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  1. #1

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    Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    I have a number of problems with File Explorer on my new laptop (Zenbook running Windows 10; 64 bit):

    1. Sometimes when File Explorer is already open and I navigate to a new folder, the address bar (which is normally white) acts as a progress bar (it becomes green on the left and the green part gradually progresses to the right end of the address bar, and once finished, the whole address bar turns white again. So far, I guess, that is normal as I see this phenomenon in other computers too, for example in my desktop computer. But in my laptop, this progress bar usually takes much more time to complete. It is slower than normal.

    2. When "View" is set to "Large icons", it is supposed to show the thumbnails of all songs and movies, but very often, it shows the thumbnails of just SOME of the movies (not all of them). For other movies and video files it shows the standard icon for mp4 (or other) video file types.
    When this happens, I press Alt+UpArrow to go to the parent folder, then press Enter to come back to the subfolder. Then it shows the thumbnails of ALL movies.
    This problem happens quite a lot with my new laptop, but I have never had this problem with my desktop computer.

    3. If a folder has for example 56 files, on the bottom left it says 56 items. Then I press Alt+UpArrow to go to the parent folder, (which has for example 12 subfolders), it STILL continues to show 56 items on the bottom left of File Explorer for 5 to 6 seconds, and only after 5 to 6 seconds it shows "12 items". In other words, it updates that piece of info with a delay of 5 to 6 seconds (which is unacceptably too high)

    4. In the recycle bin, when I click on "Empty Recycle bin" it always empties the recycle bin properly, but sometimes FALSELY shows some files left in there. It is a FALSE show. If I close the recycle bin and re-open it, it correctly shows that the recycle bin is empty.

    I really don't understand why the new laptop has these problems. The entire hard disk is Solid-State and its size is 256 GB. Thogh I usually attach several external hard disks to it as well, and those external hard disks, I guess, are not solid state.
    I don't have any third party anti virus or any heavy process running. It only runs Windows Defender.
    And no unnecessary process in the startup.
    I ran sfc /scannot (while external hard disks were attached) and it found no errors.
    Also Windows Search Service is running and is set to Automatic (Delayed start).

    So, why do these problems happen?
    And how can I fix them?

    Please advise.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Seek out the file called IconCache.db located in Users\Your User Name\AppData\Local and delete it.

    It will get recreated and should help overall performance in File Explorer.
    "If you are drinking to forget.... Please pay in advance."

  3. #3

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    Seek out the file called IconCache.db located in Users\Your User Name\AppData\Local and delete it.

    It will get recreated and should help overall performance in File Explorer.
    Thanks for the advice.
    I did that (on saturday), but it helped just a little bit.
    File Explorer is still slow on my laptop.

    Other symptoms that I forgot to mention in post #1:

    5. When I play a video, the thumbnail of that video in File Explorer will have a grey rim (which is normal and expected):
    https://i.imgur.com/GVN7cEy.jpg
    And when that video plays to the end and I close Windows Media Player, that rim must IMMEDIATELY turn light blue:
    https://i.imgur.com/izMlSOx.jpg
    But it continues to be grey for another 5 to 6 seconds, and only after 5 to 6 seconds will it become light blue again.
    During those 5 to 6 seconds, if I press the arrow keys I cannot navigate to other videos. Only after 5 to 6 seconds when that rim becomes light blue can I use arrow keys.
    That delay of 5 to 6 seconds is really unacceptable.

    6. If I move a file (Cut and paste within two instances of File Explorer or even one instance of File Explorer), that famous little window appears that shows the progress of the move with a graphic green chart that moves from zero to the end.
    This is normal and expected, but that little window remains at zero for about 5 to 6 seconds, and only after 5 to 6 seconds does it quickly move from zero to the end.
    That initial delay of 5 to 6 seconds is really abnormal.

    These two new symptoms that I mentioned here did not happen as result of me deleting that file IconCache.db
    These two symptoms already existed when I started this thread, but I just forgot to mention them in post #1
    I am mentioning them in here in hopes that they may ring a bell and somebody may help with this strange problem.

    Out of the 4 symptoms that I mentioned in post #1, the first three syptoms continue to exist.
    Deleting that file IconCache.db eliminated symptom 4 (regarding the recycle bin)

    Please advise.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    At the point of the delay, does Task Manager/Processes show any unusual cpu/disk activity for a process?
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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  5. #5

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    At the point of the delay, does Task Manager/Processes show any unusual cpu/disk activity for a process?
    Thanks for your response.
    No. the Task Manager doesn't show any unusual cpu or disk or memory usage. Everything looks normal.

    But, the problem (all the symptoms that I explained in Posts #1 and #3) persists.

