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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

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Have you an example of " other sub-menus that have the same functionality, yet appear instantaneously." –  Rowland Shaw Nov 10 '12 at 18:53
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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
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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
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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
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