9 Steps to make Windows Explorer faster

We hate slow computers right? Even I do. When we install windows for the first time, it is fast. But with time, your operating system becomes slow. Windows Explorer or File Explorer is one of the many applications that we access multiple times on a daily basis. It is the default file management application provided on Windows. Whether you use Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, after some time the operating system starts to run very slowly and file explorer is one of the applications which becomes the reason for frustration.

In this post, we will show step by step method to make your windows explorer faster than how speed it is for you now.

Steps to make Windows Explorer faster

Some of the steps below involves playing around with registry editor. So, it is always recommended to take a backup of your registry editor. Follow the post to know how to do that.

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1. Disable Cortana

While cortana can be a very useful feature of windows, but sometimes it causes your file explorer to load slow. It is very difficult to completely remove cortana but you can remove it to some extent.

Disable cortana using registry editor

Press Win + R on keyboard to open run window. Type ‘regedit’ and press OK.

Navigate to the below key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

Double click the entry ‘AllowCortana’ and set the value as ‘0’. If the entry ‘AllowCortana’ is not present, create the entry by right-clicking on the key ‘Windows’ and select ‘New’ and then ‘Key’. Now enter the value as ‘Windows Search’ and click OK. Now right click on ‘Windows Search’ key and create a new DWORD entry. Name it as ‘AllowCortana’ and save. Now double click it to set the value as ‘0’.

make windows explorer faster

Disable Cortana using Group Policy Editor

Press Win + R on the keyboard to open Run dialog box. Type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press OK.

Navigate to the below path

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.

In the right pane, find ‘Allow Cortana’ entry. Double click it and select ‘Disable‘. Press OK.

make windows explorer faster

2. Remove unwanted folders from Quick Access list

Just right click on the quick access entry and select ‘Unpin from quick access’.

3. Use Windows + E Shortcut

I am not sure if this step should be included but I personally found it helpful. I observed that when we click the file explorer icon it opens up very late. But when I used the shortcut for file explorer i.e., Windows + E, it opens up very quick.

4. Reset File Explorer view

Resetting the file explorer view to default will also help in speeding it up. Open Windows Explorer and select the View tab. Click Options and select Change Folder and Search options. A dialog box opens. Now select View tab. Click ‘Reset Folders’ and press Apply and then OK.

5. Change File Explorer Settings

By default when you open windows explorer, it opens up to show quick access folders and recently used files. You can change it to show ‘This PC’ where you can see the list of drives. The reason is the windows doesn’t have to use more memory to show the recently used files when it can directly show the drives.

Open windows explorer and right click on the ‘Quick Access’ in the left pane. Choose ‘options’.

make windows explorer faster

Choose ‘This PC’ in ‘open file explorer to’ option.

Uncheck the options ‘show recently used files in quick access’ and ‘show frequently used files in quick access’.

Now go to ‘Search‘ tab and uncheck ‘Always search filename and contents’. Now click ‘Apply‘ and then OK.

6. Rebuild Index

Press Windows + S and type Indexing Options.

Open the indexing options and click Advanced. Now click on Rebuild. Once the rebuild is done, close the window.

make windows explorer faster

7. Perform an SFC Scan

Press Windows + S and type Command Prompt. Run it as Administrator. Type ‘sfc /scannow’ and let the scan begin. This scan will fix any corrupt files that is causing windows explorer to slow down.

make windows explorer faster

8. Launch folder windows in separate process :

Recently windows 10 has got a new feature, which allows each folder window to run in a separate process. You can enable this option to help improve the windows explorer speed.

Open Windows Explorer and select the View tab. Click Options and select Change Folder and Search options. Select View tab and check the option ‘Launch folder windows in a separate process’.

9. Disable Indexing for your drives

Sometimes the indexing feature slows down your windows explorer. You can disable indexing for your drives so that they load faster. To do that, open any drive and right click on empty space and click Properties.

make windows explorer faster

Uncheck the option ‘Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties’. Click Apply. It will prompt you to disable index on sub folders as well. Select to include sub folders.

make windows explorer faster

Repeat this to disable indexing on each drive.

Apart from the above steps, make sure that your windows is up to date. Because Microsoft releases patches to fix the ongoing issues with Windows. Also, have a good anti virus and a good anti malware. Some hidden viruses or Trojans or malware might also make your system slow.

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