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11 Solutions for Slow File Explorer on Windows –

January 4, 202412 min read

There are several reasons why File Explorer may be so slow on your Windows computer. And this is not a new problem either as Windows users have been reporting slow File Explorer consuming a lot of resources for a long time. There are several steps you can take to speed up File Explorer and improve its performance. Let's dive right in.

before starting

These simple but effective steps will help increase the speed of File Explorer to a great extent. Be sure to read the list.

  • File Explorer will perform slowly if a lot of tasks are running in parallel like file/folder copy-pasting, app installation, etc. Wait for these resource-intensive tasks to finish.
  • Folders with too many files will take time to open. Similarly, if the file size is too large you will notice that File Explorer is loading slowly. We recommend creating subfolders and moving files into them to reduce folder size. 10 small folders are better than 1 large folder.
  • If there are too many processes running in the background, it can slow down PC performance, affecting everything including File Explorer. A simple reboot should help but then some apps and processes run automatically on startup.

1. Manage paging file size automatically

Windows needs to efficiently manage both physical and virtual memory to manage the indexing and storage of files. The pagefile is part of Windows' virtual memory system that helps abstract physical memory by using virtual addresses mapped to physical addresses. too complex? Follow the steps below to make sure the feature is enabled. That is all.

1. Press Windows + R Go to Run prompt and copy-paste the command below.

run prompt in windows

2. Choose advanced tab and then click Adjustment below it Display,

System Properties in Windows

3. In the following pop-up, under advanced tabchoose programs Under Adjust for best display of title.

Adjust for best performance in paging window

4. In the same pop-up, click on Change button under the Virtual Memory heading.

Change viral memory in windows pagination

5. In another pop-up, make sure Manage paging file size automatically for all drives Checking is done here. click on apply To save changes and Ok To close the pop-up.

Manage paging file size automatically for all drives

2. Restart File Explorer

This is a simple but effective trick that will help with slow file explorer. Note that this will close all open windows and apps immediately, so save all your work first.

1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc key on your keyboard which should open the Task Manager.

2. Use the search bar at the top to search Windows Explorer, Right-click on it and select restart,

Restart Windows Explorer from Task Manager

3. Optimize the folder

Have you seen those green progress bars when opening a folder? Something like this:

Customize folderEspecially a large folder with many files should resolve this.

1. Right-click on the folder that is loading very slowly. For example, the Downloads folder because that's where we download files. choose Property From the context menu.

Downloads folder properties in Windows

2. Choose customize tabs, choose general items Customize this folder for: section from the drop-down menu below. you can also check Also apply this template to all subfolders Option. click on apply Click to save changes and then Ok,

Customize This Folder for Common Items in File Explorer on Windows

Comment: Many users use the detailed or list view which displays additional information such as file size, length, date, etc. Fetching and populating all this data takes time resulting in a slow file explorer experience. You can easily change the folder view from the View menu at the top.

Change the view type of files in File Explorer on Windows

4. Run the Indexer Troubleshooter

User files and folders are indexed by the system to keep records of which file is saved and where on the drive. Indexing may become corrupted causing slow load and opening times of File Explorer. There is a troubleshooter tool for this but it is hidden deep in Settings.

1. Press windows+i To open the Settings app.

2. choose Privacy & Security Click More from the left sidebar searching for windows On the right side.

Find Windows options in Settings

3. Scroll down and click index troubleshooter, Doing so will open a pop-up and Windows will immediately begin indexing the files and folders.

Run the Indexer Troubleshooter on Windows

5. Delete automatic destination

Treat it like junk files. Removing it will improve the speed and load time of File Explorer.

1. Press Windows key + R To open the run prompt.

2. Copy the command below, paste it in the Run prompt and then press enter,

Opening destination folder automatically on Windows

3. A folder will open. Delete all files in this folder using Ctrl+A Keyboard shortcut (selects all files) and press delete To delete all files.

