When we select files and folders in Explorer, Windows highlights them. This lets us know which files and folders are selected. What should I do if Explorer does not highlight the selected files and folders? Some users have experienced this issue on their systems. In this article, we will see what you can do if File Explorer does not highlight selected files and folders to fix the problem.
File Explorer does not highlight selected files and folders
If File Explorer is not highlighting selected files and folders, the solutions below might help you fix the issue.
- Restart Windows Explorer
- Update or reinstall the display driver
- Toggle high contrast mode
- Disable fast startup
- Change your theme
- Troubleshooting in Clean Boot State
- Restore system image
- Perform an in-place upgrade
Let’s take a look at all these fixes in detail.
1]Restart Windows Explorer.
This is the first thing you should do. In some cases, File Explorer issues are fixed by restarting the process. Restart Windows Explorer and see if that helps. The following steps will help you:
- Open task manager .
- In the Processes section, scroll down and find windows explorer.
- Once you find it, right click on it and select Restart.
This should work. If not, try the next potential fix.
2]Update or reinstall your display driver.
The problem may also be related to your display driver. Open Optional updates in the Windows Updates category and see if an update is available for your display driver. If yes, install a driver update. If this does not work or an update is not available, uninstall and reinstall the display driver. The following instructions will help you with this:
- Download the latest display driver from the manufacturer’s website.
- Open device manager .
- Expand the Display Adapters node.
- Right click display driver and select Uninstall device. After that, your system will use the default display driver.
- Now run the setup file to manually install the display driver on your system.
Once the installation process is complete, the problem should be fixed.
3]Toggle high contrast mode
High contrast mode improves readability for people with low vision. When you activate this mode, a solid background color is automatically applied to your wallpaper and the interface of your apps will change. In Windows 11, high contrast mode is handled by Contrast Themes.
Turn on high contrast mode or apply a contrast theme to your system and see if that helps. After applying the contrast theme, open File Explorer and select files and folders. Now see if it highlights the selected one files and folders. If yes, you can disable high contrast mode. This should fix the issue.
4]Disable Fast Startup
Fast Startup starts your system quickly after shutdown. Sometimes fast startup creates problems on a Windows device. In this case, disabling fast startup helps.
You can also try changing the theme. This solution has worked for some users. Therefore, it should also work for you. To change the theme, go to Windows 11/10 Settings and go to “Personalization > Themes.” Now apply a different theme to your system. You can return to the previous topic later.
6]Troubleshooting in Clean Boot State
The problem may occur due to a conflicting background process. This could be a third party service or application to run. You can verify this by troubleshooting the system in a clean boot state. To do this, you need to disable all third-party services and applications to run through MSConfig. After that, when you start your computer, you will enter a clean boot state. Now only Microsoft services and core drivers are active. The rest of all services and applications are disabled.
Now open File Explorer and check if it highlights the selected files and folders. If yes, then the next step is to determine the cause of the problem. Now open MSConfig, enable some third-party startup services and applications, and boot your computer normally. Now check if the problem is still there. If the problem reappears, one of the services or applications that are running is causing the problem. Start disabling startup applications and third-party services (which you just enabled) one by one and check if the issue is resolved. This process will take time, but you should be able to identify the problematic application or service. Once you find it, uninstall the app or disable the service. To disable a specific service, open Services Management open properties this particular service and select Disabled in startup type.
7]Restore System Image
If the problem persists, some system image files may have been corrupted. You should run the System File Checker to repair corrupted system image files. If the SFC scan doesn’t work, run a DISM scan.
8]Perform an in-place upgrade
If none of the solutions above worked for you, perform an in-place upgrade. An in-place upgrade restores your Windows operating system. Also, your data will not be deleted during an in-place upgrade. An in-place upgrade reinstalls a Windows operating system over a previous one without uninstalling the previous version of Windows.
While this does not delete your data, we recommend that you back up your data before proceeding.
Why is my file not highlighted when I click on it?
If File Explorer does not highlight the selected files, it is possible that some of the system image files are corrupted. Windows has a built-in System File Checker tool that helps users repair corrupted system image files. If the SFC scan is not working, you should run a DISM scan. Another reason for this issue is a corrupted display driver. You should update or reinstall your display driver and see if that helps.
The problem can also occur due to a conflicting background application or service. You can verify this by troubleshooting the clean boot state. In this article, we have explained some working solutions to solve this problem.
How to select multiple files in explorer?
When you choose file in explorer it automatically highlights it. Similarly, if you choose multiple files in explorer it will highlight all selected files.
Is it possible to colorize folders in Windows 11?
Windows 11 doesn’t have a built-in folder color changer. If you want to change folder colors in Windows 11, you can do so by installing third party software. Rainbow Folders and StyleFolder are some of the free programs that allow you to change folder colors in Windows.
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