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If I open local folder with a few .exe files with WinSCP (and FileZilla too), it hangs for a little while and then opens the directory. On remote FTP directory this doesn't happen.

Why does this happen and how can I disable this?

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WinSCP (FileZilla possibly too, not sure) loads icons from the EXE files (and few other formats). That can take a time, if there are lot of EXE files in the local folder.

In WinSCP, there's a hidden configuration option that you can use to turn off loading icons.

Run WinSCP once like this:

winscp.exe /rawconfig Interface\LocalIconsByExt=1

Reference: https://winscp.net/eng/docs/rawconfig

WinSCP does not load the icons from remote files EXE files (it would have to download them). Only file extension is used to select an icon for remote files.

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    Additionally, because loading the icon means “opening” the file, the on-access AV scanner will run, slowing down things a lot. – Daniel B Mar 8 '17 at 12:39

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