1 – Go to the Start Menu and search for Advanced System Settings. Open the option that matches and a pop-up window will appear.

cannot open folder windows 10

Step 2 – In the Pop-Up make sure in the Advanced Tab. Use the Settings button under Performance for further options.

cannot open folders in windows 10

Step 3 – In Performance Options, navigate to Advanced again to find Page file options.

Windows Cannot Open the Folder

Step 4 – Go to Change and ensure that the Automatically manage… option is enabled. In case you have ever customized these limits, set it to automatic and save the changes.

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Step 5 – Restart the system after configuring these settings. After the restart, you should be able to use your folder again and the folder won’t open error should be resolved.

Other than these fixes you also have the option to –

  • Check for Windows updates.
  • Reset your PC/ Install Fresh OS
  • Format Your PC and Remove all Data
  • Scan for Malware

However, one of the most crucial things to consider when doing any of these is that your data is still inaccessible. And when it is inaccessible you may end up losing it while formatting the PC or upgrading the OS. Not to mention, in case your PC is affected by Malware, you have no other option than to clear the data which eventually means losing it.

How to Keep Data Safe When the Folder Won’t Open?

Now, after performing the fixes if you are worried about data loss or there are missing files on your PC after you have resolved the Windows cannot open the folder issue, do not worry as we have a solution for that too.

In case any of your files have been deleted in the process, you can restore them using a data recovery application. Yes, it is possible to recover deleted/lost files on Windows. Thanks to Advanced Disk Recovery.

All you have to do is –

Step 1 – Download and Install the Advanced Disk Recovery Application on Your PC.

Step 2 – Select the drive from where your file has been lost or where exactly the Folder Won’t Open error appeared/

Advanced Disk Recovery_Welcome Screen

Step 3 – Run a scan to identify the files that can be recovered.

Scanning Process - Advanced Disk Recovery

Step 4 – Find the files that you want to recover. Select the folder where you want the recovered files to be saved.
Step 5 – Let the application run and finish the process of recovery.

After all the steps are done, go to the desktop and refresh the PC. Check the files on your PC and they should be available for access again.

Windows Cannot Open the Folder? FIXED!

Needless to say, all your issues related to Windows not being able to open the folders can be resolved with the listed fixes. Data loss is also not a concern anymore as you can use Advanced Disk Recovery and get your files back. In case the issue has appeared after connecting an external drive, we suggest you run a malware scan too!

Try all of that and let us know in the comments if you have any doubts or issues on your PC. That will be all for this post. Thanks for reading, good luck!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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