Solved Windows Explorer crashes when opening downloads folder


Wanted to reply this so that Windows XP can benefit too if they have the same problem like you guys have.

This problem occurs when you try to browse folders when suddenly your Explorer.exe is not responding and you need to restart Explorer.exe. Hence, your whole system hangs for a few seconds and you basically can do nothing with your taskbar has also gone.
Fix: first go to start>run>paste regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

source: Click Here

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Intel Pentium(R) G620
    4gb DDR3 RAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Ati Radeon HD4650
    Sound Card
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1024 x 768


New Member
Problem has been resolved

The issue was when Vista tried to generate the thumbnail images of the video files.
Every time it tried to open a certain file to get the thumbnail, that was what caused the crash.
By disabling thumbnails I was able to enter the folder, and delete files until the bad file was gone.

Thanks for all your help guys.
I have a Windows 7 Home Premium x64 laptop with this exact same problem. The solution worked!

My laptop was bought brand-new with Windows 7 and most likely never had Vista on it.
If you have this problem, regardless if you have Vista, I recommend it!

To switch the viewing mode of your downloads folder, right-click it and hit properties.
From properties, go to customize. From the customize tab, it should ask, "What kind of folder do you want?" and then a drop-down menu should appear under "Optimize this folder for:"
Click the drop-down menu and select "General Items" and that should remove the thumbnailing. (At least, it did for me. Correct me if I'm wrong)

You may need to check the box saying, "Also apply this template to all subfolders"

Then hit apply, and then ok.

Worked for me! Hope it works for the next person to come across this thread! :D

I have bolded important/basic notes/instructions for your convenience. :)
I am using Windows 7 64-bit. I registered on this forum just to quote this fix again, because I just came across this same problem, and THIS was the only thing that fixed my problem. I found it via Googling for said problem. This thread is a couple years old, but has proved useful to me today. Maybe by replying it will bring it up in search engine results =)

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