Make Windows Explorer Faster


Turn off unnecessary features

Each newer version of  Windows introduces lots of extra features, which usually means you need a faster computer to keep the same speed as the previous generation.  One of the most basic things people do with their comptuers is browse for files using Explorer.  Sometimes you can think your comptuer is really slow, because Explorer is busy getting video or photo thumbnails, or doing other automatic things to “make your life easier”.

Explorer can be made to display faster if you toggle some of these optional features off.  The result of these tweaks mean your Windows PC will only work faster, at a cost of some eye candy.

To begin, you need to edit the Folder Options.  You can do this by either:

  1. Type “control folders” in a Run dialog box (Win + R) OR go to the Control Panel and select Folder Options
  2. Click on the View Tab

Check the following options

  • Always show icons, never thumbnails
  • Show hidden files and folders
  • Use Sharing Wizard (Recommended)


Uncheck the following:

  • Hide extensions for known file types

Next, open up your Computer Properties.  To do this, click on the Start button, then right-click on “Computer” and select Properties.  In this window, click on “Change Settings” under the “Comptuer name, domain, and workgroup settings.”

  1. Click on the Advanced Tab.
  2. Click the “Settings” button under “Performance”

Uncheck any or all of the following options:

  • Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide tooltips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Show shadows under menus
  • Slide open combo boxes
  • Slide taskbox buttons
  • Use a background image for each folder type

Your general file browsing experience will be a lot quicker.  This little trick also helps tremendously if you have a bunch of Divx of Xvid files and are getting a weird error when browsing them… Windows will no longer try to create thumbnails for the videos.  If you really want the eye-candy then you can try switching some features back on and off.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.