    I really don't know how to fix this.
    Please help
    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Fanatic Member PlausiblyDamp's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by IliaPreston View Post
    Thanks for your response.
    No. the Task Manager doesn't show any unusual cpu or disk or memory usage. Everything looks normal.

    But, the problem (all the symptoms that I explained in Posts #1 and #3) persists.

    I really don't know how to fix this.
    Please help
    Thanks.
    Was this a clean install of Windows or is it using whatever version was installed by the manufacturer? If the latter then it could be down to a shell extension installed by some of the bundled software that is causing this issue.

    In the past I have had similar issues with bundled DVD player / burner software and crappy media players. It might be worth installing something like https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ and getting it to remove anything you don't recognise. If you are more technically minded then https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...loads/autoruns can also be a really good tool for preventing things loading as shell extensions or autorunning, it is quite low level though.

  7. #7
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    delay of 5 to 6 seconds
    This could be a time-out. Something is trying to access something it can't (possibly via the network?) and is waiting for what it wants to become available and then after 5-6 seconds abandons the wait.

    Though I usually attach several external hard disks to it as well
    This might be part of the problem if they aren't all attached and the OS thinks they are - or if different disks are attached at different times etc etc. Have you tried a full shutdown/poweroff/restart without any external devices attached. Does that improve? Does Device Manager indicate any issues? Does Disc Management show the expected volumes and drive letters?

    Have you used wireshark to examine network traffic to see what is happening on the network during these 5-6 seconds? Has a request been issued for which a response is awaited?
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2017 (15.5.4)

  8. #8

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    ...
    Does Device Manager indicate any issues? Does Disc Management show the expected volumes and drive letters?
    ...
    Disc Management
    How do I open Disc Management?
    I can't find it.
    When I click on the start menu and type Disc Management or Disc Manager, it doesn't find it.

    Device Manager
    I clicked on Start menu and typed Device Manager and opened it.
    But, in there (in Device Manager), I don't know how to look for any sign of trouble or anything malfunctioning.
    What item in there should I expand?
    How should I look for problems in there?

    Please advise.
    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Device Manager - If there were any problems you would see yellow or red icons next the item.

    Disc Management - This is part of Computer Management.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2017 (15.5.4)

  10. #10

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    This could be a time-out. Something is trying to access something it can't (possibly via the network?) and is waiting for what it wants to become available and then after 5-6 seconds abandons the wait.

    This might be part of the problem if they aren't all attached and the OS thinks they are - or if different disks are attached at different times etc etc. Have you tried a full shutdown/poweroff/restart without any external devices attached. Does that improve? Does Device Manager indicate any issues? Does Disc Management show the expected volumes and drive letters?

    Have you used wireshark to examine network traffic to see what is happening on the network during these 5-6 seconds? Has a request been issued for which a response is awaited?
    Device manager:
    Shows no yellow or red icon next to any device.
    Particularly, I expand the item named "Disk drives". In there there are three sub-items:
    Micron_1100_MTFDDAV256TBN
    Seagate BUP BK SCSIDisk Device
    WD My Passport 0827 USB Device
    and there is no red or yellow icon next to any of these three icons

    Disk management
    Disk management also shows all three hard disks and shows their sizes and volume letters (C, E and D) correctly and describes all three of them as "Healthy"
    It shows:
    OS (C
    MyPpt (E
    SgHdd (D

    Please note that I have renamed both hard disks because their original names that showed in File Explorer were too long:
    I renamed "My Passport" to "MyPpt"
    I renamed "Seagate" something to "SgHdd"
    I don't think this renaming could have caused this problem.

    Wireshark:
    I have not tried this, because I think it is not necessary, because the problem happens with all its symptoms and all its intensity even when I work completely offline (no wifi or wired Internet)
    Therefore I don't believe that this problem has anything to do with network

    PC Decrapifier:
    I downloaded the pc decrapifier from the link that you provided (https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/) and the file name is pc-decrapifier-3.0.1.exe
    When I double-click on this exe file, that famous Windows' little dialoge box shows that asks me
    "Do you want to allow this app from an unknown publisher to make changes to your device?"
    pc-decrapifier-3.0.1.exe
    Publisher: Unknown
    File origin: Hard drive on this computer
    I click "Yes"
    Then a window pops up that is PERFECTLY blank (the whole window except the titlebar is white. The titlebar is blue, but it has no text either)
    So, it is completely blank!!!
    Task Manager shows Disk activity of The PC Decrapifier (32 bit) to be zero (0 MB/s)
    I don't know why it says "Unknown publisher". That is a bit unusual. Isn't this software from a reputable company?

