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  1. #1
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    Delay when changing to a particular folder

    I have a large folder 42GB and 3000* files. Just about everytime I switch to this folder there is a large pause as the green band moves across the folder name. Look at the below small rotating GIF to get a better idea of what I mean.

    https://gyazo.com/347f4b83fae430b1a4e67dc7cdab25f6

    The GIF above is of a fairly fast access to the folder. Usually it's 5 or more times longer. This is in Windows 10 and also happened in Windows 7. It's a very similar experience to what happens when you search for a file in the folder.

    Is there a way to stop this happening apart from reducing the size of the folder?

  2. #2
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    One possibility is that you are displaying a column which needs to read info from inside the files, eg 'Date Taken' if its a photo. With 3000 files in a download folder, you may have a lot of internal file info that Windows may be trying to display. Try switching to a simpler view (eg list) and see if the problem reduces.

    I am sure there will be other suggestions...

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    Thanks for the suggestion mngerhold. I tried List view but didn't make any difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarcodeBob View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion mngerhold. I tried List view but didn't make any difference.
    I now realise List view wasn't a good suggestion, as it still shows icons (which have to be dug out of each file - although Windows should keep a cache somewhere to speed it up). I did discover something odd the other day: a couple of Word docx files were very slow to be highlighted when selected in Explorer (under XP). A lot of digging revealed the culprit to be embedded thumbnails (bizarrely, .wmv files if my notes about it are correct). I had to turn off the MS thumbnail handler using Nirsoft's ShellExView. So there can be a lot going on when Explorere simply lists stuff.

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    I believe it is File Explorer enumerating the folder contents. It just happens much faster on folders with fewer and smaller files.
    Joe

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    I used ShellExView to turn off all non Microsoft plug-ins but made no difference. I turned off the MS thumbnail handlers but still no difference.

    I'm beginning to think that JoeP is right, the folder is just too big.

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    Bob, I assume this is a normal large HD. The first thing you need to do is defrag it--your speeds are too slow, see below.

    Another possibility is getting that folder indexed. I don't know anything useful about that subject, but it should speed search considerably.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarcodeBob View Post
    I'm beginning to think that JoeP is right, the folder is just too big.
    I agree. The key thing seems to be the number of files, rather than their size. Examples I just tested on the PC in my sig:

    184gig folder of 394 videos: No delay, max 1/10th second;
    2.75gig folder of >7,000 photos: took about a second to display full contents.

    [I hadn't accessed either folder since last reboot, so shouldn't be caching involved]
    Lugh.
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    I should have suggested this first, although it may not be the cause: are you using AV s/w with real-time protection, or Windows Defender? I ask because I used to use Microsoft Security Essentials (on XP), but found it was excruciatingly slow when enumerating folders with programs (or even just shortcuts) in it. In particular, I have a start menu with nested folders of s/cs, and the 'utilities' menu would take ages to appear, as MSE slowly checked each file. This was particularly irritating, as I hadn't even got to the point of actually clicking on anything to run it - simply listing the scs created the delay. This was stupid on MS' part, as surely the .exes only need to be checked when I ask to run them?

    Now, MSE would speed up on subsequent accesses of the same folder (until a reboot), but it was still a pain. I have turned off W10's Defender for the same reason (without bothering to see if MS has fixed the behaviour).

    This seemed a possibility, as your GIF above suggests it is the Download folder, which might have exes in it, but will surely have files from other computers, and that might cause hangups while the AV and/or OS checks them out.

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    mngerhold: I don't have Defender running. I turned off my Avast AV and rebooted but made no difference.

    Lugh: The folder is indexed. I turned off indexing and rebooted and made no difference. Turned it back on and rebooted and just the same. I will try a defrag and see how that goes. There is room as 59% free.

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    I checked 'Optimize Drives' and the drive that has the Download folder on it is set to do a weekly defrag. It's currently 0% fragmented so that's not the problem.

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    Further info: I usually keep this Download folder in date sequence and that seems to be where the problem occurs. The following test was done using the same copy of File Explorer.
    I click on Date and put the folder in date sequence.
    I change to a folder on another drive and play around there.
    I switch back to the Download folder and there is a 5 second or so pause before I have access.
    I click on Name and put the folder in name sequence.
    I change to a folder on another drive and play around there.
    I switch back to the Download folder and I have instant access.

    So the problem seems to only occur when the folder is in date sequence. I tried the above with Type and Size sequence and no problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarcodeBob View Post
    So the problem seems to only occur when the folder is in date sequence. I tried the above with Type and Size sequence and no problems.
    I think it is down to what I mentioned in my first response, which I saw a while ago with W10 (perhaps during the TP phase): possibly by default, the date column chosen (Windows has many date values/sources to use) is one which looks inside the files, in particular in jpgs it could be the EXIF data. This requires Windows to read each file. I don't have W10 up at the moment, so can't play about, but my recollection is that changing the type of date shown to one that can be found in the file attributes (rather than the contents) fixed my issue.

    However, I would have thought the date info would be cached, so once acquired, it should be quick - and if not cached, surely changing the sort order wouldn't change the overhead associated with reading the dates, siince if they are displayed, they have to be read, regardless of the display order. So I am still stumped, but will experiment when I have next have W10 up....

    ...OK, I have tried in W10, and can confirm that certain columns can generate this behaviour: I turned on the 'ISO speed' view (because I know its in the EXIF data), and get a slow response when first showing a folder with a lot of files (in my case ~1000):
    explorer slow sort.PNG

    Simply changing the sort column or order is fast, but switching to another folder (even on the same drive) usually means the info has to be re-read, giving the delayed response. I guess Windows can only hang on to a limited amount of sort/file info. Your animated GIF doesn't tell me which columns are displayed, but I suggest you turn off most of them, leaving only bare essentials (whatever that might be) and see what happens.

    HTH, Martin
    Last edited by mngerhold; 2016-09-13 at 12:23.

  15. #13
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    Martin my testing is showing exactly as you say, Changing the sort column is fast but switching to another folder and back again causes the problem but only when the folder is in Date sequence. I am displaying Name, Date, Type and Size.

    I decided to reduce the size of the folder as nothing seems to have helped to date.

    First off I moved most of the jpeg files out but that made little difference.

    I do currency trading and had about 4.4GB and 350 files of data in the folder. Mostly it is zip, rar, video and MQL4 source and executables. After I moved these out there was a big change. The delay is now down to under a second and is definately liveable. Obviously something in these files was causing the problem and it wasn't the size or number of files as there is still 38GB and 2700 odd files left. I moved less than 10% of the files.

    I didn't expect the files I moved to make much difference otherwise I would have moved each type seperately to see the effect it made. What I will do when I get a chance is move these files back to see what happens. But before I do I want to rename each type of file with a prefix so that I can easily delete them from the Download folder after testing (it was a pain going thru 3000+ files and tagging the ones I wanted to move).

  16. #14
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    I did some more testing. I renamed all the files that I moved from the Download folder with a prefix so I could find them easily and then moved them all back to the Download folder. I set the Download folder in Date sequence and then moved to another folder.. I then timed how long it took to access the Download folder. It was close to 5 seconds. In normal work on the PC this could be 10 seconds or more because I'm running other jobs, reading mail, trading, Excel work etc etc before I come back to the Download folder.

    I then moved the currency trading files out of the download folder 1 file type at a time and then timed how long it took to access the Download folder again. Nothing changed until I got to the .EX4 files. When I moved these out the time dropped to just over a second. Moving the rest of the files made no difference to the timing, still a bit over 1 second.

    .EX4 files are the executable files for Metatrader software. This is a Windows based trading system available from most brokers for trading Currencies, Commodities, some stocks etc.

    Obviously it seems there is something strange that Windows does in getting the date and time from these .EX4 files. Now that I know I will make sure I keep these type of files in a small folder.

    Thanks to everyone for your help, it was very much appreciated.

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