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Windows 7: Lots of files in a Folder - is it supposed to be slow?

16 Oct 2014   #1
bluby

Windows 7
 
 
Lots of files in a Folder - is it supposed to be slow?

I have a folder that is 1.2Gb, these are all small files amounting to that total. Over 200,000 files.

When I browse in Windows Explorer it takes a really long time to display the contents. Is this normal? Is there a way to speed this up from now on?

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2014   #2
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Yes, it usually is normal as Windows has to read the Folder to determine then display the files in it. The easiest way I've found [and it will take awhile to accomplish] if you have files of different subjects is to create subFolders by category then move appropriate files into each one.
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16 Oct 2014   #3
bluby

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Berton View Post
Yes, it usually is normal as Windows has to read the Folder to determine then display the files in it. The easiest way I've found [and it will take awhile to accomplish] if you have files of different subjects is to create subFolders by category then move appropriate files into each one.
We would never do that because this folder is data for a FoxPro program. We can't just move files around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2014   #4
oneeyed

Windows 8
 
 

When accessing a folder, Explorer has to retrieve information on every file inside (metadata, thumbnail, icon, etc..). This can take a long time when you have lots of files. Even worse, this kind of process can wake your AV which will in turn examine each file.

The main solution is to limit what Explorer has to retrieve.
Use the simplest view layout, I recommend Detailed. This way Explorer won't have to check for icons or even worse build thumbnails.
More info : File and Folder Arrangement - Change in Windows Explorer Window
Limit the columns shown to only the strictly necessary.
More info : Windows Explorer Columns - Add or Remove
Name/Type/Filesize are the safest to leave as is. Most of the rest are Metadata and take more time to retrieve.
The Sorting on some columns can also slow things down extremely (for example sort on Date can be very slow) so try and sort on other columns.
More info: File and Folder Arrangement - Group by - Sort by - Arrange by

If things are still too slow, then you'll have to better organize this folder by creating subfolders and moving files in them.

There may also be alternatives to Explorer that handle large folders better, but in my experience from the ones I checked, their performances in this kind of situtation is very similar. Still it might be something to check if you can't bother creating subfolders.
A few links that might help for Explorer alternatives :
The Best Alternative File Browser for Windows
17 Windows Explorer Extensions & Replacements
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2014   #5
bluby

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by oneeyed View Post
When accessing a folder, Explorer has to retrieve information on every file inside (metadata, thumbnail, icon, etc..). This can take a long time when you have lots of files. Even worse, this kind of process can wake your AV which will in turn examine each file.

The main solution is to limit what Explorer has to retrieve. Use the simplest view layout, I recommend Detailed. This way Explorer won't have to check for icons or even worse build thumbnails. Limit the columns shown to only the strictly necessary : Right-click on columns > Uncheck Columns you don't want. Name/Type/Filesize are the safest to leave as is. Most of the rest are Metadata and take more time to retrieve. The Sorting on some columns can also slow things down extremely (for example sort on Date can be very slow) so try and sort on other columns.

If things are still too slow, then you'll have to better organize this folder by creating subfolders and moving files in them.

There may also be alternatives to Explorer that handle large folders better, but in my experience from the ones I checked, their performances in this kind of situtation is very similar. Still it might be something to check if you can't bother creating subfolders.
A few links that might help for Explorer alternatives :
The Best Alternative File Browser for Windows
17 Windows Explorer Extensions & Replacements
Well this is just something that is more of a pain in the behind, it's not part of the problem because the live environment works very fast. Nobody ever has to browse that folder. I just thought it might be worth mentioning for troubleshooting sake.
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 Lots of files in a Folder - is it supposed to be slow?




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