Fix: File Explorer Won’t Highlight Files in Windows 10

A grotesque and frustrating bug arose in Windows 10 for some users when their OS failed to highlight the files they selected in the file explorer. There are bugs in almost every Windows release but normally we aren’t faced with situations where even the most fundamental functions of Windows like the pertaining one starts to malfunction. The article presents more than one method of solving the issue:

Method 1: Perform a Full Shutdown

In the first method, we will be performing a full shutdown of the computer. A full shut-down takes more time than the ordinary one (which can be accomplished via the start menu option) and entails a cleaner reboot. Most Windows 10 systems does a fast boot which doesn’t fully closes the programs and applications. This could sometimes lead to issues. The fast boot feature in Windows 10 allows the user to boot to the desktop quickly.

Follow these steps:

Press the “Windows key + X” to invoke the menu above the start button. Select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list.

Use the following command to execute a full shutdown: shutdown /s /f /t 0

windows 10 highlight

Once the computer has shut down completely, restart it.

See if the problem persists. If it does, you can try the second method.

Method 2: Restart File Explorer from Task Manager

This method will only temporarily solve the problem but if the above one doesn’t work for you, you can make do with this:

Press “Windows + X” Keys and then choose “Task Manager” from the list.

Under “Apps”, find “Windows Explorer”.

Right click on it and select “Restart”.

restart windows explorer

Your problem should disappear; at-least temporarily. IF you are still in trouble, we have one last possible workaround for you.

Method 3: Using the Personalized Option

This is a rather intuitive method and it might work for you as well. Follow these steps:

Right click on the desktop and select “Personalize”.

From the background drop down, select “solid color” and choose any color. If you already have a solid color up there, choose another.

Press “Windows key + D” to minimize everything that is open.

Restore all the open windows by pressing “Windows key + D” again.

solid color personalize

From the available colors, choose another one. If you already had a solid color before starting this method and changed it in the second step, put that one back on again.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: File Explorer Won’t Highlight Files in Windows 10

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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