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How to stop Windows Vista from crashing or freezing when dragging and dropping files or using Windows Explorer.



For the past few months Windows Vista been freezing when I drag and drop files from folder to folder, or when I just open up Windows Explorer and My Computer. What is weird is that when I am browsing the web, or using other programs like Avast everything works fine.

It made using my computer very annoying. I thought about doing a clean install of Windows, but I dislike having to reinstall all my programs like MS Office, and other programs. Plus, backing up my PC takes a long time. I also heavily tweaked my version of Windows, so it is slightly faster because I disabled all the programs and services I don’t use, so I have to re do all my tweaks.

The easiest way to fix this problem is to do a System restore by pressing on the Start Button on the Task Bar > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore , and picking an earlier restore point when Windows Explorer, and drag and drop Files in Windows work properly then to restore my computer from the chosen restore point. Sadly, I deleted all my restore points except for the most recent one, so I can’t use system restore to an earlier date when Windows was working good, so I had to do other things to fix Windows Explorer from Crashing when I used it.

First, I made sure my computer was virus and spyware free which it is according to Avast and SuperAntispyware. I cleaned up all my junk files, uninstalled all my unused programs, and junk registry keys with CCleaner, Easycleaner, and Glary Utilities. I updated Windows by running Windows Update. I scanned my drive for errors with scan disks, Defrag. my drive with Auslogic Disk Defrag and Defrag my registry with Free version of Glary Utilities .I disable all the startup options in the start up tab I don’t need with msconfig (system configuration). I only left my Antivirus, firewall, and Antispyware programs to start up during Windows Startup.I disable automatic updates for my Windows Update, Firewall,  antivirus and antispyware. I now manually check for new updates for my OS and Security software.

Lastly, I ran System file Checker in the command prompt by typing  sfc /scannow and press enter. None of these maintenance tasks work, my computer still crashed when I used Windows Explorer, My computer, and drag and drop to move and manage my files. But, my PC  is faster when using my PC for other tasks like word processing.


1. I decided to remove “Context Menu items” which are options that appear when I right click a file like “Scan this file…with an antivirus” when I right click the file.2. I picked Free version of Glary Utilities “Context Menu Manager” module to remove the context menu options I don’t need anymore.glary utilities context menu

2. I unchecked all of the context menu items I never use, or rarely use. It is also okay to uncheck all the context menu item since they are not essentials for Windows to run. They are just there for conveniences, so you don’t have to open a program a program like 7-zip to zip a folder. You can just pick “add to archive”.

context menu app

context menu app

 3. Click Close when you are done unchecking the context menu. You can also test all your context menu by manually unchecking one item at a time and seeing which item item is causing the problem, but it can be very time consuming.

Now my computer is a lot faster and more reliable when using Windows Explorer, dragging and dropping files to different folders, or drives. Best of all, it is very rare for my computer to crash randomly when dragging and dropping files in Windows Vista.  It is like my computer is new again. It is more responsive and error free.

UPDATE: December 4, 2009

My Windows file dragging crashs came back  after a while,  and Avast Antivirus was giving false positives, so I decided to try Microsoft Security Essentials on my Desktop, and my drag and drop crashing problem been gone. I have not had a drag and drop related crash in 2 days and I been dragging and droping files constantly.

My advice if you have a drag and drop problem is try uninstalling your antivirus, firewall, antispyware, etc and trying a new anti-virus program, or reinstalling your antivirus, etc.

My best predictions on why Windows was crashing is a currupt context menu items, and a currupt anti-virus program.

Now I disable all my mouse right-click windows explorer programs, and use MS Security Essentials. I notice my PC seems more responsive now since making the switch to MS Security Essentials on my Desktop PC.

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