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Why are file operations (copy, move and delete) so slow when using the Windows 7 Explorer? Are there any tweaks to fix this?

Background: Recently I switched from Windows XP to Windows 7 after this switch I observed that all file operations are much slower than they were with XP. Especially move and delete (i.e. move to trash) under Windows XP was an instantaneous action and its speed did not depend on the number of files that were involved. On Windows 7 all operations seem to depend on the number of files involved and Windows 7 somehow always wants to "discover items".

Additional Notes: For the affected drive: - system protection is disabled - file indexing is disabled - real-time antivirus is enabled but this should not affect moving files

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Some ideas for improving Explorer performance (which I don't find much better than in Vista):

  1. Change power settings to High Performance
  2. Turn off "Remote Differential Compression" engine (RDC) by Start –> Control Panel –> Programs –> Turn Windows features on or off, then uncheck Remote Differential Compression.
  3. If copying over TCP, disable AutoTuning and RSS by doing (see this for more info):

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled

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Quote from your link: Update! This command makes your network connection EVEN FASTER Type: netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted – Moab Jul 28 '10 at 13:49
@Moab: It may, but the poster will still have to test it on his setup. – harrymc Jul 28 '10 at 15:45
@harrymc, Agree, fact is W7 is slower on file operations than XP. – Moab Jul 29 '10 at 0:19
yes. these commands are proven useful for speeding up the copy. – Raptor Jul 31 '10 at 11:12

Microsoft changed how file operations are done. In Vista, they were painfully slow, and I believe MS has improved performance with subsequent service packs and Win7. However, they seem still to be slower than in XP. Not sure if there are any Microsoft-sanctioned tweaks available, since you are already using Win7.

In terms of third-party tweaks, I use TeraCopy for file moves and copies which has improved things quite a bit. Not sure if it is XP fast, but it is fast enough for me. Also, you can pause and resume transfers, and it can do CRC checksum verification to make sure your copies are intact.

Best of all, it's free.

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Another workaround I found myself was to use the command line. Commands that have proven useful are:


robocopy <source> <destination> /E


del /S /Q <file or directory>


move <source> <destination>
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