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windows explorer slow to load folder(s)


I remember in Win3.1 and earlier when I clicked on a folder in explorer (or whatever it was called then) it would open up the folder and show the files there in approximately 2 seconds. Now, with faster machines and supposedly a better os it can take up to 30 seconds befoe I can see the files in a folder. What gives? I know explorer can find words within files and other things now but I never use those features. I just want to be able to open a folder and see it's context as fast as I use to be able to.

What can I do? Can I disable some features of explorer so I can see the files faster? any suggestions?


1 Solution
Turn of any thumbnailing/caching stuff, and I assume youre using XP.

Right click My Computer and choose Properties, go the Advanced tab, and then Settings under perfomance, and set it to Adjust for best performance, that will disable all of the visual stuff XP does, shadows, menu effects, etc.
Hello wheels998 =)

try disanling ur Microsoft Indexing service
goto Start>Run>msconfig>Services
and untick Microsoft Indexing Serices
restart and now check if any difference ??
wheels998Author Commented:
Hi illushinz:

I tried to do as you said but under the advanced tab it does not appear on my computer as you have described so I couldn't do as you suggested.

Hi SheharvaarSaahil:

I did as you said but I noticed that in the msconfig window the Microsoft Indexing Service was listed as STOPPED. I unchecked it anyhow and rebooted but did not notice any difference.

any other suggestions?

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Jared LukerCommented:
HOw much RAM do you have?  How big is your hard drive, and how full is it?
hmmmmmmm tell me one thing,,,, same slow behaviour happens in wheels.... coz as far as i know explorer shud take maximum 10 and normally 3-4 seconds to load files and folders depending on the size and number of files !!
Jared LukerCommented:
I once had a virus that caused explorer to take forever to load
wheels998Author Commented:

I am running a Dell XP with 256M, 40 gb HD with about 6 Gb free. It takes about 15 seconds, I timed it, to load a folder that has 25 Gbytes (12,257 files) in it. That folder is the backup folder for the real one I use on the network. That folder takes 30 seconds for me to view the contents on a 10/100 network.

Is this as good as it gets?

25GB.... OMG :-o
then its OK if its taking 15 seconds.... i have 8GB of a my songs folder, and it takes 10 seconds to open it !!

and when i open the My Network Places to view my other system's folders, it takes around 25 seconds to come... so i think its doing the same thing with u.... is it really abnormal to u, coz its fine to me ;-)
Jared LukerCommented:
That's a lot of files! I have a Users folder here at work that has almost 3000 folders only on it, and depending on server load, can take that long (sometimes longer).

For that many files, I would say that 15 secs is not that bad.  Especially with only 256 megs of ram.  That many files could be scattered ALL over the drive.  How long has it been since you defraged?  I would go out and get diskkeeper light and try again if it has been recently.

Do you know if your hard drive is 7200 rpm?

Hi David!

If you are sure that your computer is not infected with a virus then I think you need to cleanup your harddisk from junk files. Windows has a feature called "disk cleanup" in systems tools. Run that and clean all.

try running the Disk Defragmenter utility also. It takes time but helps a lot.

You can also use a third party software to clean up your registry.
you can download "Registry mechanic 3.0" from

Hope this is gonna help.

Probaly you have the Folder "Details" Tunrned ON. When there are so many files in the Folder or in the Root, this may impact the file seek time.

To have a Different View, Take Windows Explored ( or Windowskey + E ) and from the View TAB of the Windows Explorer select Small Icons or LIST. By doing so, the details of the files are turned off and you may expereince a performace improvement. Also I would like to know if you have used Partition Magic to Migrate a FAT32 to NTFS or Viz. Recently.

Sometimes it's also due to the antivirus configuration when you set it to scan all file types. Try setting it to scan default files or disable it temporary and test it on the folder that is loading very slow.
windows explorer slow to load folder(s)

actually lot of possibility for slow explorer, i am telling you some suggestion try to do this -
    1) may be big temp file present in your system so do this -
        start - program - accessories - sysem tools - disk cleanep ( run this it takes some times because you have used 34 GB so do not select all the check box at a time run it in 2 part. run on system drive )
   2) also defrag your drive -
       start - program - accessories - system tools - disk defragment
   3) check your software, if you find any useless program such as search assistant, google search or anything else uninstall it.
      start - setting - control pannel - add remove program - and select your useless program then click on remove.
   4) also check your explorer for error.
     start - program - accessories - system tools - system information - tools - check internet explorer ( but this feature not present in every operating system )
    5) set your explorer home page to about blank and run this tools.
      RepairDefaultPrefix.reg <http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/RepairDefaultPrefix.reg>
   Restart your computer

After this if your explorer performance will not improve, it means either you have installed some heavy package in your computer like - photoshop, coral, graphic or 3 - d games which slow down the computer if its not true then your computer have some memory problem or virus problem.
     if your performance will not improve and  send me details of your computer like software , anti virus - ram - os.

(Network Engineer)
uhm, question remains :-)

What operating system, what processor and what memory
Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
i would edit the colum layout of the folder. that way it doesn't have to retrieve as much info before showing you the folder. try to remove all colums except the ones you need. like maybe everything except file name. it should load faster (at least in details view). also try using the list view, see if that is faster. you could also add more RAM and or clean up the system. clean startup programs and services. scan for spyware etc..
Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
Do you have any drives mapped to other machines or network resources???  I see this all the time when opening explorer as it goes out to those resources to display the contents.  
Defragment your computer... and try removing any external USB drives or devices, "My Computer" can take ages to load when it's reading from slow USB devices...

Definitly defrag your computer, and kill the indexing service and system restore... It might also help to know what Antivirus product your using..and maybe updating it as they do scan folders realtime...

What you could even do, is disable your anti-virus quickly, stop using the internet and seeing if the folders load significantly faster.. then of course turn your anti-virus back on...

Make sure you are not using the "Thumbnails" view
GEESH... in windows 3.1 you didn't have 12,257 files in the folder did you?

Make sure the partition is NTFS. Go to a command prompt and run "convert c: /fs:ntfs" ... if it is not ntfs I'd betcha it'd do better as ntfs. Though 12,257 is a way big list to expect to pop up in 2 seconds. :-\
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