As we all know, items in windows file manager will change color when selected. But this feature seems go wrong on my windows 10 x64 computer lately: enter image description here

A reboot will fix the problem, but after couple of hours the highlight shall disappear again.

Is this another windows bug, or am i missing something?I don't think I have installed any software that may affect windows explorer.

  • I experienced this after using Remote Desktop (with Parallels Client for Android)
    – beppe9000
    Feb 14, 2019 at 22:49

9 Answers 9


Do you happen to have a second monitor with different scaling? Switching between the two as primary displays seems to cause this.

Toggling High Contrast mode on and off seems to fix the issue temporarily so I don't need to reboot. A permanent fix is still required, but I hope this helps in the interim.

High Contrast Setting

Edit: it's possible also that changing theme colours also fixes the issue but I have not tried this yet; I'm waiting for it to break again.

  • 2
    Switching themes to another theme then switching back to my original fixes this for me. Thanks!
    – clav
    Jul 28, 2017 at 1:04
  • Thank you, The selection was being made only that it was not appearing in different text. Your solution acutally solved my problem. Sep 3, 2019 at 8:15

This problem seems to be occurring only after starting the system from sleep/ hibernate. Instead of restarting every time it occurs, you can rather Restart the Windows Explorer through the task manager. Task manager screenshot

Simple Fix: Restart Windows Explorer

  • 1
    Or you can press Shift + Left Alt + Print Screen twice in a row. Jun 22, 2018 at 17:44
  • @MaciejSwic This should be the answer. Fixed it immediately for me. Oct 2, 2018 at 18:24
  • 1
    @LewsTherin Do not think so, it does not solve the problem, it is just a workaround. Jan 7, 2019 at 13:36
  • This solution fixed it for me! Thank you!
    – Sitram
    Oct 3, 2019 at 10:13

I haven't got enough information to give a definite solution, but here are some things you can try to narrow down the possibilites or try to solve it

First thing I would try is to see if the problem is fixed when explorer restarts. Next time you get this issue, open task manager, go to more details and look under processes. Select Windows Explorer from the list and click Restart in the bottom right. See if the issue persists

It could be a problem with your graphics driver - try downloading the latest one from your manufacturer's website (but don't try installing one for a older version of windows as this could make the problem worse)

Another possibility is that some system files are corrupted. Have a look at this article to see how to run sfc to check your system files.

Does anything else happen at the same time as this (e.g. some stuttering or a black screen?) Check your event viewer and see if there are any errors happening at the same time as you get this bug.

  • Thx for reply. The sfc check showed no corrupted files, and I installed the lasted graphics driver (Intel® HD Graphics 5500). Still need some time to see if problem still exists.
    – mmjang
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:55
  • This happened to me, I did an sfc /scannow and it found and fixed some issues. I had to reboot the PC. Once back up, Explorer was highlighting correctly, and that other issue with refreshing with Explorer window went away. MS link: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files/…
    – JasonH
    Sep 25, 2015 at 21:45

I have a laptop. When docked, I do not see or use the laptop LCD. Instead, I use 2 external monitors. The monitors were defaulted to 100% scaling. When the laptop lid is closed the scaling for it does not show up on the display settings, but it was 125%. Even though the monitor was not active, its scaling affected the File Explorer highlighting.

  • this seems to co-relate to my use of eyefinity on AMD Radeon graphics, as Windows maybe silently changing the scaling of the hidden displays, as only a virtual display is shown in display configuration dialog.
    – Kevin
    Mar 11, 2020 at 20:28

To color selected text or icon:

Enter to File Explorer, there:

View -> Options -> View

look for: "Use check boxes to select items" and UNCHECK it.

Click on "OK"

  • It would be helpful if you wrote a sentence on why this is needed.
    – r0berts
    Jan 21, 2019 at 17:03

I use one of high contrast in windows 10 setting and click apply button in setting, then switch it off by choosing None, then everything going as default.

Oh on more thing, this happen after setting double monitor.


Pulling the file explorer window into the view of the other monitor(s) appears to be a quick fix to this problem. It allows the window to resize itself and fix itself. It's then able to be placed back into view of your favorite monitor again. For me personally, it was putting the window onto the laptop screen and then back to the desktop screen.


what I did was I switched off the transparency effect in the theme settings.


In SETTINGS>COLORS>MORE OPTIONS>Transparency Effects - set it OFF. Problem solved.


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