While using the Libraries feature of Windows 7 I am experiencing an extreme slowdown of up to 5 minutes and more when adding new (empty) folders to a Library.

All the folders I am trying to add are empty. The time it takes seems to be dependent on the location of the folder I am trying to add. E.g. adding folders which are located on the desktop are almost added immediately, but adding a folder from a location from which I have added other folders very often before is extremely slow.

Adding folders which I added to some library before works fast again.

So, what I am noticing is adding new folders from locations from which many library folders were added previously is extremely slow.

I want to stress 'many' since I wrote a program previously which automated this process. Each time I ran it a new folder was created and added to a library. Could it be that Windows somewhere keeps track if these (now deleted) folders and that this causes the slowdown?

  • You may wish to take a look at the library files, as stored in the %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries` directory. They are XML based files, so open them up in a text editor or something. See how many searchConnectorDescription` elements there are, maybe old ones are being kept? Each of these elements is one path indexed in the library. There's more detail on the structure here. I'm not sure if this would cause such a drastic speed difference, though. – Bob Apr 11 '12 at 15:41
  • @Bob Thanks, but it also occurs with newly created Libraries, so there isn't even an XML file in the folder. – Steven Jeuris Apr 11 '12 at 17:29
  • I believe the cause might be I'm adding an AppData folder to my library. So if anyone else could attempt creating a Windows Library, and adding any empty folder located within C:\Users\<Username>\AppData to it to see whether it's really slow or not, that would be really helpful. :) – Steven Jeuris Apr 11 '12 at 20:47

Try adding that location from which many library folders were added previously to search indexing. My theory is, when you add a library folder from a non-indexed path it must index it. Each library folder you have added has been indexed, but the folder containing these folders has not. Therefore new folders created were not indexed, and the slowdown may be because it's waiting for the indexing service to complete it's job(s).

  1. Get to the Indexing Options. You can find it by typing index in the Start Menu search.

Screenshot of search
Click for full size

  1. Click the Modify button

Screenshot of indexing options
Click for full size

  1. Select the folder

  2. Click ok in all dialogs

  3. Try now.

  • Well, that definitely helped me along a bit. It seems like adding a new folder to a library triggers the indexing process. The folder is added to the indexed locations. It's the indexing which is slow, so only indirectly the Library. Adding/removing an indexed location seems to be the bottleneck. I'm attempting to delete/reconstruct the index now, I'll report whether the problem remains afterwards. – Steven Jeuris Apr 11 '12 at 17:32

To fix this problem I added the Key


with value 1 to the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters\FileInfoCacheLifetime = 1
  • 1
    Any chance of an explanation of what this does or why it will help? – Mokubai Jun 24 '12 at 7:27

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