4. Repeat the same steps but for the folder path given below.


6. Check SSD/HDD Health

File Explorer lets you search only those files and folders that are stored on SSD or HDD. If the SSD/HDD is corrupt or damaged, File Explorer may take longer to load them or worse, they may be lost forever (may or may not be recoverable). If File Explorer is very slow on your Windows PC, it's a good idea to check its health.

There are a couple of ways to do this.

1. Squeeze windows key And search for CMD. click on run as administrator,

Open CMD with administrator rights

2. Copy-paste the command below and press enter To execute.


And then enter this command:

diskdrive get status

If the situation says right then everything is fine. Otherwise, you will see an error describing the problem.

Popular SSD manufacturers like Seagate have tools that will perform a thorough scan of the drive installed on your Windows PC. Not only this, they will also suggest solutions. Here are links to tools from some popular manufacturers:

7. Clear File Explorer History

File Explorer History includes search history from the address bar, quick access except pinned folders, recently opened files, run quick search history and more.

To clear File Explorer history from any open folder, click three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and then select Option From the menu.

How to Open Folder Options in File Explorer on Windows

click on clear button next to Clear File Explorer History Option.

Clear File Explorer History

Pro Tip: In the same pop-up menu under the Privacy section, you can choose to hide recently used files and frequently used folders if you want.

Next, inside any folder, right-click on the address bar (where you can see the folder path) and select delete history Option from the context menu.

Delete History in File Explorer in Windows

8. Run Maintenance

1. Press Windows key, search control PanelAnd open it.

2. click on system and security,

3. click on Safety and Maintenance,

4. click on maintenance To expand that menu. then click start maintenance,

A pop-up will open. Then follow the on-screen instructions.

9. Run SFC and DISM scan

SFC or system file checker scan Will look for corrupt operating system files and attempt to repair them. Similarly, DISM or deployment servicing image and management Windows will repair the OS image without requiring an Internet connection. If a corrupt system or OS file is responsible for slowing down File Explorer, this should fix it.

1. Squeeze windows key And search for CMD. click on run as administrator,

2. Copy-paste the below commands one by one.

sfc /scannow
DISM.exe /image:"c:\images\Image1" /Add-Driver /ForceUnsigned /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\1.inf" /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\2.inf" /DriverName:"C:\Drivers\3.inf"

10. Remove large folders/drives from Defender

Windows Defender has come a long way. If it's become so good you no longer need a third-party antivirus app. However, frequent background scans can also affect PC performance Slows down File Explorer as many Redditors found, If you have a larger drive or folder, you can try excluding it.

1. Squeeze windows key on your keyboard and then search and open windows security,

Open Windows Security in Windows Search

2. click on Virus and threat protection,

Virus and threat protection in Windows

3. click on Manage Settings Below Virus and threat protection updates,

Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings in Windows

4. Scroll down and click Add or remove exclusions,

Add or remove exclusions in Windows Security

5. click on add an exclusion Press the button and select whether folder, Then simply navigate to the folder or drive you want to exclude and select it.

Exclude a file, folder or drive from Windows Security

11. Turn off real-time Windows Defender scans

Doing this will depend on the type of work you do on your computer. If you are constantly using the Internet to open various sites and download files, you need Defender to constantly scan. Otherwise, you can disable real-time scanning and perform a manual scan from time to time.

1. Open Windows Security as shown in the section above.

2. click on Virus and threat protection,

3. click on Manage Settings Under Virus & threat protection settings.

4. disable real time protection Here.

Disable Real Time Protection in Windows Security in Windows

Explore the world through the window

File Explorer isn't the only way to find and open files and folders on your drive. There are several options, including both native and third-party file explorers. we recommend powertoys Which will let you search for any file from any app window using a universal search bar that will magically appear when you press a keyboard shortcut. It is open-source, free, and developed by Microsoft. Instead of a fix, simply bypass the old and slow File Explorer on your Windows computer.

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