Windows 11 File Explorer is horrifically SLOW

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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)


7 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.'