explorer.exe CPU usage spiking after opening edge, disabling alt-tab

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The process explorer.exe will rise to 14+% CPU usage shortly after I open Microsoft Edge. It is consistently at 14% for no apparent reason, and returns to 14% even after restarting the process. I think this may be because of my high tab count on Edge (1500 tabs / 50 windows), but this issue doesn't happen with other browsers at high tabs counts, so I'm not quite certain. While explorer.exe is running, I cannot alt-tab. While restarting the process, I can alt-tab with the grey panel ui. However, when the process restarts, I can no longer move back and forth in that alt-tab ui, and I need to restart the process again. I can end the task, which re-enables alt-tab, again with the grey panel ui. However, this kills my taskbars, with no way to restart them. They become blocks of my system theme colour. In addition, my windows key no longer works, neither for pulling up the windows menu or for shortcuts such as screenshotting with win-shift-S. There is a string of black blocks along the bottom of my display, above where the taskbar should be. When clicked on, it shows a minimize button of very old style, the same one as shown on the Adobe Genuine Software Service. The issue goes away when I log out and back in, or when I restart my computer. The issue goes away a minute or two after I kill off the Edge process, but only if I didn't kill the explorer.exe process. When explorer.exe is killed, the settings app also freezes, not even resizing when the size is changed. 

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To expand on this, (my apologies if this is already too long), those black boxes do have maximize buttons that do work. However, the frozen settings window does not respond to the X to close, or even alt-f4.