10 to 20 Sec Delay for Context Menu After Right Clicking

There is an annoying 10 to 20 second delay between right clicking on a document, picture or text
file and the appearance of the context menu. The delay also happens when trying to launch an
application by double clicking on an associated document (like an Excel spreadsheet or Word
document). There is no delay if I launch the application, then open the document. The problem
only seems to happen on files associated with applications. It does not happen on Windows icons
like "My Computer" or any folders. There is no apparent increase in CPU usage nor any messages in
the event viewer. The comuter is perfectly stable and incredibly fast in all other aspects.
I have scoured the MS knowledgebase to no avail. I have tried all the obvious fixes like reducing
fade effects etc. I even repaired the installation from the XP CD and still had the problem. I
have a another hardware-identical machine that does not exhibit the problem. I suspect it may
have been the result of an installed application. I will leave uninstalling each application one
by one as a last resort. Even then the uninstalled program may leave its damaging registry change
intact. I replaced my old computer with this one and all of my existing software was reinstalled
from scratch.

Windows XP Pro SP1 (not 1a) fully patched from MS.
Install was clean, not imaged, and is less than two months old
Office XP 2003
Outlook 2003
Norton System Works 2003 (only NAV and Ghost installed)
Nero 6
VMWARE 3.11 b1790
Paperport 9
Vegas Video 4
PowerDVD 4
Quicken Home and Business 2003
(And others too numerous to list)

Dell 400SC 3.2 GHz 800 FSB
1 GB Kingston HyperX 3200 AK2 matched pair running at 400 MHz in dual mode
80 GB WD System Drive NTFS
48X Khypemedia CD Burner
48X Liteon CD Reader (from Dell)
Sony DRU500A DVD burner USB 2.0
Various other USB peripherals
SoundMax integrated audio
NVIDIA TI 4200 128 MB
Generic firewire card

Intel Pro/1000 (on motherboard)
Workgroup based (no domain)
TCPIP is only protocol
No shared drives

I am offering all of my points for resolution of this problem. If the experts from EE can't solve
this one, then I guess I'm outta luck. This problem doesn't stop me from using the computer but
it drives me crazy after upgrading to a 3.2 GHZ!!!

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Long Delay Before Files Appear in My Computer in Windows XP

A good list of services including what they do and what's safe to disable is http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm 
Of course there is always the possibility of spyware:

Spyware=>Look for spyware/adware:


SpyBot-S&D is an adware and spyware detection and removal tool. This includes removal of certain advertising components, that may gather statistics as well as detection of various keylogging and other spy utilities. In addition, it also securely removes PC and Internet usage tracks, including browser history, temporary pages, cookies (with option to keep selected) and more. The program offers an attractive outlook-style interface that is easy to use and multi-lingual. SpyBot-S&D allows you to exclude selected cookies, programs or extensions from being reported, allowing you to prevent false positive messages for items that you dont want to be alerted of every time. It can even scan your download directory for files that have been downloaded, but not yet installed, allowing you to detect unwanted programs before you even install them. SpyBot produces a detailed and easy to understand report before it deletes any files and allows you to deselect any item that you do not want to be processed. In addition, a recovery feature allows you to restore your settings if needed. Very nice tool, that exceeds the capabilities of the popular Ad-Aware application.



AdAware is a privacy tool, that scans your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components. It then lists the results and offers to remove or quarantine the components. The program detects a wide range of adware/spyware related issues and can be updated with the latest signatures via the built-in update utility. Please be advised that removing certain components may impact the functionality of effected software applications. You should fully read the included Ad-aware documentation before removing any files!



HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, starup items and allows you to inspect them, and optionally remove selected items. The program can create a backup of your original settings and also ignore selected items. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users.


Keylogger Hunter

Keylogger Hunter is a program that attempts to detect any keyloggers that may be running on your computer. It performs a system analysis, which takes about 3-5 minutes and then produces a list of suspicious files (if any). It detected 2 out of 3 running keyloggers in our test. Future versions are planned to be shareware.



