How to Fix Windows File Explorer ‘Working on it’ Message in Windows 11 and Windows 10

working on it errorIn Windows 11, File Explorer opens a location called ‘Home’ and in Windows 10 it is “Quick Access” which contains a listing of favorite locations in your PC. When you click on it, suddenly you may get a message ‘Working on it’ and File Explorer becomes unresponsive. This may happen when Windows slows down or at times even saves files from a browser when using the ‘Save as’ option and prompted to save at a location. In that case the browser hangs and you cannot do anything with it until you force close it. This happened recently to me while using the Brave browser.

If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, there is a quick solution for it. Note that performing this process will clear the listing of your favorite folders on Home in Windows 11 and Quick Access in Windows 10. 

Steps to fix ‘Working on it’ in File Explorer

Step 1: Clear the File Explorer History by doing the following:

  • Open File Explorer from the Taskbar.
  • Click on the configuration icon on the top right and select options.

working on it error options

  • Click on the General Tab and then toward the bottom in the Privacy Section, click on Clear.

working on it clear file explorer history

Step 2: Clear the File Explorer Cache

  • While in File Explorer place the following in the address bar area and press Enter.

It should look like this prior to pressing Enter:

clear explorer cache

  • Next delete all the files in the folder in the recent items folder.

clear recent items folder

Summary of fixing ‘Working on it’ error

Now the issue should be fixed. The ‘working it’ message happens at times due to corruption in the cache for Windows Explorer. It can be tedious to troubleshoot. The cache should be rebuilt by itself. You may have to reassign the favorite folders again so that they show up properly in Explorer.

Feel free to post comments below. Let us know if it worked for you.