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Windows 11 File Explorer high memory usage bug is getting a fix

Microsoft recently released the Windows 11 upgrade for users with a supported version of Windows 10 (version 2004 or later). While the update has brought a number of design overhauls, it appears it has also introduced a serious performance issue where some users are seeing incredibly high memory usage.

After installing Windows 11, users are reporting performance issues. AMD has confirmed that the performance issue is caused by Windows 11’s new security feature, but there appears to be another bug that is caused by Microsoft’s redesigned File Explorer (Explorer.exe).

On Reddit and forums, users have been complaining about how their Windows 11 devices now suffer from extremely high memory usage. As a result, the performance of the entire gig suffers and it also negatively affects the gaming performance, resulting in frame-rate drops.

It looks like the issue is caused by Windows 11’s File Explorer. With Windows 11, File Explorer is getting a Fluent and Mica upgrade. As part of the design overhaul, Microsoft has made two major changes: File Explorer’s ribbon menu has been replaced with a command bar/header which uses Mica.

File Explorer’s context menu has been updated with Fluent Design’s modern acrylic effect which can result in performance issues. The process listed as “Explorer.exe” in Task manager is causing resources spikes of 70-99%, as well as constantly using the processor of the device.

As users have noted. File Explorer’s memory usage goes up each time they open File Explorer. What’s particularly annoying about Windows 11’s high memory usage is that the fix was tested by Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel before Windows 11 was made available to everyone.

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“There’s a memory leak in File Explorer in Windows 11 – each time you open File Explorer the memory usage goes up, never releasing,” one user noted in the Feedback Hub.

It seems that those reports were ignored, and Windows 11 was released with a File Explorer memory leak bug.

Thankfully, Microsoft is aware of the problem and they’re working on a fix.

In a post on Feedback Hub, Microsoft noted that they’ve “included changes with Build 22454 to mitigate a couple of issues that were causing leaks when using File Explorer”.

Windows 11 Build 22454 was released to testers last month, so it’s possible that the fix will be included in the next update for those in the production channel.