KL-Detector is designed to provide a way to find out whether your activity is being recorded with a keylogger application. It uses the fact that most keyloggers create a hidden log file on your hard drive and therefore scans for any suspicious activity during a test period that you have to initiate. Basically, it asks you to use the keyboard for several minutes, type some text or do similar activities, while it is monitoring your system to check if it can detect any suspicious logging activity. KL-Detector is intended for occasional use and not as a permanently running program, as normal PC activity may cause false positives. During our test, it did detect changes in a keylogger log file (that we installed), but it did not find the activity suspicious enough to warn us. Advanced users may get value by inspecting the logged items, however novice users should not rely on the results.


X-Cleaner Free

XCleaner is a privacy tool suite that detects and removes installed spyware and adware components and includes tools to securely delete files, edit the registry, disable startup programs and more. Additional features include IE home page protection, cookie, cache and history cleaning, built-in password generator and more. This free version also contains some additional feature options, however they are disabled and require upgrade to a full version. The spyware and adware scanning as well as many cleaning features however can be used freely.



SpywareBlaster doesn`t scan and clean for so-called spyware, but prevents it from being installed in the first place. It achieves this by disabling the CLSIDs of popular spyware ActiveX controls, and also prevents the installation of any of them via a webpage. This allows you to run Internet Explorer with Active-X enabled, but it will never download or even prompt you for any of the known ActiveX controls. All other Active-X controls or plug-ins will work fine. The SpywareBlaster database contains information on these known spyware Active-X controls and can be updated with the click of a button. The application windows displays a list of all controls that it is able to detect (this is not a list of what was found on your computer). The program cannot detect if you have any of the known objects already installed, but if you do, they will be disabled. The program also allows you to take a snapshot of your computer (certain settings) in its clean state and later revert many changes made by spyware and browser hijackers.



SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against so-called spyware. It works similar to an anti-virus program, by scanning EXE and CAB files on access and alerting you if known spyware is detected. If this is the case, it initially blocks access to the file and then allows the user to select an action. SpywareGuard provides a fast scanning engine, signature-based scanning, heuristic/generic scanning, a control panel, and an online-update utility for downloading of definition updates. It does not replace your anti-virus protection, but instead detects programs that may cause privacy concerns. The list of detected programs includes AdBreak, AdultLinks/LinkZZ, Brilliant Digital, CommonName, Cytron, FreeScratchAndWin, FriendGreetings, HighTraffic, HotBar, IEDisco, iGetNet, Lop.com, MoneyTree Dialer and others.



SpySites allows you to manage the Internet Explorer Restricted Zone settings and easily add entries from a database of 1500+ sites that are known to use advertising tracking methods or attempt to install third party software. You can select the sites from the list, or optionally add all of them, or only the "worst offenders". The program then adds the URLs to the IE Restricted Zone settings. Once configured, there is no need to run the program again, unless you want to add additional sites.



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Defrag HD - XP/2000=>Disk Defragmenter
START | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

Slow System - Fast User Switching=>Windows XP May Slow Down If Users Are Logged On with Fast User Switching
dmillaAuthor Commented:

Thanks for the suggestions. I had already tried MS article 819017 and disabled WIA. I have also scanned thouroughly with AdAware 6 and did a complete defrag. Fast switching is not enabled and the adminstrator account is the only account on the box. I have also uninstalled Hotfix 811493 which MS says could slow down the machine. I used Sisoft's Sandra Max to disable all non-essential services. As a test, I also disabled all boot up services except systray and booted clean all with no result. Actually, I never booted to safe mode to test. I'll try that and post the result.


dmillaAuthor Commented:
I found the offending service. If I turn off the DHCP client (by using services.msc) then the problem goes away! This is strange since DHCP client is running on every box I have ever seen. When the DHCP client is off, then of course I cannot acces the web. Any ideas? New network driver? BIOS update?


