This question has been asked a few times on SU, but no one ever seems to give all the information, so here we go;

Occasionally, when using "Open a File" or "Save File" dialogs in any program on my PC, I am running into freezing errors where the entire program calling the dialog (Chrome, Photos, etc.) will freeze for upwards of 30 seconds, and is utilizing a monstrous percentage of my CPU.

System information:

  • Intel i7-7700k at 4.2GHz
  • 32 GB DDR4 at 2133 MHz
  • Drives:
    • C: 120GB M.2 SSD
    • D: 1 TB Sata SSD
    • E: 4 TB Sata HDD
  • Windows 10 1909 build 18363.778

What I have tried so far:

As asked in the comments here, I do not have any mapped drives or external drives connected to my computer. As suggested here, I performed a clean boot, yet the issue persisted. In this TH post, the user ran error checking on their drive, which fixed the issue, but Windows prompts me with:

enter image description here

This post on Microsoft Technet suggested renamed network devices could cause the problem, but no network devices are mapped on my computer. Also related is this post, which also references saving to network drives, which does not apply... Finally, I tried clearing the IconCache.db as suggested here, but to no avail.

My thoughts:

  • The issue happens seemingly randomly, however after the initial freeze, the dialog boxes in the same program will not freeze for a small while (1-5 minutes).
  • Rebuilding the index from control panel seems to fix my issue temporarily, but it resurfaces eventually.
  • docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns and untick all NON Windows explorer extensions. In Options menu - Filter Options Hide Windows Entries then untick all that's left on Explorer tab. Does that fix it? If so reenable one by one.
    – Mark
    Apr 17, 2020 at 21:40
  • @Mark is absolutely correct.. except that Microsoft can also make mistakes with things like OneDrive.. and they do A LOT. If you exhaust the "non-microsoft" list without a culprit.. start looking at the Microsoft ones. Apr 17, 2020 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


External HDD's spin down between use, causing latency of perhaps 10 seconds while they spin up again. That should not happen to an internal HDD, though. Try Don't Sleep, for a while, to keep the drives spinning.

Also, check if an anti-malware package starts a scan on first using a drive. Keep Task Manager open to Details, let the system idle for ten or fifteen minutes, and then use an Open/Save dialog. If there is a sudden uptick of disk I/O (add those columns, if need be), or the CPU usage increases, what process is causing the drain in resources?

  • Also.. keep in mind that the virtual explorer shell extension stuff (like OneDrive, DropBox, Phone Storage, .. etc.. ) also get queried depending on the flags the programmer used when calling the OpenFileDialog API. That makes this more difficult to diagnose. Apr 17, 2020 at 21:43

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