I have trouble deleting/renaming directories from Cygwin command line while the same directories are being viewed in Windows Explorer. I am suspicious that some Windows Explorer extension is interfering, rather than Windows Explorer itself, since I had no problems before.

How do I find out which Windows Explorer extensions are installed and running?

  • Related to: superuser.com/questions/1590864/… – Danijel Oct 6 '20 at 11:29
  • There are no user extensions in Windows Explorer. "Extensions" are generally handled by Context settings. Most application set Context in the Options (Integration) menu. You can use ShellExView (Nirsoft) to see all the Contexts that have been set in your system (Many). There are several context viewers around also. – John Oct 6 '20 at 11:52

There is a relative easy way to get the complete list of installed shell extensions:

The Sysinternals Autoruns contains a tab names "Explorer" where all Explorer related extension libraries are listed. On a fresh Windows 10 system with only 7Zip installed this page looks this way:

enter image description here

A second option is Nirsoft ShellExView.

Which extensions are running is not easy to detect as all installed shell extension dlls may be loaded into the Explorer.exe process without being used. As far as I know there is also not an easy way to detect which dll has opened a file handle. In Sysinternals Process Explorer you can only see the related process not which dll has opened it.


There are no user extensions in Windows Explorer. "Extensions" are generally handled by Context settings.

There are generally many (over 300 on my system) context menu entries. If you are having problems, you need to review Contexts (screen shot below) that may be affecting your system.

Windows Explorer is not a Windows "App" (Settings, Apps) that you can repair or reset.

You may be able to just close all Windows Explorer occurrences, restart and see if your problem has been resolved.

If not, try the initial repairs for Windows 10. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run (in order):

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /StartComponentCleanup

dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth


Restart and test.

Below is a screen shot of managing contexts with ShellExView (Nirsoft). As noted, over 300 items and quite complex to view and understand the implications.

enter image description here

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