Opening a Library in Windows Explorer gives error that it is no longer working

Applies to: Windows 7 EnterpriseWindows 7 Home PremiumWindows 7 Professional More

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  • In Windows Explorer, you try to open a Library such as Documents, Music, Pictures or Videos.

In this scenario, when trying to open a library, you may encounter an error stating that that the is no longer working.  For example, accessing the Documents folder would cause the following error to appear:

Documents.library-ms is no longer working.
This library can be safely deleted from your computer.  Folders that have been included will not be affected.

Cause


The link to the library has become corrupt.

Resolution


To resolve this issue, follow the steps below.

NOTE: Following these steps to delete and recreate the libraries will not affect any of the data in your libraries.
  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. On the left-hand pane, find Libraries and select it. If you do not see Libraries listed, click on View on the menu at the top of the screen. Then click on the "Navigation pane" drop down and make sure that "Show libraries" has a check next to it.
  3. Highlight all of the libraries (Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos), right-click and choose Delete.
  4. On the left-hand pane, select Libraries, right-click and choose "Restore default libraries".
The libraries are then recreated and all of your data in the library folders should now be accessible again through the Windows Explorer Libraries.