Windows 11 and the slow Explorer

Windows[German]Microsoft has changed the user interface of Windows 11 and has implemented developments from the trashed Windows 10X into the new operating system. The developers and marketing people also never get tire of praising the changes to the Explorer interface. But these changes come at a price – the file manager's usability suffers. And now a blog reader has pointed out to me that Explorer is very slow under Windows 11. Seems like it's all a bit of "still under construction", this new Windows 11.


The usability of Explorer is poor

If you compare the Explorer between Windows 11 and the older Windows versions, you'll be amazed. The strategists in Redmond have carved such a beautiful interface with fresh new icons that the vernacular blogs and sites just melt away. That's why they don't notice that the usability of the explorer has decreased radically in Windows 11.

Windows 11: Explorerfenster

In the picture above I used an Explorer window from an older blog post about Windows 11. The ribbon that was available until Windows 10 (see the following picture) has been replaced by a toolbar again. In the toolbar you only get a few options – and everything is kind of flat and hard to see.

Windows 10: Explorerfenster mit Menüband
Windows 10 Explorer window with ribbon

Martin Brinkmann has already taken up the whole topic in September 2021 on Ghacks in this article


Explorer crashes in Windows 11?

To make matters worse, a problem is now emerging with Windows 11 Explorer, which could become a test of patience. I happened to come across the issue via the following tweet from Tero Alhonen.

Explorer-Abstürze in Windows 11

He writes that Explorer.exe version 10.0.22000.120 stopped interacting with Windows 11 and was closed. In Microsoft Answers there is this post from October 28, 2021 describing hangs and crashes with Explorer 22000.282. Also in the Techcommunity there is this entry in a FAQ section about Explorer crashes when opening a context menu. 

Explorer slow under Windows 11

Then German blog reader Manuel H. emailed me about a performance problem with Explorer under Windows 11 (thanks for pointing it out). Manuel wrote to me:

Dear Mr. Born,

I would like to draw your attention to an apparently existing problem in connection with Windows 11.

My test machine with Windows 10 (HP Probook 830 X360, i5, 16GB RAM, SSD, officially supported by Windows 11) showed the strange behavior that Windows Explorer reacted very slowly and sluggishly after the upgrade. In touch mode almost nothing worked and you can't open any files or folders. Touch inputs are recognized incorrectly or delayed, menus build up slowly. In Onedrive folders, the problem is felt even more massive… 

First I thought of driver problems or something similar. Windows updates have not helped in the meantime. 

A little research brought me to this post at windowslatest [there a slow File Explorer and a context menu bug is discussed].

Likewise, the Reddit posts are full if you google for "Windows 11 file explorer slow". There are also some older posts in the Microsoft forum, where the whole thing was already criticized in the Dev or Release Channel of the Insider Builds. 

According to the article, there may be a fix that is already being tested in the Insider channels. 

My machine is deliberately not in the Insider program, because I'm virtually testing a production environment here. 

Unlike in most supposed fixes, using the "old" explorer, without the new menus, did not improve things for me either. 

I'm passing this on to you because a) I can't find any German sources for it and b) it could fit quite well into the blog in my opinion.

I have published this here in the blog – maybe there are others affected. When I read all this, I get the impression that Windows 11 users must be little masochists.

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