The only real solution I can offer you in this case is to install a router between your DSL/CABLE modem. Let the Router get your IP address from the ISP provider. Set a static IP for you NIC that is with in the range of IP addresses the router supports. Then you can turn the DHCP client off and still be able to access the network.

dmillaAuthor Commented:
I have a good router installed already. Instead of letting the computer lease an IP from the router, I assigned a fixed IP and DNS and then turned off the DHCP client. However, after using the computer for a few hours today, the problem is much improved, but not completely gone. It now takes about 5 seconds to get the context menu instead of 10 to 20. Anyway, if nobody offers the absolute solution, I will award all the points to you gemarti. Thanks for your help.

Perhaps you want to do this...I may have totally misunderstood your original question if this is so:

Navigate to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Locate value:
Change data to:

default is 400ms

dmillaAuthor Commented:
I tried as you suggested, but it did not help. Try this... create a text file on your desktop from the context menu NEW | TEXT DOCUMENT. Then right click on the new document you just created and see how long it takes for the context menu to appear. On my computer the hourglass comes up for about five seconds before the context menu comes up. If I simply right click on the desktop or a folder, the context menu appears instantly. If I double click to open the text file (or hit <enter>) it takes about 5 or 6 seconds to launch Notepad. With DHCP enabled, it will take about 15 seconds for the context menu to appear. I have an old P3 700 w/ 256 MB RAM that does not act like this.

If I launch Notepad from the start menu, it appears instantly and I can open the text file with no problem. I observe the same behaivior with .doc, .xls, and .jpg files but NOT .exe files or shortcuts. It only seems to happen with files that have file associations with applications.

This one has me whipped...
Hi there dmilla.

I have t he exact same problem...... down to the 5-8 sec delay on the text document. It has only happened in the past few days, and i can't find out what is doing it...
I have the exact same problem which has only started appearing today. I haven't installed any new programs either, and I've run that spybot search and destroy thing - it found 28 problems, but fixed them all without fixing this problem.

Surely someone must know the solution to this? Perhaps the accepted answer shouldn't be considered as such, since it doesn't solve the problem.
I just found the solution to my problem!

I uninstalled Norton Antivirus, and the problem went away.

I think that the reason this happened is because over the past 2 days, I've worked with a lot of digital video and have amassed over 10gb of .avi files. Possibly, Norton included these files in some sort of categorisation/archiving collection/list which was invoked upon every context menu popup.

dmilla and gazruss: I hope that my solution can be your solutions too.
I just started noticing this thing today as well.  I noticed it first on a Win2000 box at work and now the same thing is happening on my WinXP box at home.  Luckily,I have a Sygate Personal Firewall installed and it gave me some clues as of what is causing the delay.  It seems that everytime I right click on a certain file/folder explorer wants to connect to crl.verisign.com.  Why? I can't seem to be able to figure it out, but it is causing a 5-10 second delay between the menu appears.  I disabled access and did a backtrace and this is the info that I get for the attempted connection:

OrgName:    Network Solutions, Inc.
OrgID:      VSIN
Address:    505 Huntmar Park Drive
City:       Herndon
StateProv:  VA
PostalCode: 22070
Country:    US

NetRange: -
NetName:    NETSOL-2
NetHandle:  NET-198-49-161-0-1
Parent:     NET-198-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS1.CRSNIC.NET
RegDate:    1993-02-22
Updated:    2002-09-17

TechName:   Network Solutions, Inc.
TechPhone:  +1-703-925-6937
TechEmail:  noc@netsol.com

I am buffled about the reason for this.  If  I find out any more info I will be sure to report it.  
Just a thought, are you an avid P2P'er?  

OK folks, this is too strange just started happening on my system too.  Pulling my hair out last night, seemed everything I right click takes forever to popup a context menu.  Even icons in the task bar.  I think mrklimek might be on to something, because I have the "show icon in notification area when connected" option checked off in my Local Area Connection setup, so I can visually see internet activity within the task bar.  Everytime I right click on a file, folder or whatever, something is being sent off to the internet.  Just started happeneing yesterday, the 7th, like most of you!  I can't stand it because it is like a 20 second delay if not more.

