Downloads folder slow – Windows 7

I’ve been plagued by extremely slow display of my Downloads folder on multiple computers running Windows 7. I assumed the issue was due to archive files (zip, tar, exe) or the amount of files and data. I tried removing all files which helped of course but the issue would return once I had more than a few files. I created an AntiVirus exception for the folder but that had no affect. Stumped but repeatedly suffering the issue any time I downloaded new files or accessed the downloads folder I finally found the solution – folder properties. The cause appears to be the default settings for the downloads folder, or any folder suffering this issue Optimized to “General” or “Pictures”. Whether defaults or a setting you may have made the solution is to change the folder Optimization to “Documents”.

Issue: Folders display extremely slowly on Windows 7
Solution: Example is for the Downloads folder

  1. Navigate to the source folder: C:\Users\*username*\Downloads  
  2. Right Click the folder and choose Properties
  3. Select the Customize tab
  4. Change Optimize this folder for to Documents (my folder was set to General)
  5. Click Apply and OK
  6. You can now view the Downloads folder instantly from the explorer shortcut. Instantly!

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