Whenever I access, with my local Windows 7 explorer in details view, a remote share on our production servers containing our own xml log files, the location bar turns into a green progress bar that takes many minutes to complete while the status bar states "Searching for items". During that time explorer becomes very unresponsive at sorting when I click on a column header.

This particular folder simply contains some 1.8GB in 2388 xml and txt log files.

I did have the column "File version" showing, but removing it doesn't help.

I really don't understand wtf explorer thinks it's doing, because it is already showing all the info I need. Name, Date modified, Type and Size. Nothing else. So what's it doing?

I have tried every option I can think of in Explorer's Folder Options - View properties tab.


On the windows 7 machine right click and choose properties on the share\folder\drive in question and on the 'Customize' tab pick 'Documents' on the 'Optimize this folder for' drop down item.

Enable the 'Also apply this template to all subfolders'

  • Sorry, doesn't fix it. – SaintNick Sep 23 '10 at 9:45

You can cancel it at any time with the Red X on the Right End of the bar; unless it's a crashed explorer instance (which has to be killed).

It's doing one of 4 things:

  • Loading thumbnails (this can particularly be a problem if thumbs.db is corrupted). Solution is to delete a corrupted thumbs.db or disable thumbnails (probably not your problem in this case).
  • Your accessing files over a really slow medium. This could be the case here, as it's over a network. If other OSes are slow at opening this folder, it's the slow medium. This is also common for CD/DVDs and Floppy drives (or similar).
  • Windows is indexing the files so you can search through them. Disable the indexing service to fix this annoyance; also you could edit the Indexing Options in Control Panel and remote the offending file extension (under Advanced). This is likely the problem here.
  • UAC is combing over each file for access rights; also possible here, though I would assume the files are all just inheriting permissions from the parent folder and therefor share one ACL. Disabling UAC or setting all files to inherit their permissions can fix this problem.
  • If I cancel it with the red x it just restarts again after a few seconds. DIR in a cmd shell takes 3 seconds, so there's no question of slow medium or ACL combing. This remote location is not included in the Indexing Options. So I'm assuming that can't be the problem. However, I have a suspicion that maybe Win 7 explorer thinks it's clever by temporarily indexing any folder it happens to be viewing, regardless of the indexing options. Will see what happens if I turn indexing service off. – SaintNick Sep 23 '10 at 9:30
  • Just to be clear: the actual details view of the 2388 files is ready and presented in seconds. It's after that, or when I try to sort by file size for example, that that the misery starts. – SaintNick Sep 23 '10 at 9:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.