Windows 11 File Explorer is horrifically SLOW

Occasional Contributor

using the new file explorer is slow, which is a pity because it looks nice.....unfortunately, brains over beauty....... everyone that I know in our company that has switched to Win 11 has now dedicated time for a coffee break every time they need to use file explorer (the non-coffee drinkers have switched back to Win 10). Weird thing is, go into a program and access file explorer from there (i.e. saving a document, printing to pdf, etc) and that file explorer is faster than Mark Zuckerburg running to the server room when Facebook goes down. can we fix this? I am sick of coffee and want to be able to go on a file safari without the long delays. 


Other notes;

we have both Onedrive and Dropbox desktop apps running/syncing files (not sure if this makes a difference)

some of us have issues with the onedrive sync to computer/online only options not being available in the file explorer context menu, works fine for some of us.

the slowness varies, for me it is about the time it takes to make a small black coffee, for others, it is a full espresso and side of fresh-baked biscotti amount of time (very long, our espresso machine is not automatic)


30 Replies

@Edward45 For me im experiencing Win11 Word lag

Word freezes everytime I snip (win + shift + s) and paste into word

No other programs are open.

Only current resolve is to close an restart.

Note: autosave enabled. Not sure if confouding.

I have the same issue. But it only happens when I am accessing my Onedrive. I hope that Microsoft fixes this soon!

The behaviour: every other time that I switch folders or go back to the previous folder, there is a two second lag where the explorer window turns white and then it resumes functioning as normal.


This update '2021-11 Cumulative Update for Windows 11 for x64-based Systems (KB5007262)' has made things faster but still definitely lacking a lot of speed, nowhere near Win 10 speeds, (working on file explorer through a program is still faster than regular file explorer, much closer to normal speed)

I have the same problem with exploring Onedrive directory. The same for Sharepoint shared folders.
When browsing local files, speed is correct.
The strange thing is when I'm using Word for example, and if I want to open a file stored in Onedrive, the small explorer that WOrd open to browse files, is not lagging. Speed is normal.
My W11 version is 22000.348
To confirm, mine is a lot better when browsing local files, however, I rarely do that, pretty much all file storage is on Onedrive/SharePoint or Dropbox directory, and using both of these is very slow.
And same thing with the smaller explorer in other apps, you mentioned word and I have tried on a lot of different apps and it's all the same. sometimes I've even gone this route to do a whole bunch of file moving/renaming because it is so much faster :)

@Edward45 I'm having the same issue after upgrading to Windows 11. I posted to Feedback Hub here: - You can upvote mine... upvotes help it gain attention. My understanding is that this type of issue is better reported through Feedback Hub so Microsoft is aware it is an issue. 

Experiencing the same, all the way back to when I in-place upgraded to Windows 11 in September I believe, all the way to 22000.348 with OneDrive x64 v21.220.1024.0005 installed in system context/ for all users.


I finally tried the registry key hack for reverting to Windows 10 file explorer. Problem solved for now. PowerShell:


#Requires -RunAsAdministrator
#Requires -Version 5.1
        Reverts to Windows 10 file explorer with a registry key. Reboot required.

        # Script info
        Author:   Olav Rønnestad Birkeland
        Created:  211201
        Modified: 211201

        # Notes

        & $psISE.CurrentFile.FullPath
        & $psISE.CurrentFile.FullPath -Revert

# Input parameters
    [switch] $Revert

# PowerShell preferences
$ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'
$InformationPreference = 'Continue'

# Assets
$Path = [string] 'Registry::HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked'
$Name = [string] '{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}'
$Type = [string] 'String'

# Set
if ($Revert) {    
    if (Test-Path -Path $Path -PathType 'Container') {
        Write-Information -MessageData 'Reverting changes.'
        $null = Remove-Item -Path $Path -Recurse -Force
    else {
        Write-Information -MessageData 'Already reverted.'
else {
    if (Test-Path -Path $Path -PathType 'Container') {
        Write-Information -MessageData 'Path already exists.'
    else {
        Write-Information -MessageData 'Path does not already exist, creating it.'
        $null = New-Item -Path $Path -ItemType 'Directory' -Force
    Write-Information -MessageData 'Setting registry key.'
    $null = Set-ItemProperty -Path $Path -Name $Name -Value '' -Type $Type -Force

# Done
Write-Information -MessageData 'Done.'
I am having the same problem, it is ridiculous, I can't get any work done in a timely manner, it takes twice as long to open files that are either in OneDrive or Dropbox. A fix is needed asap! I tried to revert back to Windows 10 and I can't, very disappointing.
When will this be fixed? Microsoft must have known given the worldwide effect of the terrible code.

I am glad that it isn't just me. It is nice to have backup otherwise the complaint would sit on a shelf.

@olavrb - this worked like a charm. Thanks!

Same for me - this can't be isolated to a few people. The file explorer is unusably slow. I'm concerned about the registry hack option below but tempted to try it. Where is @microsoft??


I have this problem on my wife's computer which was upgraded to windows 11, 15 days ago, so rolling back to windows 10 is unfortunately not an option, or we would have done so now as the problem is unbearable now.

On her Onedrive folders, File Explorer is unusably slow - taking seconds to select files, especially when selecting multiple files. Using mouse or keyboard makes no difference- the spinning cursor of doom sits there for seconds at a time.

The problem seems to be related to the menu at the top of file explorer. If the menu is hidden by pressing F11 to go to fullscreen, then Fine explorer becomes very responsive again, like it was on Windows 10. Unfortunately though this then hides the task bar at the bottom of the screen, so it is necessary to keep switching between fullscreen and non-full screen so other apps can be accessed.


Fortunately I have not upgraded my own PC yet and have no intention to do so for at least a few years given how many bugs seem to be reported for windows 11.


Dear Microsoft: Sort this out and get a patch out for it!


@Edward45 A Microsoft Engineer replied on Feedback Hub about this: (


"Thanks for taking the time to report this. With Build 22478 we fixed an issue where the command bar was doing unnecessary calculations when navigating to folders, causing an unexpected decrease in performance. This is also believed to be the root cause of performance issues when using drag to select files, as well as using the arrow keys to navigate in certain folders. We will continue monitoring feedback in this space"- Jennifer G


Issue solved with Build 22478, still no official release.



Thanks - this is great news. I've tested this release on my Surface Pro X - I have that on the beta track and on 10 minutes of testing it looks like this will finally bring us back to a functioning explorer again. Thank you!!! :thumbs_up::thumbs_up::collision:🥳:bottle_with_popping_cork::sparkler:

Question is, when will this be available for my primary device, which I use for business and so I keep on the publicly released versions. Can we please get some certainty on the date??

@rafaelpd Is there an ETA on this fix as explorer starts working after it finally crashes

@Mike Patterson IDK, I only reposted the info that I saw on Feedback Hub. The only info I have is that they fixed the lagging onedrive explorer with Build 22478, but this is still in Windows Insider's release. Didn't found the public release date.

I am on Build 22526 and the issue still persists. Windows Explorer is unusable as long as OneDrive is running.

Is Build 22526 supposed to include improvements of Build 22478 ?

I am on build 22526 and the issue is definitely NOT solved. It is marginally faster, but still nowhere near windows 10 speeds. browsing files takes 2-3 times as long if not more for me compared to my coworkers on win 10 (bear in mind my computer is supposed newer and faster than theirs and it has specs that are not at all skimpy).