I created a number of quick access links in Windows Explorer on a network drive that is no longer used.

Ever time I accidentally click them, or drag a folder over them (on the way to one of the functioning links) Windows Explorer hangs for about a minute, and pops up an error dialog.

Here are 2 screenshots of the hanging. I clicked on the "Paris Speaker 1 Pager" link (which points to a network drive which is not connected) and the loading cursor pops up. After ~1 minute, the error in the bottom of the image pops up.

quick access hanging screenshot

I would like to delete them, but when I try, the same hanging happens, and it takes around 3 minutes to delete each link.

Is there a faster way to delete these dead links?

  • Could you post a screenshot of the location where things stall exactly? It should not take that long, so I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here.
    – LPChip
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 21:34
  • Hi, I attached a screenshot of the hanging. Does that help? Thanks!
    – Bertiewo
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:16

8 Answers 8


Click the Quick access button (the blue star) at the top. In the right pane or the folder view, select the FTP link, press CTRL and select another item that you want to Unpin. Multi-selecting items (FTP & a normal pinned folder) and right-clicking would show the context menu options correctly. Click Unpin from Quick access. For instance, you can Pin a test folder to Quick access, and then remove the FTP and test folder both together.

This is the only fix that worked for me and possibly the easiest !

Source : http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/unpin-ftp-links-stuck-quick-access-windows-10/

  • 1
    This didn't work for me on Win 10 in Q4 2023.
    – Samuel
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 23:58

I tried Greg's answer and was unsuccessful. Instead, I utilized the "nuclear" option which removes all Quick Access items.

There is a simple command that clears all Quick Access and Recent items. Here are the instructions.

Warning: the following command clears all Quick Access and Recent items.

  1. Press WinKey + R to launch the Run... dialog
  2. Paste the following command into the dialog box

    cmd.exe /c del "%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations\f01b4d95cf55d32a.automaticDestinations-ms"
  3. Press Enter or click OK


  • Perfect solution
    – MrNams
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 8:37
  • There are lots of files in AutomaticDestinations, I deleted them all, and also all of the files in Recent\CustomDestinations\, then it worked.
    – Samuel
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 23:58

On Windows 10, click on the icon Quick access (blue star), then right click on the dead link appearing in the "Frequent folders" panel on the right panel and choose "Unpin/Remove from Quick access". There should be no error message.


Selecting multiple folders for me didn't work and I wasn't happy with the idea of removing all of my Quick Access items, but the following did work for me:

  1. Right-Click on the Quick Access item on the left context menu
  2. Select "Options"
  3. Click "Clear" under privacy
  4. Close the dialog box and attempt to unpin the network folder then
  • 1
    This was the only answer here that worked for me. Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 7:21

I was having trouble getting my File Explorer in Windows 10 from even coming up, I had a lot of items pinned on it to a network share that was no longer available. As far as I know it was never going to come back after many minutes, locked up - spinning thingy.

Then I remembered that I could go to the old control panel, which is really file explorer:

So right click on Windows flag, bottom left of the Task Bar, then click on Apps and features, then click on Programs and Features (I know there are probably better ways than this to get there.)

Now you can navigate to drive C or other drives or network shares. But I still needed to unpin the items that were in the Quick Access, or wouldn't be able to run the normal Windows Explore or probably any file open or save dialogs (not sure on that last part).

Now right click on Quick Access, click options, then under privacy click the Clear button. It clears every item pinned to Quick Access that it put there that you used recently, but not the ones you pinned there.

Apparently I need to be patient and wait until I can unpin each of the items I pinned.


Loading only occurs when you try to view the content of the folder.

Without left clicking, but directly right clicking on this folder in the Quick Access list, you can unpin it from Quick Access.

So, rightclick the folder without selecting it, and choose unpin from Quick Access.

Make sure a different folder is viewed at all times.

  • Hi, for me right clicking seemed to intermittently cause the computer to hang. As I started to delete the dead quick access links from the list, the frequency of the hanging seemed to decrease though. Maybe it's caused by the number of dead quick access links?
    – Bertiewo
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 21:19
  • Could be. I tested this with only 1 dead link, and I could rightclick it and remove it without any problems.
    – LPChip
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 10:49

If you have broken links that have a value of 0 bytes in your Quick Access folder (temporary folder file system), in order to remove them, you simply need to click on Folder Options and at the very bottom there is a button for Clear explorer file history and it should work.


You can change the timeout setting for explorer.

Add SessTimeout DWORD in regedit HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters.
The unit is second. I set it to 3 and it works well.
Remember to restart explorer.exe for applying the new setting.

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