An old memory leak has resurfaced with the launch of Windows 11. As reported by Reddit user @gyrohan269, opening and then closing Windows Explorer doesn’t free up the memory taken up by the app. This way, the application can take up your entire system memory if you open and close it multiple times during a session. For @gyrohan269, Windows Explorer takes up nearly 1 GB of memory after opening and closing it a few times.
Other users have reported a memory usage of over 90% solely due to this Windows Explorer leak. Systems with 8GB memory are seen quickly reaching a memory usage of 7.8GB, resulting in freezing and crashes. The easy solution to this problem (if you’re facing it) is to end the explorer.exe process via the task manager every time after closing the application. If your system memory consumption is close to max, then you’ll have to do a hard restart, but in most cases, this solution should work.