Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This has been the case for every version of Windows that I've used, from Windows 95 through to Windows 8 Release Preview. And Not just on my computer, on other's too - I'm sure you've noticed this.

When you right click on a file, the Desktop or on a Folder, why does the "New" sub-menu take longer to display, than any other system-based menu?

I understand that it may have something to do with determining which Icons to display based on what listings should appear in the "New" menu, but still - there are other sub-menus that have the same functionality, yet appear instantaneously.

enter image description here

share|improve this question
Have you an example of " other sub-menus that have the same functionality, yet appear instantaneously." – Rowland Shaw Nov 10 '12 at 18:53
I always set all instances of MenuShowDelay in the registry to 0 and there's no delay anywhere that I can notice! :) – Karan Nov 10 '12 at 18:55
Yes, I have only just reformatted by PC so I won't be uploading new pics since I haven't reinstalled everything yet, but a good example would be TortoiseSVN or TortoiseHG or whatever it's called; that has like a gazillion items in the menu! – Arrow Nov 10 '12 at 18:57
Note that a delay of 0 might be too fast for some people, but I prefer it. You can also disable/remove all unwanted items from the New menu using something like ShellMenuNew. – Karan Nov 10 '12 at 19:01
The main MenuShowDelay setting is under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. There are a couple of instances under HKEY_USERS as well, which I guess will vary from machine to machine. If changing all these made absolutely no difference at all, that's really weird. What happens if you right-click inside a folder? Don't the View, Sort by, Group by, Share with and New sub-menus open up much faster now (almost instantaneously) than before? – Karan Nov 12 '12 at 2:10

Those "other sub-menus" do not have the same functionality at all. Those other menus are all statically designed whereas the New sub-menu is dynamically generated.

What this means is that Tortoise SVN has predetermined what options should be on that menu well ahead of time and primed Windows with all the images and text and functions that need to be called from those menu options.

The New menu on the other hand has to scan the registry to find out what items need to have an option in the New menu, it has to go to the disk to find icons for those items and it needs to work out what to do when someone clicks on those items. The problem is that it has to do this each time you look at that menu because if you install a program then you might well expect new items to appear in that list at any random time.

Basically those menus are not the same and they are working on two different sets of assumptions. One is static and rarely changes, the other is dynamic and can change any time a program wants it to. Disk caching can make the New menu fast-ish, but that doesn't make up for the fact it needs to do work before it shows you the list.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .