5 Ways to Fix the Windows File Explorer When It’s Slow

The Windows File Explorer is a great tool, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, this program often responds slowly when you use it to open or copy files. Sometimes, File Explorer’s search bar takes too long to load your search results.

If this tool gives you issues, you’re probably wondering, “why is my File Explorer so slow?”

Fortunately, this article will help you resolve this problem. So, let’s get started and discover the various ways to fix File Explorer when it’s slow or unresponsive.

1. Restart File Explorer

Restarting File Explorer can help resolve the “Windows File Explorer is slow” issue. To get started, follow these easy steps:

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the options.
  2. Finally, right-click on the Windows Explorer option and select Restart.

If the issue persists, close File Explorer using the Task Manager and then reopen it manually.

To do this, open the Task Manager as per the previous steps. From there, right-click on Windows Explorer and select End task. Finally, open File Explorer manually and check if the issue is resolved.

2. Minimize the Number of Active PC Programs

Running too many PC programs simultaneously could affect File Explorer’s speed. In fact, this could slow down your entire PC.

To resolve the “File Explorer is loading slow” issue, try minimizing the number of programs running on your PC.

  1. To get started, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  2. Navigate to the Processes tab.
  3. In the Apps section, right-click on a specific program and select End task. Repeat this for all the programs you’d like to close.

Next, scroll down to the Background processes section and close more tasks using the previous steps.

3. Disable Quick Access and Clear File Explorer History

Quick Access is one of File Explorer’s best features. When you open File Explorer, your recently accessed files and folders will appear under the Quick Access option. Although this feature helps you access your files quickly, it could also slow down File Explorer.

So, to speed up File Explorer, disable Quick Access by following these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and click the File option in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select Change folder and search options.
  3. In the next window, navigate to the General tab.
  4. Click the Open File Explorer to drop-down menu and select This PC.
  5. Next, uncheck the Show recently used files in Quick access and the Show frequently used folders in Quick access options.
  6. Now, press the Clear button under the Privacy options. This should clear File Explorer history.
  7. Press Apply and then press OK to apply these changes.

Finally, restart your PC to apply these changes.

4. Configure the Folder Optimization Settings

Are you experiencing this issue with a folder containing lots of files and subfolders within it? If that’s the case, optimizing that folder could help.

So, here’s how you can optimize your folder to tackle the “Windows 10 File Explorer is slow” issue:

  1. Right-click the problematic folder and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to the Customize tab.
  3. Click the Optimize this folder for drop-down menu and select General items.
  4. Check the Also apply this template to all subfolders box.
  5. Finally, press Apply and then press OK to apply these changes.

5. Troubleshoot the Windows Search and Indexing Service

If none of the solutions have worked so far, you’re probably worried and still wondering, “why is file explorer so slow?” But we’ve got one more solution for you!

As a last resort, try troubleshooting the Windows search and indexing service to tackle the issue.

The Windows search and indexing service helps improve the search performance on your PC. However, File Explorer and its search bar could be slow if the search and indexing service has issues.

So, to resolve the issue at hand, troubleshoot the search and indexing service through these steps:

  1. Type Control Panel in the Windows search bar and select the Best match.
  2. Select Small icons in the View by drop-down menu.
  3. From there, select Indexing Options.
  4. In the next window, select Troubleshoot search and indexing.
  5. Next, check the Search or indexing is slowing down the computer box.
  6. Finally, press Next to finalize the process.

Speed Up File Explorer With Ease

It’s quite frustrating when File Explorer takes forever to load. In fact, this makes it an unpleasant experience to manage and work with your files. Hopefully, you should be able to fix the “Windows Explorer is slow” issue using the tips we’ve provided.


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