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Starting any download causes File Explorer & Task Manager to stop responding. (Opera specific)

  • Any time a download, including saving a picture from right click, brings up the File Explorer window to give me the choice of where to save it, File Explorer freezes and won't work again until Windows Explorer has restarted. Frustratingly, I can't manually trigger this restart, since Task Manager is affected too.

    Eventually, in its own time, Windows will sometimes deign to restart Windows Explorer itself, in which case it's all back to normal. But if I need File Explorer and it's not deciding to restart itself, then I have to restart the computer.

    This doesn't happen with downloads from Chrome, which is pretty similar underneath to Opera. So why is it happening in Opera? Any ideas/fixes?

  • What version of Opera? What version of Windows?

    Download the Opera installer, launch it, click "options", set "install path" to a folder named "Opera Test" on your desktop, set "install for" to "standalone installation", uncheck "import data from default browser" and install. Test in that Opera, but do not enable Opera Sync, do not install any extensions, do not enable VPN, and do not enable Opera's adblocker and tracking protection.

    Does that Opera trigger the problem too? If so, do standalone installations of Opera Beta and Opera Developer from to see if they do it too.

    This doesn't happen with downloads from Chrome, which is pretty similar underneath to Opera.

    Test with Vivaldi, Brave, Chromium, and Chromium-based Edge too just to make sure it's not something in base Chromium that Chrome just happens to work around.

  • @nfrancis I've been having this same exact problem and ONLY with Opera. I did a clean install yesterday but haven't downloaded anything yet.

  • Two ideas came to me.

    1. Are you using some third-party antivirus or security site? Those may interact with unknown applications (like Opera) in strange ways.
    2. Have you on some earlier times downloaded something to any drive (letter), which is currently inaccessible - like USB or network devices?

    Few days ago I experienced somewhat similar behavior - I downloaded PDF and opening it from Opera freezed Opera for maybe 30 seconds - but otherwise system was responsible, thereby I would not relate that to your problem. I told that just to indicate that there can be some strange file system or windows shell related bugs in Opera anyway 🙂

  • Any other ideas you can help us with?

  • Hi folks, sorry for taking so long to reply. A couple of days after I posted this, the problem spontaneously stopped occurring, so I didn't get to do tests to get to the bottom of it. Glad it's no longer happening, sorry I can't shed any light for people this is still happening to!