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How to stop Windows Explorer from examining Zip files?

Posted on 2007-09-28
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Windows Explorer apparently does some sortof examination of zip files when browsing to give you tooltip information like number of files in the zip, etc.  This is causing problems over slower WAN links, making network browsing really slow, and sometimes even giving people "file in use" errors when trying to delete/move files because someone else happens to have the same folder open in Explorer.  The file isn't really in use by anyone, it's just that someone else has the same folder open in Explorer and Windows is constantly scanning the zip files.  I'm sure that normally this happens really quickly, but over a VPN connection or slow WAN link it takes a second or two for each zip file.

I've been searching but have had no luck in finding a way to turn this off.  Is there a registry hack or something to disable this feature?  I need to disable this on all our Vista and XP machines.

Thanks Experts!

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Question by:mortimer452
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LVL 86

Expert Comment

by:jkr
ID: 19978728
To turn off that behaviour, use

regsvr32.exe /u zipfldr.dll

on the command prompt.
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Expert Comment

by:jkr
ID: 19978733
See also http://www.pctools.com/guides/registry/detail/996/ ("Disable Compressed Folders")
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by:mortimer452
ID: 19978761
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't want to completely turn off support for Zip files, I just need to keep Windows from digging into the files when I don't want it to.
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Expert Comment

by:jkr
ID: 19978795
It is either completely turning it off or leaving it as it is. Sorry...
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garycase earned 1500 total points
ID: 19982332
This won't eliminate the tooltip examination; but does alter the way .ZIP files are treated (primarily to eliminate the examination of the contents during any search operations) ==> whether or not it will help here depends on just what operations your users are doing when you have the slowdowns.   But it's worth a try.
http://windowsxp.mvps.org/nofindinsidezip.htm

If that doesn't help; then I would just disable .ZIP file support by de-registering the .DLL (as shown earlier)  [Note that to re-enable it you just re-register the .DLL => the same command as shown above without the "/U"]  and install a 3rd party .ZIP handler.   7-Zip is excellent -- and free :-)  [http://www.7-zip.org/ ]
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Expert Comment

by:jkr
ID: 20115848
Tend to object. This Q is answered.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 20115889
... to an extent I agree.   Although the questioner wanted to disable the automatic parsing of the files without eliminating .ZIP support.   Neither of our answers really did that.   jrk's turns off all support;  my "nofindinsidezip"  may have worked with XP (we didn't get any feedback), but probably not with Vista; and my 7-Zip suggestion required turning off Windows' native support ... which the author didn't want to do.

As always, it would be best if the questioner would respond !! :-)
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