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I have several folders worth of shortcuts to my applications in my Quick Launch in XP. At any given point during the day, it could take up to 20 seconds for the icons to appear. I'm assuming it's recursing through the shortcuts to get the .ico for the .exe's but why does it not cache it, or if it is, can you change the cache length?

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I feel your pain, waiting for menus to appear is really irritating. My quicklaunch menu contains maybe 15 entries. Still quite fast to pop up, but I nearly stopped to use them when I installed launchy.

Launchy is a fast launcher, a bit like win+R on steroids. It scans automatically the entries of your Start->Program menu and lets you enter as many letters needed for unique entry, then launch.

It also learns which entry you use most. Say that you have a program called notepod and one called notepad. In the beginning it might pick the wrong entry until you enter the o/a. After several launches, it learns which one you're more likely to mean directly. If you use notepad more often, it will pop it as first choice.

The only problem is that you need to know the name of the programs you use. Not really a problem, actually.

You can also customize keyboard shortcuts for opening the launchy prompt window. And you do not need to take your hands from the keyboard to reach your mouse.

I currently launch emacs like this: alt+home, e, enter. Notepad? alt+home, n, enter.

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You might consider reviewing the Processor Scheduling in the Performance Options. Right-click "My Computer" > Advanced > Performance "Settings" > Advanced.

Something to try anyway. Good luck.

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The more populated the XP quick launch bar, the slower it gets.

However, there is a replacement which is much faster:

True Launch Bar is a superior replacement for the standard Quick Launch bar. All functions presented in Quick Launch are also in True Launch Bar. However, the True Launch Bar is fully compatible with Quick Launch because it uses the same folder for shortcuts. But there is one huge difference. True Launch Bar allows you to combine your shortcuts into groups. This feature looks like popup menus. This vastly improves the management of your shortcuts and save working space on your desktop. By using True Launch Bar, you speed up the launching of your applications like never before.

Another nice feature, TLB allows a minimum of only 1 visible icon as opposed to 3 icons with QLB, more space in the taskbar.

True Launch Bar is shareware ($19.95), try before you buy.

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