Microsoft is cleaning up its mistakes for the second time this week. After fixing a serious issue that caused the Blue Screen of Death while printing, Microsoft is now updating the File Explorer to resolve bugs that could cause performance slowdowns.
Some of these fixes will arrive in the next feature update set for the first half of 2021 (perhaps in May) while others have already been addressed. File Explorer, by the way, is the program with the folder icon where you store files, documents and photos.
As for what is being worked on, an issue causing high memory usage was resolved in the preview build of the 21H1 update released earlier this week. In the release notes, Microsoft explains, "We fixed an issue with a heap leak that might cause explorer.exe to consume high amounts of memory." That, in short, means memory was building up instead of being deposited, leading to performance issues.
This same preview update patched a problem that would cause a dialogue box with "Computing Filters" to get stuck when you attempted to filter results in the File Explorer. This behavior, as reported by Windows Latest, occurred only when you tried searching in the File Explorer and clicking on the arrow next to a column header to see a list of available filters.
“We fixed an issue that displays nothing or shows ‘Computing Filters’ indefinitely when you filter File Explorer search results,” Microsoft wrote.
That's not all. The bug-heavy File Explorer was mended so it wouldn't become unresponsive for long periods of time under specific conditions, “We fixed an issue that might cause File Explorer and other applications to stop responding for several minutes. This issue occurs after a client reconnects to the corporate network and attempts to use mapped drives to access file shares on the corporate network.”
And closing things out is a fix for a problem whereby multiple File Explorer instances would run without being initiated when a system had AppLocker enabled and wasn't connected to a network.
These are all significant patches but keep in mind that each of these issues impacts only a small subsection of users. Most Windows 10 users will have no problems using File Explorer. That said, if you are running into problems, expect things to improve when the first feature update of the year is released later this year.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.