If you are a Windows 10 user, then you may have run into the Windows File Explorer (Windows Explorer) bug that renders the option unusable unless you like to watch the pitiful thing thrash away trying to recall if it has anything at all stored.
Trouble is, in that situation, you DO NEED to see your files. Hard to manipulate files in any form when you can’t find them. Command prompt you say??? I’ll try not to laugh aloud because I lost my DOS skills back in the dark ages.
If, like many, you have fruitlessly jumped through hoop after hoop after hoop that you just give up and try again some other time? My answer was installing QDir which is an excellent little 4 pane file and network explorer that works.
I’ve updated drivers, uninstalled and reinstalled devices, disabled and re-enabled said devices while rebooting enough times to power a small village for the night. I’ve been in so many Microsoft adviser places... not sure what you call them... that I can visualize a cut and paste template that says a lot without addressing the issue.
And no, I am not anti-Microsoft Advisor either. I admire the time and effort they put into solving a problem. To be fair they do have to send us through some hoops so they can see what is happening. I’ve come to feel like I know some of them even though we’ve never communicated directly. They are trying but so many times, so many users have been through the hoops to no avail, so I really don’t expect answers from that source but appreciate them when I get them.
As frustrating as this situation can be, particularly when you only need to do a simple right-click on the desktop reasonably expecting it to take a few seconds and you are rewarded with the eternally spinning blue circle thingy, it is actually very simple to get access to those folders and even... yes... even restore right-click functionality to the desktop and folders.
I’m not going to tell you this will fix YOUR problem with explorer but I’m hoping you are lucky enough to be in the group that it does.
And... it’s ridiculously simple as passed on in a short forum answer by a user named James over at GroovyPost:
Easier than all these, right-click on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar and select one of your frequent folders and everything is miraculously sorted.
Wait... WHAT??? That’s it? That’s all it takes?? No way this is going to work. With all the confidence of a dog with its tail tucked between its legs, I gave it a go, ready to complain to no one in particular that it didn’t work!
Except that... it did.
I was stuck with a spinning circle on the desktop and empty explorer folders, so I opened the Task Manager and restarted Windows Explorer to clean things up a bit. Then I followed the instructions above and, in a few seconds, all was right in the world of file exploring!
I was able to get a right-click menu on the desktop and other places. The file explorer window worked... like it’s supposed to. No white icons and everything in order.
It was like magic, and James should be cyber-sainted... if that’s a thing.
Again, I’m not going to claim this will solve your problem with explorer or get you file access without spinning away your life. It’s most likely temporary but at least it works for some of us.
I fear that with Discord catching on, and I’m a user too, that this type of forum answer will be a thing of the past as forums shut down and push users to that platform. Discord is not really made for quick, historical information to a problem but that is a story for another time.
Thanks “James” and may the cyber gods smile favorably upon you.