8 Fixes For “System Call Failed” Explorer.exe Error

The Explorer.exe error isn’t anything new. There have been instances since XP that  Fix explorer.exe “System call failed” Error pops up. In an older operating system, it would shut down the explorer. In newer ones, you at least get the ‘System Call Failed’ Pop-up. In either case, it is not great news.

What is the explorer.exe system call failed error? Is there a way for you to fix it? Critical error is one of the most dreadful problems one can face. Let’s explore and fix this problem.

What Is Explorer.Exe And System Call Failed Error?

Explorer.exe is one of the essential tasks that Windows 10 runs. You can see it in the task manager but it is never a good idea to end the process. Why? Because it provides you access to files and folders on your system.  In simple words, it is the reason why or how you can access all files and folders in the system.

So, when you get a System Call Failed Error for Explorer.Exe, it is a serious problem. It has been one of the common errors on Windows 7 and Windows 10. The error will make it impossible for you to open any file or folder. Often, the screen will flicker and do nothing else. But, a popup will appear – ‘Explorer.exe system call failed.’

If that happens, you can’t access almost anything. You can’t click on the Start Button.

Reason Behind System Call Failed Error In Explorer.Exe

What is the reason behind the explorer.exe system call failed error in Windows 10 or Windows 7? There are seemingly countless reasons. That’s why it becomes pivotal to counter each problem separately.

It could be a driver problem. Often, virus or malware attacks also lead to corruption. Some faulty programs or conflict between the two programs may also cause it. Even something like a bad sector, hard disk drive error, or system file errors can lead to it.

Solutions To Fix System Call Failed Error For Explorer.Exe

  • Restart The Windows Explorer Process
  • System File Checker And DISM
  • Check Your Hard Drive Errors
  • Uninstalling A Few Programs
  • Windows Defender For System Scan
  • Clean Boot Alternative
  • Update Driver
  • Reinstall The Windows 10

How To Fix System Call Failed Error For Explorer.Exe? 

Before you begin with the fixes, make sure to create a separate restore point. Don’t delete the old one, but create a new one to be safe.

If you think that your hard drive might be at risk, make a data backup. Ensure that you have data backup in Cloud or other storage devices. Sometimes, the bad driver sectors can lead to irreversible problems or data loss.

Once you make the backups, you can move ahead. If you can’t make backups due to the Windows Explorer Process error, move ahead.

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1. Restart The Windows Explorer Process

windows task manager windows 10

If you get the error message, it is not the end of the world. You can still access other commands. This includes relaunching the explorer.exe.

  • If you can right-click on the Task Bar, open Task Manager. Otherwise, press CTRL+ALT+DEL keys to launch the Startup Tab and select Task Manager from it.
  • Check for all the running processes, and expand the list to see if it has Windows Explorer Process.
  • Even if it stopped, it should be on the list. Go ahead and right-click it and select restart.

This solution works most of the time.

windows explorer process in Task manager windows 10

2. System File Checker And DISM

If you face any error related to Windows 10 and suspect it is related to system files, use these two tools. The SFC and DISM are the boons of the tools that can fix almost any error lingering in your system.

But, these are for corrupted or missing files, and other similar errors. All you need to do is use the good old SFC/Scannow code to run the System file checker:

  • Go to the Start Menu and Search for Command Prompt. Right-click and Run As Administrator. Press yes to the windows Prompt.
run command prompt as administrator windows 10
  • You can go ahead and type ‘sfc/scannow’ or ‘sfc/scanfile=C:/windows/explorer.exe.’ This will run System File Checker.
sfc/scannow Windows 10 command prompt system file checker
  • The second option will specifically scan the explorer part. But, the first option will scan your entire computer for any error.
  • You will have to restart your computer.

If that solves your issue, you can launch the System File Checker again. If not, you can move to the DISM scan. It should always come second to SFC.

  • Once again, run Command Prompt as Administrator.
  • Type: ‘DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealth.’
command line DISM/Online/Cleanup-Image/RestoreHealth
  • Press Enter.

This will solve almost any problem with your system. You can restart your computer and relaunch the code to be double sure.

3. Check Your Hard Drive Errors

There’s another fantastic tool like DISM and SFC known as CHKDSK. It is also a built-in tool that will help you check for any error in the hard drive. You can fix system integrity, or fix logical file errors with this tool. In simple words, if you have bad sectors, malfunctioning hard drives, and such, it is the best tool for you.

  • Run Command Prompt As An Admin.
  • Type chkdsk C:/f/r. The ‘C’ will replace whichever drive partition you want to scan. Start with the one that has Windows Operating System.
chkdsk command line in windows 10 hard drive errors
  • Press Enter.
  • After the entire scanning process, there will be prompts. All you need to do is type Y and press enter. This will restart your computer.
  • You can also run chkdsk C/f for logical hard drive errors.

Once you reboot, check to see if you still have the Explorer.exe error. It should have been fixed.

4. Uninstalling A Few Programs

So, you’ve tried everything so far. Yet the File Explorer Error In Windows is not going away. It might be due to some third-party program you’ve installed recently. Some untrusted programs may tamper with your system files. Malware, virus, or spyware are some of the common problems they come with. If you downloaded some unknown program, it’s time to get rid of it.

