Need some help with slow folders in Windows

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newbie003
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:25 am

Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

Sorry, wasn't exactly sure what to put in the subject, but here's my problem; several months ago, my computer started getting slow in one general aspect; moving/copying/cutting/pasting/renaming files... in Windows folders.

In other words, for example, if I have the My Documents folder open (or any other folder), and I try to rename a file, or drag it to another folder, or Ctrl X or C and then V, it takes several seconds to respond. I might get an hour glass or it might just hang for a few seconds before completing the task (while the folder is 'frozen', I can move on and do other things, and it always completes what I was trying to do in the folder).

Everything else on my computer is still very fast.

I have a 'decked out' 3 year old Eluktronics with an i7, SSD with over 100 GB of free space, 64 GB RAM, etc... so there's no 'physical' reason it should be slow. Only negative is Win 10 Home vs. Pro.

I'm assuming it's just a Windows 'thing' and there's nothing I can do about it. Rebooting doesn't help. There have been several Windows Updates that haven't helped... Safe mode makes no difference either.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
MathWizard
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by MathWizard »

Possibly you just have way too many files.

More likely you have a problem with the SSD. I would swap it out for a new one,
they are getting pretty cheap.
patrick
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by patrick »

This seems more like a software configuration issue -- renaming should be very fast, and a hardware problem would slow down everything else too. It is not obvious to me what would cause this, but my first guess is that you might have (perhaps without realizing it) installed a shell extension that is behaving badly.
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

patrick wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm This seems more like a software configuration issue -- renaming should be very fast, and a hardware problem would slow down everything else too. It is not obvious to me what would cause this, but my first guess is that you might have (perhaps without realizing it) installed a shell extension that is behaving badly.
Is there any easy way to search for a possible bad shell extension?
bloom2708
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by bloom2708 »

Open File Explorer

Select the "View" tab at the top.

At the far right choose "Options".

In the Privacy section, "Clear" the File Explorer History.

See if that helps.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Barsoom
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by Barsoom »

It might be your search and index settings. Does everything need to be indexed, even network drives?

Too many folders can be a cause, as well as empty folders, windows folders, etc.

If the computer is old enough, maybe even defrag the drive.

-B
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:08 pm Open File Explorer

Select the "View" tab at the top.

At the far right choose "Options".

In the Privacy section, "Clear" the File Explorer History.

See if that helps.
Thank you. I would say this helped a little, but it's still not quite fully right (but definitely seems a little better).
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

Barsoom wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:11 pm It might be your search and index settings. Does everything need to be indexed, even network drives?

Too many folders can be a cause, as well as empty folders, windows folders, etc.

If the computer is old enough, maybe even defrag the drive.

-B
I don't recall where to check the settings for indexing, though I do see on my c: properties that I have this checked off: "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties"

I assume that's what allows the search bar in the upper right of a folder to find search terms within files (which does come in handy).
bloom2708
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by bloom2708 »

newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:13 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:08 pm Open File Explorer

Select the "View" tab at the top.

At the far right choose "Options".

In the Privacy section, "Clear" the File Explorer History.

See if that helps.
Thank you. I would say this helped a little, but it's still not quite fully right (but definitely seems a little better).
How much free space on the Hard Drive? If you are getting down there on space, that can cause all kinds of issues.

Also check Task Manager and see if your RAM is being heavily used or the Processor is pegged.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:18 pm
newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:13 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:08 pm Open File Explorer

Select the "View" tab at the top.

At the far right choose "Options".

In the Privacy section, "Clear" the File Explorer History.

See if that helps.
Thank you. I would say this helped a little, but it's still not quite fully right (but definitely seems a little better).
How much free space on the Hard Drive? If you are getting down there on space, that can cause all kinds of issues.

Also check Task Manager and see if your RAM is being heavily used or the Processor is pegged.
121 GB free of 930 GB (it's a 1 TB SSD). I know it's getting a bit low but still plenty of room overall.

RAM and CPU are fine. 23% RAM usage right now and 12% CPU.
bloom2708
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by bloom2708 »

newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:23 pm 121 GB free of 930 GB (it's a 1 TB SSD). I know it's getting a bit low but still plenty of room overall.

RAM and CPU are fine. 23% RAM usage right now and 12% CPU.
Those should be ok. A defragment is a good idea when you have idle time.

In that same "Options" window above, set the first drop to "This PC" instead of "Quick Access". You can also unmark those two "Quick access" checkboxes in the Privacy section.

I've seen issues where building the Quick Access list slows things down.

Also, do you start File Explorer from a shortcut? Delete the shortcut and start from the Start menu. Just tossing out other ideas.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:26 pm
newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:23 pm 121 GB free of 930 GB (it's a 1 TB SSD). I know it's getting a bit low but still plenty of room overall.

RAM and CPU are fine. 23% RAM usage right now and 12% CPU.
Those should be ok. A defragment is a good idea when you have idle time.

