Fixing Problems with Shell Extensions

This week’s tip was sent to us by Jeff Rodenkirch a reader of our weekly newsletter WServerNews:

Recently upgraded to Win8.1 and VirtualBox would crash anytime a “file open” dialog box opened. I finally tracked the problem to 8.1-incompatible shell extensions from a third-party app. The ShellExView program from was invaluable in tracking down and fixing this problem:

Just disable the extensions that are NOT from MS and re-enable one at a time until the problem comes back. This one took me several hours to track down. I finally found the answer on a PhotoShop forum. This one can be tricky to find as apps may leave shell extensions after they are uninstalled.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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