If you can’t open a folder on your computer, you won’t be able to use the files in it. How to solve this problem if it occurs? In this article, MiniTool Software will introduce some simple and effective solutions. To protect your data, you’d better use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to rescue the files in this folder in advance.

Folder Won’t Open on Windows 10/11

A folder is a directory that a computer user creates to take space to store files, other folders, and shortcuts on a computer. Folders help users categorize and store various files and folders they save in their computers. When there is a folder, it usually means that there are files and folders in it. To view these items, you need to first open that folder.

>> See how to create a new folder on Windows 11.

How to Open a Folder on Windows 10/11?

It is very easy to open a folder on your PC.

  • You can double-click it to open it. The folder won’t open when clicked on Windows. You need to double-click it.
  • You can also right-click the folder and select Open to open it.
  • If you want to open a folder in a new window, you can press the Ctrl key on your keyboard and double-click the folder.

You see it is easy to do this. But some users report that double-click won’t open a folder or folder won’t open on an external hard drive.

This is not a rare issue. When you search for this topic on the internet, you will see many users are bothered by it. There are several situations in which the folder cannot be opened:

  • Can’t open a folder on Windows 10
  • Folder won’t open when clicked
  • Folder won’t open on an external hard drive
  • Folders won’t open on the desktop
  • Folders won’t open in File Explorer
  • Double-click won’t open a folder

Of course, there are some other situations. We will not list them here.

Top Reasons for Folder Won’t Open on Windows 10/11

This issue always happens when there is something wrong with the system files on your PC. It can also happen after you have made some changes to your computer. To help you solve the issue, we collect some useful fixes and show them in this article.

However, to protect your files in that folder, you’d better recover them beforehand. The next part shows you how to recover files from a folder using professional data recovery software for Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11.

Recover Data from the Folder that Won’t Open

To recover files from a folder on a Windows computer, you can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery. This free file recovery tool is specially designed to recover files like images, videos, music files, movies, documents, and more from data storage devices. It works in different situations.

For example:

  • When you permanently delete some files by mistake, you can try this MiniTool data recovery software to get them back.
  • When you can’t access a drive to use the files in it, you can use this tool to rescue the files in that drive and then format the drive to the normal state.
  • When your Windows computer won’t boot normally, you can use the bootable edition of this MiniTool software to rescue your files. Then, you can take actions to fix the system without data loss.
  • You can use this data recovery program to recover data from all kinds of removable drives like memory cards, SD cards, USB flash drives, pen drives, SSDs, external hard drives, and more. You need to plug the drive into your Windows PC and then run this MiniTool software to scan for files, then recover them to a suitable location.
  • If your files get lost or deleted after a Windows 10/11 update, MiniTool Power Data Recovery can help you get your files back if they are not overwritten by new data.
  • Now, this software supports recovering data from a specified location like the desktop, Recycle Bin, and specified folder. If you only want to recover data from a specified folder, this tool is suitable for you.

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If this is your first time using the software to recover data, you can first try the trial edition. With the trial edition, you can scan the drive you want to recover data from and see if this tool can find your needed data. If yes, you can upgrade this software to a full edition, then select your needed files to recover.

You can press the following button to download MiniTool Power Data Recovery Trial Edition on your PC, then install it to have a try.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

It is easy to use this software to recover your files on Windows 10/11. With only a few clicks, you can get your data back.

Here is how to recover files from a folder using this software:


If you want to use this software to recover data from an external data storage drive, you need to connect the drive to your Windows PC in advance.

Step 1: Open the software to enter its main interface. This software will display all drives it can detect on the interface.

Step 2: Find and hover over the drive where the folder is saved. Then, click the Scan button to start scanning that drive. On the other hand, you can also only select the folder to scan: click Select Folder under Recover From Specific Location and choose the target folder.

select the target folder to scan

Step 3: It will take a few minutes to finish the entire drive or folder, depending on the size of the location. You should wait patiently until the whole process ends.

the MiniTool software is scanning the selected location

Step 4: After scanning, you can see the scan results that are categorized by path by default. The scanned files include lost, deleted, and existing files in that directory. You can open each path to find the files you want to rescue. You can also switch to the Type section to find your file by type.

