Microsoft investigating bug in Windows 11 File Explorer that makes the CPU hangry

On the other hand, some old settings are set for a comeback

Microsoft is investigating why recent updates to Windows 11 are causing systems to be more power-hungry than normal.

Users who try to check access to shared files and folders are finding that not only are they unable to view the information they're looking for, but that File Explorer will continue to draw CPU power even after they close out of "Effective Access" in the "Advanced Security Settings" dialog box.

The bug in File Explorer affects systems running Windows 11 versions 21H2 or 22H2 that had the KB5026368 and KB5026372 updates from May 9 installed, according to the software giant.

Those running Windows Server 2022 also may see the problem.

"On affected devices, when the 'View effective access' button is selected, you will receive the message 'Computing effective access....' but the results of the query might not be displayed and explorer.exe might continue to use CPU after the Advanced Security settings dialog is closed," Microsoft wrote in an advisory.

Consumers running Windows on systems at home are unlikely to be affected by the bug as Effective Access tends to be used in corporate settings.

Right now, the only workarounds for stopping the high CPU utilization problem is either restarting the device or for the affected user to sign out. Locking Windows won't do the trick, Redmond wrote. The users must sign out.

Microsoft said it is working on a fix that likely will be available later this month.

A change in direction

That said, not all the File Explorer news this week was bad. A week after Microsoft said it was ditching nine settings in the Folder Options in File Explorer, negative feedback from Windows Insiders convinced the company keep the settings where they are.

In Windows 11 Build 23481 released to the Dev Channel June 14, Microsoft said it was removing older settings like "hide Folder Merge conflict," "always show icons, never thumbnails," "display file icon on thumbnails," and "hide protected OS files."

Getting rid of the older settings was part of a larger "effort to clean up the number of settings for File Explorer," Amanda Langowski, principal product manager for the Windows Insider Program, and Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager at Microsoft, wrote at the time. "Many of these are legacy settings that have been around for ages and are not being regularly used by people on Windows 11."

It seems that some people use them enough. Langowski and LeBlanc wrote this week that part of Build 23486 – also introduced in the Dev Channel – included rolling back the settings changes.

"As is normal for the Dev Channel, we will often try things out and get feedback and adjust based on the feedback we receive," they wrote. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like