Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Anybody who has used Vista and XP and likes to keep their Desktop items hidden most of the times would have noticed that this toggle is really really slow in XP, while almost instantaneous in Vista.

alt text

Why is it so slow in XP? Any simple reasons or just too OS specific stuff?

share|improve this question
    
Probably not something known to the wide public. –  zneak Aug 11 '10 at 5:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Changing the desktop icon visibility broadcasts a special message to all programs (WM_SETTINGCHANGE with an LPARAM of "ShellState"), telling them to refresh their cached system settings -- that is quite a lot of work. It's possible that the delay is caused by poorly written parts of XP's Explorer that have been optimized to run faster in Vista.

To make things worse, in XP the WM_SETTINGCHANGE message is unnecessarily sent twice.

share|improve this answer
    
Always noticed this too. Also consider Internet Explorer is tightly integrated into Windows, and I suspect hiding the icons actually leverages Active Desktop, i.e. IE (heh), that always slows everything down. –  invert Aug 17 '10 at 9:46
    
This - it's just poor design. –  Shinrai Aug 19 '10 at 18:54

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.