Explorer freezes/high CPU when opening some folders, but only once

  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    Explorer freezes/high CPU when opening some folders, but only once

    I've had this problem since I installed the Windows 10 Creators Update (but it has persisted even though I uninstalled it).

    Sometimes, when I open a folder in Explorer, it does not display anything inside (just white; no icons nor file names). Then the CPU usage spikes and I have to force-restart Explorer (it never actually crashes, but it also never eventually displays anything — I've waited). However, if I open the same folder again after restarting Explorer, the files and icons display fine and the problem never reoccurs in that folder. But it might occur later in another folder.

    I initially suspected Mystic Thumbs, which is a little utility that creates preview icons for Adobe files (*.ai, *.psd, etc.). But now I'm not sure. I ran Process Monitor while the freeze was happening, and it showed this in the stack trace:

    Explorer freezes/high CPU when opening some folders, but only once-cpu.png

    Over 90% of the processor's time was spent on something related to IconCacheCreate and/or GetDpiForMonitor... but Mystic Thumbs is not specifically implicated (I actually see no entries in the entire stack related to Mystic Thumbs), so maybe it's something else. The event associated with the very bottom trace in this list is a NotifyChangeDirectory operation. I cleared the Windows icon caches, but the problem still happens. It's hard to reproduce, though, since it never seems to happen in the same folder twice (and not in 90% of folders anyway). How do I troubleshoot this?

    UPDATE: I did another Process Monitor trace while I was quickly browsing through folders but where the error didn't occur. The stack trace looked much the same: about 95% of the time on the same processes. So the info I provided may be a false lead... that may just be what explorer does when you're quickly browsing through folders.
    Last edited by PeterR; 02 Jun 2017 at 19:09.
      My Computer

  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 31,314
    Win 10 Pro (1903)

    Hi, try two basic steps. If you can find a state where this problem doesn't occur, you're part way on the journey to identifying the cause by elimination.

    Do you experience this problem if you:
    1. Boot to safe mode
    2. Do a clean boot?
    3. If you don't have this problem in (1) but do in (2) try disabling all context menu or GUI additions.
    E.g. using Shellexview, ShellmenuView (free), making sure not to disable any MS extensions.
      My Computers


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