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Whenever I open the Programs and Features utility in Windows 7 I notice it takes a really long time for it to enumerate all the applications. Is this normal or is there something I can do speed up the time it takes to display everything?

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what difference does it make? Also, it is not often but often enough to make it a bad experience. – ChiliYago Oct 19 '11 at 22:23
What difference does it make? You aren't serious are you? 90 seconds to enumerate the installed programs on an 8-way processor with 8gb is what my experience is. It is a totally unacceptable joke. – David Tansey Jul 9 '14 at 15:44

This feature is very heavy on disk usuage. Not much you can do to to speed it up, but try these:

  • remove any programs you're not using. Somewhat obvious, I know.

  • check all background software that is using a lot of disk io (using task manager). Typically anti-virus and search indexing software. I wouldn't recommend running without antivirus but some are faster than others (e.g. Avira is fast, McAfee is slow)

  • get a faster disk. Adding a ReadyBoost drive might help. SSDs really are much faster for things like this. Not a cheap option, though. I have the Intel X25-M and this window opens in under 1 second with 160 programs installed.

  • If you're really short on memory it will slow this window down. check in task manager.

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2 really depends on what you have going on otherwise but it's not unusual for this to take a while. (This has been the case for as long as there's been an uninstall list in Control Panel, I'm afraid.) – Shinrai Aug 17 '10 at 21:56
I noticed this slowness to populate programs and features on my Atom 230 powered mini desktop I built, it had a 10K rpm raptor hard drive, so I assumed it was the slow processor holding things up. – Moab Aug 18 '10 at 0:30
Sounds like it is by design. No my machine is pretty buff which is why I asked the question. (i7, 8gb ram, 7200 rpm & ssd of OS) – ChiliYago Aug 19 '10 at 13:01

You could turn off the Size column, by right-clicking on the header and unticking it.
The calculation of the size of all the components on the disk can take quite some time.

If this does not help, and only if you have lots of installed programs, or if you have installed and uninstalled programs many times in the past, then it might be time for registry cleanup and reorganization.

My personal favorite products here are Eusing Free Registry Cleaner and Eusing Free Registry Defrag. But take good backups before starting, and especially a system restore point.

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Turning off size column did not really help. I like the idea and hoped it would work but it has little impact on performance. – ChiliYago Oct 11 '11 at 16:02
Well, the registry might be the next stop. – harrymc Oct 11 '11 at 16:35
Not sure what you mean. What specifically would you do to the registry? – ChiliYago Oct 11 '11 at 22:14
The info about the installed products is read from the registry. The two products I linked to explain pretty well the problem of junk accumulating in the registry and slowing it down. These two products do : (1) clean out left-over junk, (2) compact the registry to improve access time. – harrymc Oct 12 '11 at 6:05

You could try Revo installer: It is much faster in loading the list (plus it has other nice features).

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thanks but I don't want to use a third party product just to view my installed programs. It should not take this long to return the complete list. – ChiliYago Oct 11 '11 at 16:01

Turning off size column or cleaning the registry will not help, since neither would cause a noticeable delay in a modern machine with at least 4GB of RAM.

Try checking task manager for the processes using most of CPU while the programs list is being loaded.

This happened to me once when I was on Windows 7 (x64) running Avast free antivirus. Avast File System Shield keeps scanning every file in Windows Installer Collection as they read by the Control Panel, slowing down the whole machine.

If it is the case, I salved it by adding,


where C:\Windows is my windir, as an exclusion to the File System Shield. This folder might not be visible in Windows folder since it is hidden in protected operating system files by default.

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