Windows 7 Explorer Slow To Open Folders Fix

Are you finding that Windows 7 explorer is slow to open folders? Note, not Internet Explorer, but Windows Explorer. This usually is even more noticeable when a directory folder contains larger files. There are a few different areas to check.

First, take a look at the folder settings. I have noticed that quite often Windows 7 likes to “optimize” my media directories as “Video” folders. So when opening a specific directory it will slowly chug through and generate a thumbnail based on scene from the file. By right clicking and going to options and resetting the “optimization” to “General” I sped up the access time in my media directory a lot.

That isn’t the only potential culprit though. Some third party applications run their own indexing process that bogs a machine down. For example, NERO, a popular burning application installs its own indexing program called Scout. I have heard of cases where this was quite a performance impact. By unchecking the box for Scout at the bottom of a window, it will not index the files. This reduces the load placed on large directories and can speed things up. I haven’t really come across a need for Scout, so haven’t found any harm in disabling it.

Once you get past those tweaks, if you are still experiencing Windows 7 explorer being slow to open folders you have a few remaining options. The first would be to run a spyware scanner and check for anything that might be interfering with the operation of your machine. There could easily be an application or process hiding in the background conflicting with the normal indexing and listing operations.

The last options are relatively easy and good practice in general. If you still are noticing that Windows 7 explorer is slow to open folders, try defragging the hard drive. Also, run a registry cleaner. Invalid registry keys could be causing an issue with the indexing process, file type recognition, or other similar errors. Any of those would cause Windows Explorer to take longer than normal to load the directory contents.