On my Windows 11 Pro 22H2, the File Explorer is prone to become unresponsive. In severe cases, it freezes after just two or three operations, such as opening a directory or selecting a file. No matter how long I wait, it cannot recover. Even reinstalling doesn't solve the issue either, and the issue immediately occurs even after reinstalling the system.
To give more useful information, a general troubleshooting method has been used to find the essential reason, which involves using Task Manager to identify the Thread ID (TID) of the unresponsive explorer.exe process and then using Process Monitor to capture all operations of that TID. By this means, it is found that the unresponsive file-explorer thread is keeping querying the registry repeatedly as the following way:
11:44:09.8288925 explorer.exe 3904 RegOpenKey HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes SUCCESS Desired Access: Read 17056
11:44:09.8289519 explorer.exe 3904 RegQueryValue HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes\Segoe UI NAME NOT FOUND Length: 76 17056
11:44:09.8289943 explorer.exe 3904 RegCloseKey HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes SUCCESS 17056
As you can see, these querying behavior fall into a dead-loop, composed of four commands. The key's name queried "FontSubstitutes" suggest that its value is only used to determine alternative fonts when the system lacks a specific font. However, the related font does exist in my windows system, which can be verified by the font file located in "C:\WINDOWS\Fonts". So, this font should not be involved to find a substitution. What's more, the font causing the dead-loop changes each time. For example, sometimes it's Segoe UI， but next time it may be Microsoft YaHei UI. Hoping someone can provide guidance. The file-explorer has become extremely unusable.