How to Fix Downloads Folder Not Responding in Windows?

Last Updated Date: Jan 18, 2024

“Hi, whenever I open download folder and select any file, the file explorer hangs and says (not responding). What should I do?”——from the Community of Microsoft

Users have been in the situation when they want to open the downloads folder from Google, only to find the downloads folder not responding, and they cannot also open the download folders. In this article, we’re here to provide 6 effective solutions to help all the users who are stuck in the downloads folder is not responding problem.

Why is my Downloads folder not responding?

By default, all files you download in your browser, such as PNG images or MOV videos, are automatically saved in the Downloads folder. If your Downloads folder is unresponsive, there is a high chance that you have an error with your system File Explorer, or there may be a corrupted system or bad sector on the drive. Below are a few possible reasons why your Downloads folder is not responding.

  • Corrupt system files. 
  • Malware infection (The file you downloaded contains a virus).
  • Conflict between antivirus software and the operating system.
  • Operating System bugs.
  • Too many files are stored in the Downloads folder causing your computer to crash.
  • Misconfigured app settings. 
  • Registry keys problems.

How to fix the Downloads Folder not responding in Windows?

🔑Effective Solutions🛠️Full Troubleshooter
Optimize the Downloads folder to General itemsDisable the antivirus software temporarily
Manually check the program of the systemRun the SFC scan
Check the CHKDSK utility
Optimize system configurationRun the System Restore
Optimize the Downloads folder to General items
Clear File Explorer history

Run the SFC scan or CHKDSK utility to fix the corrupted file system 

As mentioned above, Downloads Folder not responding can be the result of a corrupted file system or bad sector, so you can run the SFC scan or CHKDSK to fix the problem.

SFC (System File Checker), a practical utility for  Windows computers, will command a scan to the entire computer for corrupted systems and files and then replace them with cached versions.

👉Steps to run the SFC scan:

Step 1: Type CMD in the search bar on the start menu > click Run as the administrator.]

the screenshot of command prompt

Step 2: Type sfc/scannow in the command line window.

the screenshot of scannow in the command prompt

Step 3: Reboot your computer when the entire process is done and check the status of your Downloads folder.

CHKDSK (short for “check disk”) is also a command that can be run in Command Prompt to confirm the file system’s logical integrity. People can check the disk status, and if any problem shows up, it can repair every bad sector found in the Downloads folder disk.

👉Steps to run the CHKDSK utility:

Step 1: Also type CMD in the search bar on the start menu(or you can press the Win+X key to open it) > Click Yes to run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2: Type the command line below:

chkdsk G: /f /r /x (replace G: with the drive letter of your hard drive or disk where the Downloads folder is located) > press Enter to start the process.

use chkdsk to check error

Step 3: Reboot the computer when the whole process is done.

Restart the Windows Explorer Process to fix Downloads folder can’t open

Download folder can’t open issue can be solved this way because the folders have no responding means the Windows Explorer is frozen too and restart it helps refresh the graphical user interface (GUI) and reloads system resources. 

👉Here’s steps to restart Windows Explorer: 

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the Task Manager.

Step 2: Locate Windows Explorer > Right-click on it and select Restart.

the screenshot of restarting Windows Explorer

Step 3: Try to open your Download folders after a few while when your taskbar disappear and shows again.

Fix can’t open Download folder by disabling the antivirus software temporarily

To solve Downloads folder not responding issue, sometimes, it’s necessary to turn off the antivirus software. Because antivirus software might occasionally conflict with other programs on your computer, resulting in issues such as the download folder not responding and unopening. 

Before doing this, you should know that it is a bit risky to turn off the antivirus application temporarily because the computer will be exposed to viruses, malware, and other security threats.

So, we recommend only turning off the antivirus application when you necessarily need to and re-enable the antivirus application after you solve the problem.

Step 1: Right-click the antivirus software icon in the system tray > select “Disable” or “Pause Protection.” (It may be different from the Antivirus program you’re using. )

the screenshot of disabling antivirus software

Step 2: Try accessing the Downloads Folder again to see if you can access it successfully. If so, add the folder to your antivirus software’s exceptions list or change its settings to allow access.

Run System Restore to repair Downloads folder not working

If you have tried several ways and still have the Download folder not working problem, run system restore may be an effective solution to fix your computer problems especially if the problem recently emerged after a system change or update. By using this way, your computer will back to a certain point at which it is in good condition according to your needs. And you may get a healthy and accessible Download folder.

👉Here’s how you can run System Restore:

Step 1: Press Windows Key + S to open the search bar and type “system restore”

Step 2: Tap “System Protection” at the pop-up.

Step 3: Choose a restore point from a date before you started experiencing issues with the Downloads folder.

the screenshot of system properties

Step 4: Wait for several minutes and you can try to open your Downloads folder.

Optimize Downloads folder to fix Downloads folder no responding

In this way, the Download folder will be optimized for general items, in this case, the operating system may streamline the process of generating thumbnails for files, which can enhance the folder’s ability to display file previews, and improve the responding speed of files and folders.

Step 1: Open This PC of your computer.

Step 2: Locate the Downloads folder and right-click it, and tap the “Properties” button.

Step 3: Click the “Customize” button, and choose “General items” under the “Optimize this folder for” button.

Step 4: Don’t forget to tick the “Also apply this template to all subfolders” option.

the screenshot of change properties settings

Step 5: Press the “OK”.

Clear File Explorer history

File Explorer can keep all your previous data from your browsing. If the data can not be accessed, it can make the download folder unopened. So, trying to clear the file explorer histories is also helpful to solve this problem.

Step 1: Right-click the Windows icon in the taskbar.

Step 2: Select the file explorer option.

Step 3: Under the General tab, click the Clear button next to Clear File Explorer history.

How to recover lost files from the Downloads folder?

If you have successfully fixed the Downloads folder no responding issue, and found that some files in the folder are missing, don’t panic, we also provide a solution–using professional data recovery software to help you recover lost files from your Downloads folder for your reference. 

ONERECOVERY is a professional data recovery software who has dedicated to recovering lost data. It supports recovering multiple file formats like image, video, audio, etc, in your Downloads folder. The whole recovery process is intuitive without demanding any professional skills. You can use it by 3 steps to retrieve your data.

Step 1: Download and launch the software on your computer.

Step 2:  Select a location to start the scanning process(It’s going to take several minutes so please wait patiently.)

Step 3: Preview the results, choose the files you want to recover, and save the files to a new place.


I believe the above 6 methods can help you to solve the Downloads folder no-responding problem in Windows 10. Besides, if you find any files missing or accidentally getting deleted, consider choosing file recovery software to get those files back.

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