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  1. #1
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    Right-click context menu very slow to open

    My XP PC has recently become extremely slow at opening the context (right click) menu when I right click any file. Typically about 8 seconds.

    The only significant change I can think of has been adding a 3 TB external WD hard drive, but I don't see how that can be the cause. I've tried a registry clean. And I use Perfect Disk to defragment my HDs automatically.

    How can I isolate and fix this please?

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    It could be the addition of the large external hard disk, especially as the default could be to allow it to spin down after a period of time if not used. This would mean that it would have to spin back up again in order to respond to something like Explorer context menu options of 'Send to...', 'Scan with (AV)', etc. The easiest way to check this of course is to temporarily disconnect the external drive and see whether context menus appear more quickly.

    Context menus usually slow down as more and more entries are added. You can use standalone (i.e. portable) utilities like Nir Sofer's ShellMenuView and ShellExView (which are both free) to disable/remove entries you don't want.

    Context menus also slow down if entries reference network locations, e.g. 'Send to \\MyServer\MyData', etc. Do you have a NAS?

    There's also a default 'MenuShowDelay' setting in the registry which can be reduced to make the context menu more responsive. The default is 400 milliseconds but this can be reduced to something like 20 by merging a simple registry tweak.

    Try this:
    1. Run regedit.
    2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
    3. Right-click on the Desktop key and export it (e.g. to the desktop), just in case.
    4. Change the value for MenuShowDelay from the default 400 to 20 and accept the change.
    5. Close regedit.

    Or copy/paste the following into Notepad (including the blank line at the bottom) and save as something like faster-menu.reg then merge it by double-clicking on it:

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
    "MenuShowDelay"="20"
    Hope this helps... let us know if this makes it any faster for you.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-01-20 at 17:28. Reason: Added more info

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    I always lower my default value on a new computer to 20ms.

    What happens when you unplug the external drive and boot the computer? If it is faster then you know it is the 3TB drive presence and Rick's explanation is likely correct.

  4. #4
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    Pleased to report problem solved!

    First tried a System Restore back one week but that didn't fix it. Then ran NirSoft's excellent (if daunting) tool ShellExView.

    The very first entry I tried disabling (because I recalled installing it only a month ago and it did add an entry to the menu) was the culprit. It's a tool from IObit for deleting reluctant files, called Unlocker. Very pleased, because there seem to be hundreds of obscure entries listed.

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    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrypin View Post
    Pleased to report problem solved!

    First tried a System Restore back one week but that didn't fix it. Then ran NirSoft's excellent (if daunting) tool ShellExView.

    The very first entry I tried disabling (because I recalled installing it only a month ago and it did add an entry to the menu) was the culprit. It's a tool from IObit for deleting reluctant files, called Unlocker. Very pleased, because there seem to be hundreds of obscure entries listed.

    --
    Terry, East Grinstead, UK
    I used ShellExView about a year ago to successfully find what was causing me some issues in Windows 8.1 (32 bit). What I did was, I disabled about 10 non-Microsoft devices at a time, to see if the problem got resolved. At some point, the problem went away, so I reenabled half of that group and rebooted, to see if the problem came back. In this way, I pretty quickly homed in on the offending device. In my case, it was a program called Format Factory, which apparently followed all of the Windows 8.0 rules, but which broke some new rule Microsoft had established in Windows 8.1.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-01-22 at 14:53.

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