In that same "Options" window above, set the first drop to "This PC" instead of "Quick Access". You can also unmark those two "Quick access" checkboxes in the Privacy section.

I've seen issues where building the Quick Access list slows things down.

Also, do you start File Explorer from a shortcut? Delete the shortcut and start from the Start menu. Just tossing out other ideas.
Thanks. It's already on 'This PC' rather than quick access.

I do usually open folders from shortcuts, or Win+E.

I thought it wasn't a good idea/necessary to defragment an SSD drive. Or is that an 'old wives tale'?
bman3
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by bman3 »

Check to see if Trim is enabled, just to be sure.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-ensu ... erformance
DetroitRick
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by DetroitRick »

I had the exact same problem last year. Exactly what you described. When it was happening, I perused quite a few Windows forums and never found a solution that worked for me. The only thing I learned was how prevalent the problem was. My experience started mid-year 2018 and went away by itself sometime in December. I wish I knew what it was.

I was (and am) running Windows 10 Home, 1803 on a fairly beefy machine, since early May 2018. Absolutely no other symptoms, just what you described in Windows Explorer. I tested my hardware (including drive) - no issues. Checked Windows for file corruption - no issues. Memory - plenty. About the time I finally gave up, it "fixed" itself, or so it appears. Same here, first thing I did was reboot, try safe mode, check disk space, etc. Nothing worked. Then did the heavier testing - not one issue was uncovered.

Sorry I can't help with a solution. Definitely feel your pain though, and will follow this thread for other solutions in case it starts up again. Nope, can't use a Chromebook either. :oops:
nestorius
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by nestorius »

Before you change your hard drive, empty your temp folder. Click on the Start symbol (Windows icon on the lower left corner of your screen), type %temp%. A folder icon should show up. Highlight all the files and folders you see there and hit <delete>. If you don't do this periodically you may have several hundred temp files taking up space and RAM. While deleting, you may get a pop-up saying that some files are still in use. Hit "skip". After you delete the files, check to see if your PC is more responsive. If not, something else may be going on.
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

TRIM is enabled.

Temp folder doesn't have too much in it, and I periodically run ccleaner which empties it.
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

DetroitRick wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:40 pm I had the exact same problem last year. Exactly what you described. When it was happening, I perused quite a few Windows forums and never found a solution that worked for me. The only thing I learned was how prevalent the problem was. My experience started mid-year 2018 and went away by itself sometime in December. I wish I knew what it was.

I was (and am) running Windows 10 Home, 1803 on a fairly beefy machine, since early May 2018. Absolutely no other symptoms, just what you described in Windows Explorer. I tested my hardware (including drive) - no issues. Checked Windows for file corruption - no issues. Memory - plenty. About the time I finally gave up, it "fixed" itself, or so it appears. Same here, first thing I did was reboot, try safe mode, check disk space, etc. Nothing worked. Then did the heavier testing - not one issue was uncovered.

Sorry I can't help with a solution. Definitely feel your pain though, and will follow this thread for other solutions in case it starts up again. Nope, can't use a Chromebook either. :oops:
Thanks. Makes me feel marginally better that it's not just me, and that there's a chance it might just go away...
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tractorguy
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by tractorguy »

I had a problem a year or so back with windows 10 that took forever to open some folders, including the quick view. I found that these folders had their type set as "pictures" which was forcing the operating system to scan the full folder and generate thumbnails of every file. When I reset the type to "general" things became much faster. The how to is here: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16694/c ... templates/

Hope this helps.
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newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

tractorguy wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:38 pm I had a problem a year or so back with windows 10 that took forever to open some folders, including the quick view. I found that these folders had their type set as "pictures" which was forcing the operating system to scan the full folder and generate thumbnails of every file. When I reset the type to "general" things became much faster. The how to is here: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16694/c ... templates/

Hope this helps.
Thanks. I came across that suggestion via Google and my folders are already on general.
patrick
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by patrick »

newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:05 pm
patrick wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:01 pm This seems more like a software configuration issue -- renaming should be very fast, and a hardware problem would slow down everything else too. It is not obvious to me what would cause this, but my first guess is that you might have (perhaps without realizing it) installed a shell extension that is behaving badly.
Is there any easy way to search for a possible bad shell extension?
The usual tool for that is ShellExView -- unfortunately you'll see a long list and it may not be obvious which one might be causing problems.
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tuningfork
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by tuningfork »

tractorguy wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:38 pm I had a problem a year or so back with windows 10 that took forever to open some folders, including the quick view. I found that these folders had their type set as "pictures" which was forcing the operating system to scan the full folder and generate thumbnails of every file. When I reset the type to "general" things became much faster. The how to is here: https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16694/c ... templates/

Hope this helps.
Thank you for posting this. I've had one very slow folder for a long time. For some reason it was set to "pictures" so now I've reset it to "general" which I hope will fix it.
EZ James
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by EZ James »

As somebody else mentioned, this may be an indexing problem.