Until someone figures out the offending application or bug so we can remove it, here is a quick solution to eliminate the delay (although it won't work on items in the task bar):  First, avoid moving your mouse cursor over files and folders within explorer.  Now, instead of right clicking (or left clicking) onto a file, drag click.  That is, do not click directly onto the file or folder, instead, click and hold your finger on the mouse button somewhere else within the window, then drag the mouse over the file until it is highlighted.  Then release the mouse button and the context menu will instantly display, as it should.

Hopefully we will be able to track down the offending application or bug by the end of today, I'm sure whatever this is, is speading fast, interesting that so many people all of a sudden have this problem.
THANK YOU for the help!!!!!
I had the same problem with the right-click on either a file or the start button on Windows 2000 taking 20 + seconds. I joined Experts-Exchange to follow this thread and am happy that I did.  I  wasn't really thinking about uninstalling Norton AV, but having seen the above, I decided to try it and voila - my problem went away.

My major problem just started yesterday - now that I think of it, I had recently updated my Norton AV via LiveUpdate, so I suspect they may have added something to their software that is making life miserable for a lot of Windows users. I tried to get into Norton's support web page and it hung - maybe swamped? Deleting a file on my system has been slow for some time - I suspect that was caused by Norton AV as well.

I dropped McAffee for problems with it, now I'm not happy with Norton - will I have to turn to Redmond for an AV solution? Hum...
Yes, this is the problem, the !#$!@#%!@# Norton Antivirus.  Luckily, removing Antivirus from the Systemworks package is enough, Utilities, and the rest do not try to report your activity.  We now have to find a new Antivirus program to put our faith into.  

  You don't have to remove Norton Anti-Virus, just disable the Auto-Protect. And scan the files you download from the internet before opening. That's my solution right now. I think that they will fix this problem in a couple of weeks with the up-coming updates. I believe it has to do with virus-catching-patterns, there might be something wrong (as usual they didnt test the product thoroughly before releasing the update). So just disable Auto-Protect and you will be fine.

  You don't have to remove Norton Anti-Virus, just disable the Auto-Protect. And scan the files you download from the internet before opening. That's my solution right now. I think that they will fix this problem in a couple of weeks with the up-coming updates. I believe it has to do with virus-catching-patterns, there might be something wrong (as usual they didnt test the product thoroughly before releasing the update). So just disable Auto-Protect and you will be fine.

I had disabled auto-protect and the problem did not go away for me. I am not sure if I rebooted after disabling it though, so perhaps if I had done that. On the otherhand, uninstalling cured the problem immediately without a reboot.
I just started having this problem yesterday as well.  I sent off a bug report to Norton. If enough of us - and it seems to be affecting a lot of people - complain about this and threaten to uninstall NAV in favor another antivirus program then hopefully they will get right  to fixing this.  
Yes, I too turned off auto-protect in NAV and that did not seem to cure this problem either.  And like the rest of you, I updated NAV yesterday as well.  I guess we tracked the offending application.  Not sure if I want to go thru an uninstall ...

But hey, while I've got your attention, not entirely off topic, when I did update NAV yesterday with live update, I got an error message when it tried to update the Common Client Core ... I received the following error message: "Could not find installation path for at least one component."  Just tried another update and received the same message.
Hope this helps (from /.):

We had to do a little sleuthing today. Many readers wrote in with problems that turned out to be related. A certificate which Verisign used for signing SSL certificates has expired. When applications which depend on that certificate try to make an SSL connection, they fail and try to access crl.verisign.com, the certificate revocation list server. This has effectively DOS'ed that site, and Verisign has now updated the DNS record for that address to include several non-routable addresses, reducing the load on their servers. Some applications affected include older Internet Explorer browsers, Java, and Norton Antivirus (which may manifest itself as Microsoft Word being very slow to start). Hope this helps a few people, and if you have other apps with problems, please post about them below
The only question remains, why the hell does Windows need to make a SSL connection when you try to check the properties of a file?

