Windows folders do not open - simple solutions

Does your Windows 10 hard drive start to feel a little cramped? You began to notice that some folders on the computer simply do not open? A quick way to fix folder errors is to free up space on your hard drive, delete unnecessary, that is, temporary files, installation documents of old programs, cached thumbnails and other fragments of digital detritus that accumulate over time.

Troubleshoot problems with opening Windows folders.

General recommendations

If you cannot open any file folders at all, the system files may be damaged. System File Checker fixes corrupted system documents. Thus, it can also fix the download directory. You can use the sfc command line utility as follows:

  • Open the SFC utility by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey and selecting the command line (Admin) from the menu.
  • Enter "DISM.exe Online / Cleanup-image / Restorehealth" and press the "Enter" key before starting the SFC scan.
  • Then type "sfc / scannow" on the command line and press the return key. Scanning probably takes up to half an hour.

Restart Windows after scanning.

Delete files in downloads

Some files in the "Downloads" section may even cause Explorer to crash when trying to open a folder. Thus, deleting files from downloads will certainly speed up any directory and may even fix it if it does not open. If your Downloads folder mainly contains software installers and other files that you do not need, you can quickly erase its contents using Autodelete Cyber-D. This is software that allows users to quickly delete old files in a directory with date filters. You can then run Autodelete to automatically delete files in a folder that have been saved in downloads for more than a specified period of time. Here's how you can delete files with Autodelete. If you cannot open your default “downloads” folder at all, you also need to select an alternative download directory with your browser settings.

  • Open the Autodelete installation wizard to add software to Windows.
  • Open the Cyber-D Autodelete window.
  • Click “Add Folders” to select the download directory.
  • Then click Date Filters to open the filter settings shown directly below.
  • You can configure Auto Delete to delete files older than a month by dragging the days row to the right up to 30 days. Autodelete will then delete all files saved in downloads older than a month.
  • Click the Save button, and then click Yes to delete the files.

You can also erase files by clicking on the “Run Auto-Delete” shortcut on your desktop.

Optimize the downloads folder for common items

An unresponsive folder often occurs due to automatic detection of folder types, which automatically optimizes directories for files of a particular type. The Discovery folder is great for the “Video”, “Images” and “Music” folders, which contain one very specific file type. However, it does not work well for the download directory, which includes more variable files. Thus, Folder Discovery can be more likely an error, which significantly slows down the loading time of a folder. Explorer does not provide the ability to disable folder detection. However, you can still customize for which files it optimizes the download. Optimizing downloads for common items can fix this folder. Here is how you can configure folder detection options:

  • Click the "Explorer" button on the Windows 10 taskbar.
  • Right-click on the folder and select "Properties."
  • Select the "Customize" tab.
  • Then check the box “Apply this template to all subfolders”.
  • Select the “Apply” option and click “OK” to close the window.

Select the option "Always show icons"

The folder may not open if it contains damaged image thumbnails. You can configure Explorer to display icons by clicking on the "File" tab and selecting "Change folder and search options."

  • Click the View tab.
  • Select the option "Always show icons, not thumbnails."
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Click OK to close the folder options window.

Disable automatic folder type detection

As already mentioned, you cannot disable automatic detection of folder types using the “Explorer” option. However, in the Winaero Tweaker setup program there is a “Disable automatic detection of folder types” option. Thus, you can select this option so that Folder Discovery no longer slows down the loading of the directory.

  • Download the Winaero Tweaker.
  • Open the WinAero ZIP archive in Explorer.
  • Click the "Extract All" button and select the path to extract it.
  • Click the Extract button.
  • Open the software installer from the extracted folder to install Winaero.
  • Close the explorer before running Winaero.
  • Open the Winaero Tweaker window.
  • Click “Explorer” on the left side of the window to expand the advanced options.
  • Select "Automatically detect folder type" on the left side of the window, and then select the "Disable automatic folder type detection" checkbox.

Some of these permissions will probably fix the unresponsive folder so that it opens and loads faster.

Search and removal of viruses

Antivirus and antispyware software is used to prevent, detect and remove viruses and other unwanted (malicious) programs from your computer. Such software will also help if the folders on the computer do not open. To ensure the highest level of security, it is recommended to use together with antivirus and antispyware programs. Select one of the following anti-virus software to install on your computer. Antivirus software will run in the background and periodically update the databases to give you the best protection against viruses.


  • McAfee VirusScan.


  • Windows Security Essentials;
  • AVG Free Antivirus - free antivirus and antispyware software for Windows;
  • Avast! - other free antivirus and antispyware software for Windows.

Spyware is a serious problem for all Windows users. You must install at least one spyware detection program on your computer, in addition to the antivirus program and firewall. Together with antivirus software, install one or more of the following security scanners and scan once a week to ensure the highest level of protection. Before starting a scan, be sure to check for software updates.

Free download:

  • Malwarebytes - highly recommended by IT staff all over the world;
  • Microsoft Windows Vouutvuk - Defender comes with Windows 8 and 10, XP users will need to download it separately;
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) - check for vulnerabilities and updates of installed software.


  • Webroot Spy Sweeper.

