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Win7 Explorer Freezes after a Right-Click

    Question

  • Periodically when I right-click on an file or folder in Windows Explorer, that Explorer window freezes.  It never comes out of it and there is no CPU or disk activity during the freeze. TAsk Mgr shows 99% idle.  I can click outside the window then on the close (X) icon.  I then get a dialog box that gives me choices such as resolve and restart the program, kill the program etc.  They will kill the Explorer task that has frozen and, of course, that window disappears.  This happens in both the right and left panes.  It happened before anything else but the OS was installed and continues to this day. 

    This is a new Win7 x64 install.  All software is up-to-date.   I haven't seen anyone else report this particular problem. 

    Has anyone else experienced it and found the cause?  Any feedback will be most welcome.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 8:10 PM

Answers

  • Start Windows in Safe Mode and see if the problem persists. To start Windows in Safe Mode, tap F8 before the Windows 7 loading screen appears and select "Safe Mode" from the menu.

    Problems when right-clicking an element in Windows Explorer are often caused by faulty context menu handlers. Read this article:

    Right-click is slow or weird behavior caused by context menu handlers
    http://windowsxp.mvps.org/slowrightclick.htm


    Microsoft MVP Windows Desktop Experience
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, September 28, 2009 1:24 AM
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:04 PM
    Answerer
  • You can also get ShellExView to see which shell extensions are installed and disable them one by one to find the culrpit: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

    Alexander Sklar| Software Development Engineer
    http://blogs.msdn.com/asklar
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, September 28, 2009 1:24 AM
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:42 AM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Start Windows in Safe Mode and see if the problem persists. To start Windows in Safe Mode, tap F8 before the Windows 7 loading screen appears and select "Safe Mode" from the menu.

    Problems when right-clicking an element in Windows Explorer are often caused by faulty context menu handlers. Read this article:

    Right-click is slow or weird behavior caused by context menu handlers
    http://windowsxp.mvps.org/slowrightclick.htm


    Microsoft MVP Windows Desktop Experience
    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, September 28, 2009 1:24 AM
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:04 PM
    Answerer
  • You can also get ShellExView to see which shell extensions are installed and disable them one by one to find the culrpit: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

    Alexander Sklar| Software Development Engineer
    http://blogs.msdn.com/asklar
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    • Marked as answer by Linda Yan Monday, September 28, 2009 1:24 AM
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 12:42 AM
    Answerer
  • What Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware programs are you using?
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 6:52 PM
  • Thanks Guys!

    Mac Feargus:  I am using Avast! but had the problem with only Win7 x64 installed.  Nothing but that which came on the MS Install disc.  Good idea though!

    Daniel and Alexander:  I too think that a context handler is likely to be the cause.  ShellExView looks to be a great tool to try to find which one is the culprit.  I'll give it a try and report the results back here.

    Happy Sunday!
    Sunday, September 27, 2009 10:09 PM
  • Well, because it's an intermittant problem I'm having a difficult time creating a failing case.  Grrr!  However, if I am able to create one, not only can I use ShellExView but I feel I may be well on my way to knowing the cause.

    Best regards!
    Monday, October 05, 2009 11:18 PM
  • I had the same problem, and also elected to use ShellExView to determine the root cause. I, too, am running Windows 7 x64, and began experiencing this problem not immediately, but a few days after installing Avast 64-bit version. The problem seemed to occur when I right-clicked on certain .exe files (but not all of them). In my particular case, Avast 5 was causing the problem. More specifically, the right-click/context menu option to launch an executable in a virtualized (sandboxed) mode was the cuplrit. Here are the steps required for resolution: 1.) Download and execute ShellExView. 2.) Scroll down to the Extension Name (leftmost column) "snxPluginsShell Class", right-click the entry, and choose "Disable Selected Items". 3.) Open the Task Manager (press Ctrl+Shift+Esc), selected the "Processes" tab, and kill (right-click and choose "End Process") all instances of "explorer.exe". 4.) Within the Task Manager, select "File" -> "New Task (Run...)", and enter "explorer.exe" (without the quotes) in the box and click OK. The Windows shell (explorer.exe) will now load without support for the offending Avast context menu item. Individuals who are having a similar problem, but not using Avast, should be able to adapt this approach. IMPORTANT: Don't forget to kill all instances of explorer.exe and re-launch explorer.exe after you have made changes to the entries in ShellExView, as the changes do not take effect until explorer.exe is restarted.
    Monday, August 23, 2010 10:38 PM