I checked my XP system at home and found I have the same problem with the delay in the context menu appearing. In this case, disabling auto-rptoect was sufficient to eliminate the delay. So it may be OS dependent what the effect is. The system I had to uninstall was W2K.
I am definately having this trouble too and have spent about 5 hours trying to sleuth the problem which I'd blamed on context menus among many other things.  Let's hope this thing with verisign gets cleared up soon.  In the meantime I will check if setting a block against crl.verisign.com is effective.
It isn't effective at all.  You still have to wait for the connection attempt to time out before the menu appears, or the delete confirmation dialog appears, etc.

Got a solution for you all ...

Update your host file to include the following line ...            crl.verisign.com

on my Windows XP system, this hosts file is located here: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

Filename: hosts

Oh, forgot to say .. save, the hosts file, then reboot ..

seems to have fixed this problem for the time being, hope it helps others here too
You certainly fixed it for me! No reboot is needed on XP for making changes to the HOSTS file though, not sure about W2K.
Now, let's hope Symantec fixes this soon.

Thx a lot Caveman61.
That's all I have to say I uninstalled NAV and Installed Panda Platinum. It's much better and it found a virus that NAV failed to catch! One more thing: it doesnt make your computer un-usable during a system scan, therefore I strongly reccomend Panda to save some memory and overhead.
Sure, glad it worked for you too ....  Although I can't take all the credit :)  Thanks also to mrklimek for catching the culprit and reporting on it ... Nice to have a place like this where we can put our minds together, report our findings and come up with a quick fix.  
I was having this exact same problem. Not sure if it is the same problem as you, but I have tracked it to winXP file indexing. My system was running fine, until one day I did a search for a file and ended up turning on file indexing for "faster searches".

Just FYI, you can turn indexing off by right clicking your harddrive and unchecking allow file indexing.

Ok... another having the exact same problem.
 WinXPpro with Norton Antivirus 2003.  
I first noticed a huge slowdown copying files and then later the right click on files.  My indication that NAV was haywire was a pop up saying my virus defintions were out of date.  So I tried to update.  It seemed to go fine but everytime I tried to update again to make sure it worked I found out that nothing had changed and I still needed to update the same size file.  That and a minute or two for the program to boot up when windows starts.

I tried the change to the "hosts" file and that fixed the rightclick and copy problem right away. Thanx caveman61.

Now when windows starts it takes about two to five minutes for NAV to start up.  I'm shutting off auto protect and just letting it handle incoming email.  If I don't hear of a fix for this I turfing NAV for something else.  

Are there any indications that Symantec is going to offer a fix???  Or is this something that ole Bill Gates might deal with?

You need to update an expired verisign certificate which is the real problem - using the HOSTS fix is only temporary.  Please go to http://verisign.com/support/vendors/exp-gsid-ssl.html and follow these steps:

Scroll down to the link to the certificate for IIS and copy the info in the popup window into a text file.  Rename the text file to certificate.cer

Go to Internet Explorer > Tools > Internet Options > Content > Certificates > Intermediate Certification Authorities and look for the one issued to www.verisign.com that expires on 1/7/2003.  It should be "Class 3 Public...".

First, click the Import button and follow the wizard to import the certificate.cer file you made (you have to select the right file type because it defaults to .pk3)  Select to choose the store automatically.  Once this has been imported, you can delete the expired certificate and this will fix all of Norton's problems.