  • Right-Click on the Start Button and find the ‘Apps And Features’ option. If you don’t find it, search for it in the Control Panel.
apps and features right-click start button
  • Sort the list by ‘the order of date of installation.’ This will simplify the list for you to uninstall the recently installed programs.
sort by install date apps and features windows 10
  • Right-Click on each program and click Uninstall. You can restart the PC after each uninstallation to see if it fixed the problem.
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If this method doesn’t work, you can go ahead and reinstall them if they were useful. But, it is always better to use premium or credible

5. Windows Defender For System Scan

Maybe there is some virus or malware attack that’s causing you the File Explorer Error In Windows. Be double-secure with a system scan. If you don’t have any premium tool like Avast or Malwarebytes, you can use Windows Defender.

Windows Defender does a commendable job at keeping most threats at bay. All you might need to do is launch a full system scan:

  • Go to the Search Option on the Start Menu.
  • Search for ‘Virus & Threat Protection.’ Launch It.
search virus and threat protection windows 10
  • It will open the Windows Defender Security Centre for you.
  • Click on ‘Run A New Advanced Search.’ You will find it in the right panel.
img 617d95f3160fe
  • It will show you various search options like Full Scan, Custom Scans, etc.
  • It is better to start with a Full Scan. It might take some time. Click on Scan Now and let the process take its time.

Make sure that the full scan is in motion, you won’t do anything on the PC. Anything can interrupt or delay the entire scanning. If you fix the problem, that’s great. Restart the system and check.

If you didn’t get results, you can try Windows Defender Offline Scan. It will work by shutting down the entire system with the next reboot.

6. Clean Boot Alternative

Software conflicts and errors can lead to the same Files Explorer Error In Windows. There might be some app or service that is automatically starting. It might be running in the background during a simple booting process. These can often hinder performance and cause malfunctions.

You can fix this issue by using a clean boot. It is when you restart the PC with only the essential programs and drivers. How to do a clean boot?

  • Press the Windows Key + R  key together. This will open the Run Box. Type ‘msconfig’ and click on OK or press Enter. This will open the System Configuration Window for you.
system configuration tab windows 10
  • Go to the ‘Services’ tab. There, check on ‘Hide All Microsoft Services.’
hide all microsoft services system configuration windows 10
  • Now, go ahead and click on the Disable All button. Click on OK and Apply changes. This will turn your PC into a bare minimum.
  • Find the Startup Tab (CTRL + ALT + DEL Keys) to open Task Manager.
  • In the tab, all you need to do is disable all the apps and programs. Don’t end them, just disable them. Windows itself will let you know if there is any essential program you can’t disable.
  • Once done, close the task manager after clicking OK.
  • Restart your computer and see if this fixes the issue. This is similar to safe boot mode in older windows. It will start the windows with a minimal set of drivers. So, you should also unplug irrelevant peripheral devices. 

If it does fix the issue. Go to the Task Manager (use CTRL + Shift + ESC for the shortcut) again and enable programs one after another until you narrow down the problem. Once you find the program messing with your system, you can uninstall it from the Control Panel.

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7. Update Driver

The first step to fixing the File Explorer Error is by checking out the Graphic Card Driver. Somehow, it is related to this specific driver.

  • Go to the Start Menu and find Device Manager.
device manager search start menu windows 10
  • Once you launch the Device Manager, there will be many other devices. This is the list of all the devices connected or available in your system.
device driver list device manager windows 10
  • Find and expand the ‘Display Adapters’ options. It will show you a Graphic Driver.
display adapter drivers for windows 10
  • Double click on the driver to on the properties. Go to the Driver tab and click Update Driver.
update driver graphics driver windows 10 device manager
  • It might prompt you, “How Do You Want To Search For Driver Software?” You can choose either one. If it doesn’t fix the problem, you can come back and choose the other one.
  • The best option is ‘Search Automatically For Updated Driver Software.’ But, if you have a driver in USB, CD, or something, use ‘Browse My Computer For Driver Software.’
  • You can also check out the manufacturer information for Graphics Card to find the relevant drivers.

If this fixes the problem, that’s great. Otherwise, you can go ahead and update other drivers individually, as well.

8. Reinstall The Windows 10

This is the last step and the last resort of sorts. Before you do it, you can try a couple of other things. You’ve tried to use the clean boot but that didn’t pan out. System configuration, hard disk, and all of that have worked to the best capabilities. If the File explorer error occurs again, all you can rely upon is the restore point.

  • You can search for a Restore Point option in the Start Menu of your computer. From there, you can restore the system to the point before you started getting the error.
restore point windows 10
  • If that doesn’t work, go to the Settings of your Windows and try the factory reset. It will clear out everything and reset your PC. This is one of the best alternatives to reinstalling the windows. 
reset this PC for factory reset in windows 10
  • As a final process, you can manually reinstall the Windows in your computer. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Do I Fix A System Call Failed?

Use the above-given command line and solutions to Fix System Call Failed errors. If icons disappear, you can use the shortcut keys mentioned above. You can still use WIN + R to run a new task like command prompts or scan bad sectors to fix the issues. 

What Is Explorer.Exe System Call Failed?

It is a Windows Error with File Explorer that can deny you any action with files and folders of your system. You can still do other things like access the Command Prompt, or Task Manager, but you won’t be able to open any files. 

What Happens When Open () System Call Fails?

This is a Linux or UNIX-based error. For this, the system will work on reassigning the directory. If it fails you can check here for more information. 

Why Do I Get System Failure On My iPhone?

There shouldn’t be a system failure on your iPhone. However, there can be a call failure and other such options. As this is not related to Windows, you can visit the official Apple help center to learn more.