Windows 7 not opening programs, not shutting down without "waiting for explorer.exe"

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Oct 1, 2017
I have a issue on windows 7 - hardly anything is responding. When I click to open a program nothing happens. VLC media player wont open, CC Cleaner wont open, AVG wont open, nothing happens when I type in MSconfig. I have tried to uninstall some programs using control panel but again, no response. When I shut down/ restart, it wont do so because "waiting for explorer.exe". I have to force this to close, then it will shut down/ restart.

I can use the internet. Firefox still works fine but Chrome is affected, it will load webpages but often if a click a link on a website it simply wont respond. The PC itself doesnt lock up, for example I can close the Chrome window, but clicking anything on the page will have no response - for instance trying to view and item on ebay, cant open the photos, cant click the bid button etc. I was hoping that CC cleaner would fix the issue with Chrome, but I cant even open up CC cleaner in order to 'clean' Chrome.

The only recent activity that I can think may have caused this is that I opened Internet Explorer for the first time in a few years last night (because Chrome is not working). Internet Explorer worked fine, but since I have used it, the PC seems to be less responsive - although this could be co-incidence as I was already experiencing issues with Chrome, which has been present for about a week or so. VLC had been working fine up until today. I hadn't tried CC Cleaner, AVG, MSConfig until today so I cant be sure whether they've all stopped working today, or if they've been non-responsive for a while.

(BTW I am not using the Windows 7 PC to post this - it would probably have failed to post so Im using a laptop)

Any ideas?
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