You can take these actions to quickly find and check the scan results:

1. If you still remember the name of the file, you can click the Find button, enter the file name, and locate the file by its name.

find your needed file by the name

2. This software allows you to preview up to 70 types of files. This can help you check if the detected files are the files you are looking for. However, the file previewer is not pre-installed in the trial edition of the software. After clicking the Preview button, you need to click the Yes button on the pop-up window to install the package of file previewer, then you can preview files successfully.

download the package of file previewer

3. You can click the Export Scan Result button, then select a proper location from the pop-up window to save the scan result as a .rss file. This file can help you save a lot of time. This software can directly import this scan result and show the files quickly. This is suitable for when you want to use the scan result again when you have closed the software.

export scan result

Step 5: You are not allowed to use the trial edition to recover files. You need to upgrade this software to an advanced edition. You do not need to close the scan result interface. After getting a license key, you can click the key icon from the top menu and enter your license key to register the software.

Step 6: Select the files you want to recover, then click the Save button. A window will pop up, on which you can pick a suitable location to save your selected files.

Note: If you are recovering your lost or deleted files, the destination folder you select to save recovered files should not be the original location of these files. Otherwise, the lost or deleted files might be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

How to Fix Folder Won’t Open on Windows 10/11?

Your files in the folder that won’t open are safe now. You can feel free to fix the issue now. This part will introduce some easy methods. You can refer to them and see if they work to help you solve the issue.

Solution 1: Run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter

Step 1: Click the search icon from the taskbar. Then, search for Control Panel and select Control Panel from the search result to open it.

Step 2: Select Troubleshooting to continue.

Step 3: On the next page, click View all from the left panel to continue.

click View all

Step 4: The next page will show all available troubleshooters. You need to click System Maintenance and click the Next button on to pop-up interface to run it. Please follow the on-screen guides to find and fix issues.

run the System Maintenance troubleshooter

If this method doesn’t work for you, you can try the next solution.

Solution 2: Run the System File Checker

The System File Checker tool can help you repair missing or corrupted system files. You can run this tool to fix your folder issue.

Step 1: Click the search bar in the taskbar and search for cmd.

Step 2: Right-click Command Prompt from the search result and select Run as Administrator.

Step 3: On a Windows 10/11 computer, you need to first run the inbox Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool prior to running the System File Checker. Run the following command in Command Prompt:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.

If you are running Windows 7/Vista, you can just skip to the next step.

Step 4: Type sfc /scannow into Command Prompt and press Enter to run the command.

After these steps, you should open the folder successfully.

Can’t Open the Documents Folder

In this part, we will introduce a specific situation: can’t open the Documents folder.

When you open the Documents folder on the desktop, it may not open without an error message or with one of the following error messages:

  • Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.
  • The share name was not found. Be sure you typed it correctly.
  • The location you requested is not allowed as a target. Please choose a new location.

The Reason the Documents Folder Won’t Open

This issue always happens if the My Documents folder has been redirected to a network share that has become unavailable.

To solve the issue, you need to check if the network share is available and reestablish the connection to the share.

How to Fix the Documents Folder that Won’t Open?

Step 1: Right-click the Documents icon and then select Properties.

Step 2: Switch to the Sharing tab, then change the location from the network share to a local folder.

Step 3: Click OK to save the change.

Now, you should be able to open the Documents folder.


If you can’t open a folder or all folders on your Windows PC, you can try the methods mentioned in this post to fix the problem. To avoid data loss, you can use the professional data recovery software, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, to retrieve your files before solving the issue.

If you have other good ideas, you can share them with us in the comments. You can also contact us via [email protected].

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