    Working without external hard disks:
    I shut down the laptop, removed the external hard disks, and turned it on again working only with Disk C (internal hard disk)
    I am not sure about the result.
    Symptom #5 that I explained in Post #3 (with screen prints) definitely exists.
    Symptom #6 that I explained in Post #3 (little progress window staying at zero for 5 to 6 seconds before proceeding at normal speed to 100%): Not sure if this symptom happens with no hard disks attached because I have very few files on the internal hard disk.
    I tried to copy or move them around, and that little window didn't even show up (the move or even the copy took place at normal (that is at super fast) speed!). But I can't say for sure that this symptom doesn't happen with no external hard disk attached, because I have only a few files on the internal hard disk (It is a new laptop; I just bought it last month)
    Please help

    Thanks.

  11. #11
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    because the problem happens with all its symptoms and all its intensity even when I work completely offline
    If a program is trying to access a particular on-line resource, then whether you work off-line or on-line with the resource not available, the result will be the same - a potential delay of several seconds can occur whilst the attempted network access time-outs.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

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  12. #12
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by IliaPreston View Post
    PC Decrapifier:
    I downloaded the pc decrapifier from the link that you provided (https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/) and the file name is pc-decrapifier-3.0.1.exe
    When I double-click on this exe file, that famous Windows' little dialoge box shows that asks me
    "Do you want to allow this app from an unknown publisher to make changes to your device?"
    pc-decrapifier-3.0.1.exe
    Publisher: Unknown
    File origin: Hard drive on this computer
    I click "Yes"
    Then a window pops up that is PERFECTLY blank (the whole window except the titlebar is white. The titlebar is blue, but it has no text either)
    So, it is completely blank!!!
    Task Manager shows Disk activity of The PC Decrapifier (32 bit) to be zero (0 MB/s)
    I don't know why it says "Unknown publisher". That is a bit unusual. Isn't this software from a reputable company?
    Running it on the PC here gives the same warning but it launches correctly, the windows has content and allows me to analyse my local PC just fine. Not sure why yours is behaving differently but it could be another symptom of whatever problem you are having. It might be worth seeing what shell extensions you have installed and removing any you don't use.

  13. #13

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    Was this a clean install of Windows or is it using whatever version was installed by the manufacturer? If the latter then it could be down to a shell extension installed by some of the bundled software that is causing this issue.

    In the past I have had similar issues with bundled DVD player / burner software and crappy media players. It might be worth installing something like https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ and getting it to remove anything you don't recognise. If you are more technically minded then https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...loads/autoruns can also be a really good tool for preventing things loading as shell extensions or autorunning, it is quite low level though.
    Once again, thanks for the help and advice.

    PC Decrapifier:
    I ran it several times and finally it worked.
    I deleted the following five items via PC Decrapifier:
    ASUS GIFTBOX
    WinFlash
    ASUS Live Update
    ASUS Splendid Video Enhancement Technology
    ASUS USB Charger Plus
    Then I fully shut down my laptop (instead of setting it to sleep or hibernate mode), and a minute later turned it on again.
    Result: No improvement happened. The problem persists!

    Then I downloaded Autoruns:
    I ran the 64-bit version called "Autoruns64.exe" because my laptop is 64-bit.
    Here is the result:
    https://ufile.io/t88hp
    The password is:12345
    (I tried to attach the rar file directly to this post, but it identified it as invalid file type and didn't upload it. I then tried to attach the arn file (without compacting it into a rar file) directly to this post, and the upload stoped half-way through, so I uploaded the file externally) (I really don't understand why the files (i.e. .rar or .arn didn't upload directly to this post)).
    This result shows that there are some yellow lines (missing files). Do these missing files cause my problems?
    This result also shows some red or pink lines, but doesn't elaborate as to why they are red/pink.
    Could these red/pink lines cause my problems?

    Not sure what I should do.
    Please help.

    Thanks.
    Ilia

  14. #14
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    I notice you have something from McAfee installed, I would tend to uninstall anything of theirs on principle. Personally I have never had a good experience with any of their products.

    It might be worth disabling or unistalling some of the anti-malware products (even as a test) as these things often try to access all the files in a folder when you use explorer as part of their security checks - this can often be the cause of slowdowns and hangs (especially if they are also trying to do anything online as part of the checks).

    In fact looking through the list you seem to be running McAfee, CCleaner, Super Anti Spyware, Intel Security, and Windows Defender - there is a chance that all of these applications will be scanning files everytime you open a folder.

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    I notice you have something from McAfee installed, I would tend to uninstall anything of theirs on principle. Personally I have never had a good experience with any of their products.

    It might be worth disabling or unistalling some of the anti-malware products (even as a test) as these things often try to access all the files in a folder when you use explorer as part of their security checks - this can often be the cause of slowdowns and hangs (especially if they are also trying to do anything online as part of the checks).

