Whenever I'm in file explorer and I right click, and then move the mouse down to highlight 'new', it will close that file explorer window. It will briefly say 'not responding' in the very top of the file explorer window, then that window will close. I've also noticed that very briefly after file explorer closes, the icons for open programs will disappear from the taskbar.

If I right click on the desktop and go down to 'new', a somewhat similar thing happens. The desktop wallpaper will go away briefly and so will the desktop icons, it goes to a solid color, and the icons for programs that are running will disappear from the taskbar. Seems like explorer is restarting? I'm just spitballing.

Maybe relevant, the submenu for the 'new' option won't open. It won't show the 'new folder' or 'new shortcut' options that normally pops up. It just starts doing that closing behavior.

  • Go to ths registry HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\New. Set the default registry value as {D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719}.
    – Biswapriyo
    Aug 26, 2017 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


What you are seeing is explorer.exe crashing and restarting.

To track down the issue, there is two things you might try:

  1. Check if there are any weird files in C:\Windows\ShellNew, which is one of the places explorer is searching for filetypes to display in the context menu.
  2. Use Process Monitor and filter on Path contains ShellNew

If you find any files in step 1, move them elsewhere and try again.

If you find any matches in step 2, look at the last one. It should have an error of some sort, right before the explorer process dies. Go to that registry location and rename the ShellNew key to something else and try again.

  • I went to c:\windows\shellnew and the only thing in there was a file for autohotkey. There weren't any .exes in there. I followed the instructions on the filter, but I didn't see any events where explorer dies. What would I put into the filter in Process Monitor to see when explorer dies?
    – Agnos
    Aug 24, 2017 at 15:40
  • I did notice that there was a program called hd-frontend.exe that had a buffer overflow. but when the list comes up, like I mentioned before, I don't see explorer crashing. The timestamp for the hd-frontend.exe having a buffer overflow is during the same minute that it happened, but given that thousands or millions of things happen in a minute in a computer, I'm not too sure that that's what it is.
    – Agnos
    Aug 24, 2017 at 15:49
  • With the filter in place, you won't see when explorer dies. You can also check the process tree, and the see when the new explorer process replaces the old one, and filter to only show like from the old one.
    – Magnus
    Aug 24, 2017 at 15:53

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