Removing trash from the system

The Disk Cleanup tool gives you a good overview of all unnecessary files in the system that can be deleted without thinking. You can also select other items in the list and decide whether to save or erase them by reading the short description.

IMPORTANT. Be sure to read the description for each item before performing the cleaning.

How to use the disk cleaning tool:

  1. Right-click the Start menu in the lower left corner of the screen, then select Control Panel.
  2. Click the “System and Security” heading, in the “Administration” section, click the “Free up disk space” link. If more than one hard disk is installed on your computer, you will be asked which disk you want to clean.
  3. After a second or two, the Disk Cleanup utility should open, containing a summary of potential files that can be deleted in your Windows “user” account, and the total amount of disk space used.

If you want it to be safe, you can delete items that Windows has already marked for you - most likely, these are “Downloaded program files” (mostly temporary help files for browsing certain web pages), “Temporary Internet files "(Cache of old web pages stored on your computer to speed up browsing) and thumbnails (tiny images of icons used for music, video, images and other documents on your hard drive that your system can always recover later).

  1. Click “OK” to start cleaning.

Want to remove even more debris from your hard drive? Click the "Clear System Files" button, and Windows will check your entire hard disk for deletion of old files - for example, previous Windows installations or fragments of files that were saved after automatic servicing of the hard disk. Click on each item in the list, read its description and check the box next to the items you want to delete. When everything is ready, click "OK". Keep in mind that some “unnecessary” files may actually be useful in certain situations, so read the file descriptions carefully before proceeding with their destruction.

Cleaning a hard disk means working with your own files, sorting them, searching for and deleting those documents that you no longer need. Cleaning the system is a tricky part in which you need to dig into the Windows folders and remove the system garbage cluttering up your system. There is also an additional part of cleaning the browser and removing old programs (or applications). There are also hidden folders that need to be cleaned:

  • Click Start, select Control Panel / Appearance and Personalization.
  • Select "Folder Options", then the "View" tab.
  • In the "Advanced Settings" section, select "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and click "OK."
  • Open the \ Users \ $ USER $ \ AppData \ Local \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Temporary Internet Files. Where $ USER $ is your username.
  • Clear the folder by selecting all the contents and deleting it.


  • Open the most frequently used local disk in “My Computer”;
  • Right-click anywhere in the window (just not on the elements);
  • Select Sort / Fit.
  • Sort items in a folder by size

Everything is sorted from the biggest to the smallest, so it will be easy to identify heavyweight champions that you should probably get rid of. Inside heavy folders, you can also sort files by size (if they are all different, for example, photos). There is a high probability that you copied the folder and forgot to delete the original or downloaded something, could not be found and downloaded again. It happens with the best of us. To find these duplicates, you may need an application specifically designed for this problem. Try the free dupeGuru. The interface is a bit dull, but it does its job: it finds duplicate files and helps to remove them.

Desktop cleaning

Did you know that the number of icons on the desktop directly affects the time it takes to load it? Give your PC a break and collect all but the most basic icons into one folder. Displaying only one icon instead of 50 will matter.

Remove unwanted programs

As for applications: the more you have, the worse your computer, even if you do not use it. They pack the memory, get into autorun, leave random items. Here's how to remove unnecessary applications:

  • Open the Start menu;
  • Find and click Control Panel;
  • Open "Remove Programs";
  • In the list, find the programs that you no longer need;
  • Select them and click "Delete."

IMPORTANT. Be careful: do not delete everything that has Windows in the name. Also, make sure you know what you are deleting in order not to uninstall the system drivers by accident.


  • Open Settings in the Start menu;
  • Select a system;
  • Find and click "Storage", select "This computer (or hard disk)";
  • Click Temporary Files and Trash;
  • Click "Empty Trash", then "Delete";

Now your computer should work faster, feel better and have more free disk space. Enjoy.

System Restore

  1. Click the "Start" button on your desktop. When the “Start” menu appears, right-click on “Computer”.
  2. In the drop-down menu, click “Properties” to open a new “System and Security” screen.
  3. On the new screen, click "System Protection" on the left side of the folder. A new window "System Properties" will appear.
  4. Click Create to create a backup or restore point. A new screen will appear asking for a description of the recovery point.
  5. Enter a description, and then click Create. A menu appears that displays the state of the creation of a restore point. The time it takes to create a backup or restore point depends on the amount of data, performance, speed of your system, etc.
  6. After creating the backup, a message appears stating that the operation has been completed. Click “Close” to complete the process.

How to recover deleted files using Backup from System Restore

Deleted files can be easily restored using backups. Windows automatically backs up files from time to time. To restore the files, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the folder or drive where you lost the file. For example, the file was deleted in “My Documents”, then right-click on “My Documents”.
  2. Scroll down the drop-down menu and click "Properties." In the new window, click on the “Previous Versions” tab at the top.
  3. A new menu will appear in which there are several backups for a particular drive or destination at different times. Select the backup you want to restore by clicking on it once.
  4. After selecting the file, click "Restore". A message will appear asking if you really want to restore the data. Click "Restore".
  5. A message appears stating that the file was successfully restored on your system. Click “OK” to complete the process.

There are several solutions to the problem of opening folders in Windows. Alternately try each one of them, and you will surely find a suitable solution. If you have already encountered such a problem, share with our readers comments under this article.