    In fact looking through the list you seem to be running McAfee, CCleaner, Super Anti Spyware, Intel Security, and Windows Defender - there is a chance that all of these applications will be scanning files everytime you open a folder.
    Thanks for the advice.

    1. Regarding McAfee, I will uninstall it. Thanks.

    2. Not sure about Intel Security.
    Isn't it part of Windows Defender?

    3. CCleaner and Super Anti Spyware are installed (I installed them), but I made sure they are not part of startup.
    My intention was and has been to have them as applications so that in case there is a malware infection, I could run them explicitly and let them scan and remove malware.
    I have disabled them from startup.
    Do you still believe that I should totally uninstall them?

    4. I have also installed MalwareBytes (for the same reason) and disabled it from startup.
    Should I uninstall that too?

    Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by IliaPreston View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    1. Regarding McAfee, I will uninstall it. Thanks.

    2. Not sure about Intel Security.
    Isn't it part of Windows Defender?

    3. CCleaner and Super Anti Spyware are installed (I installed them), but I made sure they are not part of startup.
    My intention was and has been to have them as applications so that in case there is a malware infection, I could run them explicitly and let them scan and remove malware.
    I have disabled them from startup.
    Do you still believe that I should totally uninstall them?

    4. I have also installed MalwareBytes (for the same reason) and disabled it from startup.
    Should I uninstall that too?

    Thanks.
    2. I think it is a separate application to Windows Defender, although I could be wrong. I know I run Defender and Intel Security doesn't show up on the laptop.

    3 & 4 - It might be worth uninstalling them, rebooting and checking they are gone just to see if it addresses the problem. If uninstalling them makes no difference then you can always reinstall, if uninstalling solves your issue then you may want to add them back one at a time and see which one breaks things.

  17. #17

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    2. I think it is a separate application to Windows Defender, although I could be wrong. I know I run Defender and Intel Security doesn't show up on the laptop.

    3 & 4 - It might be worth uninstalling them, rebooting and checking they are gone just to see if it addresses the problem. If uninstalling them makes no difference then you can always reinstall, if uninstalling solves your issue then you may want to add them back one at a time and see which one breaks things.
    Thanks for the advice.

    In the Autoruns output (that i attached to post #13) there is one reference to McAfee, but when I go to control panel to uninstall McAfee, there is no McAfee there because when I bought this laptop last month, I uninstalled everything McAfee related at that time. No McAfee item shows up in control panel list of installed programs.

    So, why is there that reference to McAfee in the autoruns output?
    And how can I get rid of what is left of McAfee?

    Also, I uninstalled CCleaner, Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware today, and after shutting down and turning the laptop on again, I see that the problem is still in there.
    No improvement has happened.

    And, when I take a look at that Autoruns output, I see that there are some yellow lines that say "File not found"
    Do these yellow lines indicate any problem?
    How should I deal with them?

    How about those red/pink lines?
    What should I do with those red/pink lines?

    Please advise.
    Thanks.
    Ilia

  18. #18
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    One of the reasons I dislike McAfee is that not only did I not find it doing a good job but it was also really difficult to remove all traces after an uninstall.

    It might be tricky to completely uninstall some of these things but with autoruns if you untick the box next to an item it will disable it, so although the files might still be on disk at least it isn't loading or running them anymore.

    The ones that say "file not found" shouldn't be causing an issue, although I tend to untick them as well - I just feel better about it

    It might be worth looknig at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...nloads/procmon and seeing if you can use that to identify any long delays, might at least give a hint as to where the problem lies.

  19. #19

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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    Quote Originally Posted by PlausiblyDamp View Post
    ...

    It might be worth looknig at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...nloads/procmon and seeing if you can use that to identify any long delays, might at least give a hint as to where the problem lies.
    Thanks for the advice.

    I just downloaded, unpacked and ran this process monitor on my desktop computer just to see what it is.
    My desktop computer does not have any problem, but I am first trying this ProcMon on it just to figure out what this application is. Once I become familiar with it, I will run it on my laptop.

    But, how does this process actually help me pinpoint the cause of the delays in Windows Explorer?
    What should I do with it and when looking at the results that it shows what should I look for?

    Also, a side issue is that when I go to this process monitor's Help menu, and click on the first menu item "Help ..." it shows a little message saying "Unable to open help file":
    https://i.imgur.com/hg2qF00.jpg
    Please note that the package that I downloded contains three files:
    Eula.txt
    procmon.chm (I think this should be the help file)
    Procmon.exe
    And I have placed all three of these files in one same folder.
    So, why is it unable to open the help file?
    Please advise.

    Thanks again for the help.

  20. #20
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Need help with File Explorer performance issues

    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2017 (15.5.4)

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