Best of luck!
Here is the certificate actually, cut and paste this into a text file and rename it certificate.cer
(be sure to include the ----BEGIN and -----END lines)

Here is some other help which may be way easier than what I just recommended:

- goto http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com]
- click Scan for Updates link (may be prompted to accept the ActiveX thing)
- Navigate to the page of non-critical updates (ironic, no?)
- Find the update named something like "Root Certificate Update" or "Root Certificate Authority" (can't remember which)
- Install it
I can't say that the certificate expiration was the cause on my machine. I checked and all of my Verisign certificates show expiration dates in the future.

If there is a problem with a certificate, can someone explain why Norton AntiVirus would hang up Windows context menus? Are they waiting for something that times out?
Just tried "thenotself"s tip.  Worked like a charm.  I removed the "Update your host file to include the following line ...          crl.verisign.com" also but...

I still can't get a virus definition update.  It loads as if everything is ok but nothing changes.  My last update still shows dec 23.  going to reinstall.

Thanx thenotself.
Any ideas why after all this my computer takes forever to shut down, about 5 minutes to go from logon screen to the desktop, waiting for the restoration of network connections, and super slow loading up of apps that  utilize network connection as one of their funtions (ie. Outlook, Remote Desktop, etc.) ?

Hopefully the last post from me...

I did the tip above from "thenotself"  (certificate replacement)
Removed the addition to my "hosts" file (          crl.verisign.com)
Uninstalled NAV
Ran registry mechanic
Reinstalled NAV

Everything seems to work A-OK.  

ALTHOUGH(mrklimek)... I have always noticed since I installed NAV in the begining my windows start up was slow.  

Maybe run a registry repair/cleanup prog
Check out www.blackviper.com (he has always had excellent tips for cleaning up and speeding up Windows (98-XPpro)

Well I have abount 100+ machines that are doing this and I have tried all of the above fixes and none have worked.  It started happening a couple of days ago.  Anyone else have any other suggestions?  I have also run chkdsk /f, defrag, and rebooted after all the suggested fixes stated above.

Uninstalled NAV Corp. Ed v8
Hostfile Trick
Imported the cert

All to no avil....  It is driving me crazy!  Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
dmillaAuthor Commented:
I didn't think that my little post would generate so many responses. I too continue to live with the problem after trying all of the solutions mentioned above. I don't think it has anything to do with NAV or host files personally. I made an interesting discovery that I am following up with. I first noticed the problem after loading two new Dell 400SC servers. I performed a clean install on one of the 400SC's and then imaged the drive for use on the other box. (I use the 400SC as workstations; one for me and one for my wife.) My wife's machine does not exhibit the behavior, mine does. I just discovered that I had actually made two images several days apart as I began to load my favorite applications on my machine. My son also purchased a 400SC a few days ago and we loaded the later image I had created. The delay was present. I found the first image I created on a backup DVD I had made and we loaded it to see what would happen. NO DELAY!

To me it means that some software I loaded between the first image and the second image has caused this problem. I will analyze what the difference is between the two images and post my results. Hopefully I will have time to do this this weekend.


Danny Milla
Well I finally found my solution and I hope this may help someone else.  dmilla in his last post stated the one with the image was the one giving him the problems.  All of the machines that I had the problem with were pc's with a ghosted image.  So I placed a file monitoring program on one of the pcs along with a firewall client.  Well to my surprise the machines were trying to contact a file server that had been taken offline.  Deleting the following registry key and subkeys worked for me.


why it was trying to communicate with the offline fileserver I have no idea.  At any rate it worked for our staff and I hope that it does for someone else.

Old thread, but it helped me batter my brains to find a solution.

It seems like there are many possible solutions. Mine was to find no-longer existing UNC names in the registry and change them to existing names. As it turned out, we just retired a server OLD-SERVER that had been up for 4 years that once contained network shares. So, I searched (for example) for


replacing it with


This worked. I wasn't able to find the specific entry or program that was responsible (I really don't care), but it would be something that inserted itself into the context menu somehow.

Hey, my first post in a couple years (new username)! To be honest this idea was posted on another forum, I wish I still had the link. Shouldn't be too hard to find.

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Windows XP

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