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When I delete an item in Windows 7 from within Windows Explorer, a window pops up with a progress bar saying "discovering items". This can take 15 seconds to disappear before the item is deleted.

Why does Windows 7 need to discover the item if it had already discovered it when showing it to me in Windows Explorer?

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Usually means the system bus is busy with another task(s). Anything in task manager hogging cpu cycles? – Moab Apr 5 '11 at 3:00
I used to have a similar 'problem'.. Since then I've upgraded my machien to use an SSD and never seen that annoying dialog since. Not a solution for everyone, but without know the exact setup of your machine - might be worth a try? – Irfy Jul 7 '11 at 13:32

Do the files happen to be media files by any chance? One reason for the delay can often be because Windows is busy building thumbnails.

Another reason could be because you are deleting files from a folder containing a lot of files.

In case there is some software causing the issue, you could try booting into safe mode and see if you still experience a long delay when deleting similar files.

EDIT: Lots of other suggestions on TechNet.

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The files are usually either zip files or shortcuts. – Steve Apr 5 '11 at 2:52

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