How To Fix File Explorer ‘Working On It’ Message In Windows 10

In Windows 10, File Explorer opens at a location called ‘Quick Access’. Quick Access isn’t a real location on your system. You will not find a folder inside your user folder that is called Quick Access. This location, and the files and folders in it, update as you use your PC. It shows you the recent files and folders that you accessed and updates constantly. It works flawlessly for the most part but File Explorer can and does slow down. When File Explorer slows down, you see a ‘Working on it’ message when you open it. The message goes away after a while. File Explorer might become unresponsive during this time.

If you’re seeing this message a lot, and it’s taking too long to go away, you have a problem on your hands that will get worse with time. Fortunately, there’s a pretty simple solution. In order to fix this problem, you need to delete the Quick Access cache and File Explorer’s history.

Open This PC In File Explorer

Open File Explorer. Go to the View tab and click the Options button. In the options window, open the ‘Open File Explorer to’ dropdown and select the ‘This PC‘ option.

Clear File Explorer History

On this very same window, look at the bottom section called ‘Privacy’. There’s a ‘Clear’ button that will delete the history File Explorer maintains of your frequently accessed files and folders. Click it.

Delete File Explorer Cache

There’s just one more thing you need to do. Clear the File Explorer cache. Open the following location in File Explorer.


Delete all the files in this folder. Reset File Explorer to open Quick Access. The ‘Working on it’ message will stop appearing from this point forward.

The ‘Working on it’ message appears when File Explorer’s cache is either corrupted or has become too big for your system to handle. It can be a sign of an aging system that is unable to keep up with more demanding apps. If you see this message more often when you have multiple apps open, and less often or never when you have nothing running on your PC, then it’s a system resource problem. The above steps will fix the message for a while but if your system is dated it will eventually return.

File Explorer is quick to rebuild its cache so you won’t be inconvenienced by this too much. If you need access to a particular folder and can’t wait for File Explorer to add it to your frequent folders, just pin it to the Quick Access bar on the left.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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