I suggest you:
1. Tap the windows key + S
2. Type indexing
3. Select desired options.
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

EZ James wrote: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:31 am As somebody else mentioned, this may be an indexing problem.

I suggest you:
1. Tap the windows key + S
2. Type indexing
3. Select desired options.
If I turn off indexing, what might that negatively affect? Just want to make sure I don't slow something else down when searching for files (though I usually use the 'everything' app when searching for files, but it only does file names). When searching in top right of a Windows folder, that searches within files, correct? Would I be turning that off if I turn of indexing?
EZ James
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by EZ James »

The downside for NOT indexing will be slow access for many files and that was the basis of your complaint.

The only downsides I can think of FOR indexing it that initially it may take a long time for the process to complete. That process can run in the background so it’s not a big downside. After that indexing new files should be automatic. The other possible downside is that the generated index file will be large so you use up storage. I like to keep about 15% free space on my drives so the OS has room for normal housekeeping like this.


The windows search function has been problematic for me and I never spent much time trying to make it behave so I usually also use Everything.

I expect the search function would work normally if you turn off indexing...but it would be slower.

Your drive may already be indexed and the index utility will show what has been indexed. I just checked mine for the first time and see that a lot has been indexed by default. The targets can be changed and you can further refine the items via the advanced button.

But your problem may not be due to a lack of indexing. The only other thing suspect to me, and I am not an expert, is the protocol used to access the drives. A tweak to the BIOS might be needed but you’d need to review your computer’s docs to make sense of it.

Creating a restore point before making changes might be a good idea. Good luck!
othermike27
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by othermike27 »

newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm
bloom2708 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:26 pm
Those should be ok. A defragment is a good idea when you have idle time.


I thought it wasn't a good idea/necessary to defragment an SSD drive. Or is that an 'old wives tale'?
Defragmenting a SSD is not a good idea! Defrag shortens access speeds for a spinning hard disk, but does nothing for SSD performance. If done to excess, the read/write operations of regular defragmenting may shorten the SSD's lifetime.
EZ James
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by EZ James »

Sstill grasping at straws here...I wonder if each file is being checked by a security program before it can be moved. You could see what processes are soaking up resources with Task Manager and what percentage of load they are running at for possible clues. You might also consider disabling any ant;i virus or anti malware type programs to see if the file transfer rate increases.
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newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

EZ James wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:04 am Sstill grasping at straws here...I wonder if each file is being checked by a security program before it can be moved. You could see what processes are soaking up resources with Task Manager and what percentage of load they are running at for possible clues. You might also consider disabling any ant;i virus or anti malware type programs to see if the file transfer rate increases.
I disabled all antivirus/malware and it didn't make it any better :(

A good suggestion nonetheless, thank you.
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tcassette
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by tcassette »

Try the free version of ccleaner.com
mariezzz
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by mariezzz »

othermike27 wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:47 am
newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm I thought it wasn't a good idea/necessary to defragment an SSD drive. Or is that an 'old wives tale'?
Defragmenting a SSD is not a good idea! Defrag shortens access speeds for a spinning hard disk, but does nothing for SSD performance. If done to excess, the read/write operations of regular defragmenting may shorten the SSD's lifetime.
+1. Don't defrag an SSD drive.
FreemanB
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by FreemanB »

It was mentioned earlier, but how many actual files and folders are in the folder that is slow? Too many can have a big impact on performance.
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oldzey
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by oldzey »

Here's a good resource that I've used for years: https://www.tweakhound.com/2015/12/09/t ... indows-10/

I also concur that the free version of CCleaner might help: https://www.ccleaner.com/

Caveat emptor - be careful before tweaking/cleaning - I'd recommend backing up your files on an external drive or on a cloud server first.
"The broker said the stock was 'poised to move.' Silly me, I thought he meant up." ― Randy Thurman
Topic Author
newbie003
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by newbie003 »

I don't think it's (at least not only) a # of files in the folder issue, as even if I create 2 brand new folders and try to move files back and forth it's slow (not as bad as the specific folders I'm having issues with, but not nearly as instantaneous/quick that it used to be).

I do have over 1000 files in one of the folders, but the other folder that I move files back and forth from only has a few dozen. I moved most of the files out of the big folder temporarily, and it didn't help (maybe just a little, but not much).

I've used ccleaner for years now so I know it well, but it's not helping either.

I'll look through the tweakhound article and see if I can find anything useful.

Thanks again.
michaeljc70
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Re: Need some help with slow folders in Windows

Post by michaeljc70 »

mariezzz wrote: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:50 pm
othermike27 wrote: Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:47 am
newbie003 wrote: Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:29 pm I thought it wasn't a good idea/necessary to defragment an SSD drive. Or is that an 'old wives tale'?
Defragmenting a SSD is not a good idea! Defrag shortens access speeds for a spinning hard disk, but does nothing for SSD performance. If done to excess, the read/write operations of regular defragmenting may shorten the SSD's lifetime.
+1. Don't defrag an SSD drive.
https://lifehacker.com/windows-does-def ... 1666753409
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