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  • Post published:10/11/2021
  • Post last modified:10/11/2021
Windows 11 is hit by slow File Explorer and context menu bug
Windows 11 slow Explorer

Windows 11 started rolling out on October 5 and it comes with several known issues, mostly linked to the printing service.

As we reported earlier, Microsoft has confirmed and offered a fix for performance issues experienced on AMD devices running the most recent version of Windows 11. Additionally, Microsoft has also confirmed reports of high memory usage caused by Explorer.exe (File Explorer).

It turns out that Windows 11 has another bug that slows down the performance of the context menu. This bug appears to be related to the changes made to File Explorer and the context menu – but the good news is that a fix has been developed and it is currently being tested with Insiders.

Slow context menu on Windows 11

On Windows 10 and older versions, the context menu can be super-long and it affects the overall performance of the platform. The context menu has a ton of options in it that are never used by most users and there can be performance issues as the options within the context menu run from inside of Explorer.

Microsoft has created a new context menu experience for Windows 11 and most important or frequently used options now appear as buttons at the top of the menu. However, Windows 11’s new context menu has its own share of bugs and Microsoft is aware of degraded performance.

“There’s a delay of 1/2 second in most cases, but also sometimes you can see it start to open, then flicker as it has to readjust the size to reflect the options. Just seems sloppy,” one user explained the problem with the new context menu in the Feedback Hub.

“Opening the context menu is slow and after it opens about half the items are stuck “loading” for a few seconds. Even the old menu that had twice as many menu items, but it at least loaded instantly,” another user noted.

The modern context menu, which works very well on touch devices, has a bug that causes a delay when you right-click anywhere on the desktop or Explorer. The delay is more noticeable on low-end devices or when the system is easy and some users have been able to fix it by restarting the Explorer.exe.

Thankfully, Microsoft has confirmed that it’s working on performance improvements for the context menu and Build 22478 includes a change that would improve context menu launch performance.

File Explorer performance issues

As you may be aware, File Explorer has been updated with a fresh design on Windows 11 and it also comes with a new command bar which refers to the header or action bar that appears when you open Explorer.

The command bar is similar to the ribbon menu and it contains your customization settings/options.

In this build, Microsoft has also made a few changes to improve explorer.exe reliability and reduce crashes when using File Explorer. A bug that could crash explorer.exe when using the Desktops flyout context menu is getting a fix, and another crash bug that occurred when dismissing the desktop flyout will be fixed as well.

These bug fixes and improvements should hit the production channel later this year or early next year.

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