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?
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
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:
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.
The more populated the XP quick launch bar, the slower it gets.
However, there is a replacement which is much faster:
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.